Monday, October 12, 2009

A Summer Vacation to Remember, Part 1

For the 4th year in a row, we spent our summer vacation at the Jersey shore with my family back east. I'd like to think that this will be among the fondest memories that Russell and Punky will have of growing up. They've become used to seeing their grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles every summer under the best of circumstances--at the nicest beach in the world (Long Beach Island) with no school or homework (mostly).

This year, I was able to rent a house only 7 houses away from the beach at Beach Haven, Long Beach Island. What a find! In addition to being convenient to the beach, it was air conditioned with all the comforts of home. It was also only a block away from the Wawa store where I seemed to stop by nearly every day for ice cream and Wawa Peach-flavored Ice Tea.

Of course we spent lots of time at the beach, but this year we added fishing to our list of activities. With the crab cage, we actually caught several spider crabs and a small (4 in.) striped bass that we had to throw back. Punky was especially thrilled with catching things, but disappointed that we couldn't keep them. Russell just wanted to hold onto his fishing pole and reel in imaginary fish.

Our first few days in Long Beach Island were perfect. Great weather (it had be unseasonably cold at the shore this year), uncrowded beaches and an unexpected visit from cousins Max and Megan at the beginning of our trip. Later, we grew adventurous and decided to try a few new things before the end of our week-long vacation.

The house we rented in Beach Haven

The Chen and Pupalaikis boys enjoy the waves

Punky inspects the catch of the day: a striped bass

Getting ready to go fishing

The gang is almost all here.