Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Stone Harbor 2016.

  Did you know I married a Jersey Shore boy? Born and raised two blocks from the ocean, I was sure that marrying Justin meant I would finally realize my lifelong dream of living close to the ocean. (I know everyone says that, but guys. I mean it! I would still move today if I had the chance!) But I was wrong. That Jersey boy became a midwest fan as soon as he started college and evidently, there was no turning back for him.

  But after 7 years of marriage, he finally took me back to the Shore this past July! And we started what I hope becomes our new family tradition of spending a week on the prettiest stretch of the Jersey Shore every summer. While not the town Justin grew up in, his dad's family has been vacationing there since his aunt and uncles were small kids. So fun, right? 

  This vacation fell smack dab in the middle of our moving/not moving/moving drama and was the sweet spot of our summer. We discovered Caleb loves the beach. The ocean, the sand, the sunshine, the people. Every part of it.

  And it was a ton of fun to spend an uninterrupted week (not focused on a holiday) with family we don't see often. We vacation with Justin's entire extended family: his parents, brothers and their families, uncles, aunts, and cousins. So it was a BIG trip! Its definitely one of those family traditions that is sure to ebb and flow and look differently as we adjust to having small kiddos and then, eventually, older kiddos along with us (aka less sleeping, early morning sunrise walks, giving lots of grace for skipped naps and long days in the sun). But that's one of the things I think I love about it!

 Since the trip was three months ago, its been so fun to look at these photos again for this blog post. Now that I see them again, I know that this was one of those vacations that lifelong memories are made of. The exhaustion of sharing a room with two kiddos (one who was eating every 2 hours through the night!) and being up by 6am every day and missing out on eating most meals with the whole family because our kiddos needed to head back for bed, and finding ourselves at the beach before most people were awake- all of that has faded by now. And I'm just left with that cheesy warm and fuzzy feeling of remembering Caleb's belly laughs as he learned to boogie board and chats over ice cream with my favorite sister in law and seeing Justin's dad and uncle and aunt together in a place that holds a lot of history for their family. Gah. Is it July 2017 yet? Can't wait to go back!

Ps. The real Jersey Shore is nothing like the show on MTV. So if you're ever up for an awesome vacation, you have to check out Stone Harbor

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