OUR LIFE IN 3D

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Archive for the tag “ocean city NJ”

Happy Beach Day Skylar!

Our trip to Ocean City was good for our little Sandy Monster.  While Skylar had been there 2 years ago she was sick for most of that time and really had a misaerable time of it.  This time she was older, healthy (!), and a little bit more independent.  Not unlike a 16 year old with a new driver’s permit, Skylar took a lot of joy and pride in being able to do new things this trip.

Skylar, has always been ‘her own child’. While our oldest can steal the scenes with a lot of her heroics, bravery, perceptions, and personality, Skylar has never tried t be like her older sister. She maybe be more outgoing or friendly at first, with the cutest smile ever, and very very loving.

She is the opposite Dylan when it comes to bravery however. And that’s OK. We may worry less with this one! While Dylan likes to jump off 5 stairs, into Daddy’s arms in the morning, Skylar may only jump two steps and that is when she is already holding onto Daddy’s arms to start.  She is very careful!

So it was joy to see Skylar come out of her shell a bit this trip, do her own thing, and genuinely having a great time.

First, one more advertisement for Ocean City, New Jersey. I found an amazing thing at the beach. When it comes to calling itself ‘America’s Favorite Family Resort’ it goes to great lengths to be so. This included replacing the feisty sand crabs with bunnies in thd dunes! That’s right I said bunnies.

"Happy Easter Bunny Day!"

“Happy Easter Bunny Day!”

While we didn’t see a single sand crab on our trips to the beach, every evening we saw a bunny or two eating in the sand dunes. On a vacation that came to be known “Happy Beach Day” by our youngest, when she saw the rabbit it became, “Happy Easter Bunny Day!”  Too cute!

And how does OCNJ do this?

One of the things that led to Skylar’s ‘coming out’ was that she was finally able to get on some rides this year and have experiences like the other kids; even if she had to cheat to get on some…

On tippy-toes

On tippy-toes

Here she is trying hard to reach the height requirement to get on a ride. She naturally tried to stand on her tip-toes; no one told her. Honest!

Her stoic look is what she carried on to most of the rides. All these things were first time, brand new expereinces for her and I think they left her in kinda awe. If she got on a ride a second time she would crack that award winning smile. But first times she was always kinda emotionless in her face. She was waiting to hear a “No” or “You’re not tall enough”.

She wasn’t scared to ride the huge, sky-scraper of a Ferris Wheel with her sister, even though it was windy and cold that night..

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Yes, they are sweaters they are wearing…in July! It was cold that night.

Skylar wan’t afraid to ride the rides (very unlike herself), spin around on the tilt-a-whirl, or fly high in the ballon ride. She even braved Jaws at the putt-putt course and wasn’t scared of the big shark…much:

For weeks she was asked if she “was ready to go to Ocean City”. Not knowing exactly waht that meant she equated the boardwalk as ‘Ocean City’. So at night she asked if we were going to go up to Ocean City. Then she called the amusement rides. “Games”. She enjoyed the ‘games’ at ‘Ocean City’. She really enjoyed the ‘games’.  🙂

I think she had the most fun, or best experience, of her life so far and it did our hearts good to see her enjoying herself so much. Did you see that smile in the Jaws video?

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So here’s a look at a typical “Happy Beach Day” in the life of our Sandy Monster.  You can see here brave the (cold) ocean, experience the under-toe at her feet, have some fun driving her own bumper car, as well as just going “Up, down, up down, up” …

Happy Beach Day Skylar!

Fun was had by all!

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Ocean City, NJ: America’s Greatest Family Resort plus My Top Ten List of Firsts at the Beach!

This past weekend there was a lot of excitement at our house as the time is drawing near for our summer vacation. We are opting to take the girls back to my favorite childhood resort, Ocean City, New Jersey.

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Ocean City, New Jersey likes to call itself “America’s Greatest Family Resort“. And with good reason. This barrier island is designed to be conducive to families and kids. They do this to the extent that no alcohol is sold on the island; not in stores, in restaurants, gas stations, nowhere. Coming from a restaurant background I have a feeling for what kinds of revenues this city sacrifices in order to keep it ‘family friendly’.

If you must have a beer or a cocktail there are plenty of stores on the other side of the bridge before you enter Ocean City. Or, if you are feeling lucky, Atlantic City is on the other side of the north bridge leaving Ocean City. But in town, this nostalgic ocean community, there is no booze. And the tourists that frequent this resort town are the type that appreciate this!

