Sunday, August 4, 2013

Summer of Excitement: Long Beach Island - [a case of the summer]

If you recall, last year I was going to use my entire week at LBI with the family as my "Summer of Excitement" post, but then the final night ended up providing a very surprising and unexpected adventure.  I was actually glad that happened, as I felt like using the entire week was a bit of a cheap cop out.  Well, there wasn't a surprising and unexpected adventure on the final night -- so this year I AM going to have to go through with that cop out!

Don't get me wrong, it was an awesome vacation that truly did have something enjoyable happen each day.  It was a different vacation, though.  While we haven't had a vacation in which all of the "kids" in my generation (me, my brother, my sister, and my two cousins) were all available for the entire week in, like, over a decade, pretty much every year the majority of us were there at the same time.  Of course, things are inherently different now.  My brother and sister are both married, and they both have kids, so it's not like they're really going to be going out.  So for the past few years, it's been me and my cousins (as well as any friends or significant others that might be visiting) going out and having fun each night.  This year, however, my 27 year old cousin couldn't make it for the entire week -- leaving just me and my 25 year old cousin.  We wanted to be sure we did something each night, but would we live up to that challenge?  For one, there aren't an abundance of things to (conveniently) do.  And there's also the issue of sitting out in the sun each day, so would we even have the energy?

The answer is YES (although I won't go through EVERY single day)!  I arrived Saturday, but my cousin wasn't around (she also rented a house with her friends in Belmar, and decided to spend the night there).  My brother in law, on the other hand, was around -- and as luck would have it, his sister (who is my age) was celebrating a friend's birthday on the island.  So we decided to meet up with her at the house they were renting, and this place was pretty sweet.  It was right on the bay, and they even had a basketball court (yes, a basketball court!) on the roof (yes, the roof!)  There are two things that stand out from that night, however:  The White Russian and Mud Slide four packs we found at the liquor store, and the fact that Sharknado was on television.  I....just.....couldn't look away.....

On Monday, my cousin and I went to the Sea Shell, which was the location that shocked up with an awesome time last year.  Unfortunately, there was no bull riding and man on stilts, but there was a band and it proved to be a fun time.

Wednesday we went to Joe Pops to watch the Nerds, a popular Jersey cover band.  This is our yearly tradition and it did not disappoint.  Joe Pops was one of the first places we noticed that seemed to have suffered some damage from the storm.  You could tell that the inside was highly renovated (and improved).

Thursday was the only crappy day of the trip, as it rained (quite heavily) virtually the entire day.  This allowed me to do some shopping, where I bought a great "Jersey Strong" hoodie.  It did clear up by the end of the night, so the family took my niece to Fantasy Island.  Once we got back home, we tried to get a family game of Heads Up going, but it was a long day and people weren't biting.

Friday night, my cousin and I decided to cap off the night at Sea Shell again -- hoping against hope that a man with stilts would show up.  Sadly, it didn't happen.  But, again, it ended up being a really fun time and a great way to conclude the vacation.

Of course, it wasn't an entirely good week.  While I was gone, my office softball team lost their game, which means we're out of the playoffs.  Inter-Office tournament, here we come!

Going out and drinking aside, it was really nice spending time with my family and actually getting some nice weather!  After what feels like a month of crappy weather, we only had one day where it rained.  Not too shabby.

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