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The Urban Dictionary has an entry that describes OCNJ simply like this: Dry town with Liqour stores 10 seconds over the bridge. Every guy in town either plays basketball or surfs, usually both and every girl lives in bikinis and their only job is to work on their tan. ~ Does that remind you of any highfaluting’ resort town? Ocean City is simple. Its laid back and it caters to kids and families. And it has all the fun a kid can ask for!

While their are plenty of the typical coastal amenities to do, the main focus of Ocean City is its 2.5 mile long boardwalk. Among the many attractions of this famed and nostalgic boardwalk are two amusement piers, with rides (mostly) designed for the younger kids, a music pier, all sorts of gift shops and beach stores as well as ANY sort of junk food imaginable!

This includes, fresh, warm, made to order donuts, hot caramel corn, the best soft ice cream custard, fudge shops and much, much more! The sweet smells of the boardwalk alone are worth the trip! It may not be zip lines and bungee dives. Its good, old fashioned fun tried and true over the ages.

Riding the train through the park

Riding the train through the park

I tried to introduce my family to Ocean City, New Jersey OCNJ) two years ago as I was eager for them to enjoy it like I had. The trouble was our girls were about 3.5 years old and 18 months. For the most part they were to small to get on the rides. Add to that our youngest got an ear infection the first few days we were there, that ended in a 102 fever. She was not a happy camper for most of the trip!

But that doesn’t dull the excitement of returning. We are looking forward to riding the rides, “hot, fresh, made to order Browns Donuts” on the boardwalk for breakfast and then riding bikes on the boards to wake up, the beach, did I mention the rides, the great junk food there along with all the smiles and laughter of kids that goes along with it.

This year, as the past time, we are renting a house where my whole family can stay (us, Mom, Dad, and the great Aunt Sue). That in itself was loads of fun last time. It was a block off the beach. We had our bikes. We had our beach gear rented in a wagon. Dylan even found a scooter that matched hers back home the owners of the house left for us. It was nice

Look how little she is in this!

Look how little she is in this!

And by the end of the week even lil ol’ Skylar could manage a smile…

Hey good-lookin'

Hey cutie!

Our kids (and Mom) got their first experience on the boardwalk. There were so many things to see and do, rides, eat, bike, eat, shop, eat. We caught a parade on the boardwalk as they seem to find a reason to have one most every week in the summer.

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Its just a festive place. The local theater group even put on a kid sized play at the historic Music Pier on the boardwalk, ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’ and all our the favorite hits from that old Saturday morning series. Can you remember ‘Conjunction Junction‘?

And, of course, their was the Atlantic Ocean amenity their too, with waves big enough to satisfy any Beach Bum!

Future Beach Bums!

Future Beach Bums!

This beach bum body surfer found himself in heaven with the size of these waves!

Waiting to catch a big one...

Waiting to catch a big one…

Its all about picking the right wave!

He scores!

He scores!

Of course I was having some fun in the waves with my girls too!

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And while Skylar was a bit too small for the surf (when she was feeling well) she did enjoy playing sand castles with Aunt Sue. She had a big wet beach, a sand castle to protect, her own moat, even her own pond to play in. It was her first sand castle to build and swim in and protect. She loved it!

There were dozens of other “firsts” for our girls on this past trip to Ocean City as well. But since I see I am running on here, again, I thought I would leave you with my Top Ten of favorite  other ‘firsts ‘we experienced on this first trip to Ocean City.

While we may be heading back up to OCNJ again this summer we’ll never have these same ‘firsts’ with our growing girls.

TOP TEN FIRSTS AT OCEAN CITY:

10) First time our 18 month’er had soft ice cream…. on a warm summer evening

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She was a wet mess!

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9) First time one of my girls went down a Giant Slide

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8) First time Ms. Fearless  went down a Giant Slide with out a mat, her daddy, waiting for instructions, anything!

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7) First time she beat daddy in a race.

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6) First time our girls played miniature golf, simply known as  ‘Golf Balls’ from that day forth.

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There was more than one shark on that putt-putt course….

I saved the kids from the shark....cause that's what daddies do

I saved the kids from the shark….cause that’s what daddies do

5) First time one of our girls was spun out of control in a whirlie-whirl kinda ride.

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4) First time I gave my girls my debit card.

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Yea, right!

3) First time our girls got to experience all the sights and sounds and smells and excitement of exploring the boardwalk.

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2) The first time our girls were too tired to walk all the way home after a night on the boardwalk.

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#1) The first time our girls got to eat hot, fresh (made to order) donuts in front of the ocean before touring the length of the boardwalk on bicycles, just to start their day.

Bonus First: First time my 3 year old filmed me as I changed her pull-up!

PS: we’re hiring nannies right now. If you think you could kid-wrangle my crew get your resume in today!

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