I'm back from the beach, which I'm sure is a huge relief to all of you, having been waiting on pins and needles to hear everything about our first family-of-four vacation.
Hello? Are you still there? I think this blog might be cutting out? Hellllooooooooo?
I'm going to assume by the sound of deafening silence that you're back.
The trip was good. We saw this whole experience as a litmus test. We have never done hotel with Owen, except when he was in his baby-blob phase, and we certainly haven't done hotel with Joel. We figured that if everything was too loud, too whiny, too miserable, and too just no fun at all, we would pack up the car and head home.
It's only three hours away, you see.
Luckily, that did not happen. On the contrary, the boys were troopers. We wisely got a room with a suite, so that we could keep Owen entertained by Happy Feet (thank you, random cable channel for that gift from God), while Joel settled himself down. Then, after threatening Owen with dire harm if he made any noises to wake up his brother, we did story time and prayers on the couch, and then carried him into his bed, next to Joel's pack and play.
We then left the two boys alone in the hotel and hit the clubs while drinking large fruity cocktails.
Okay, so we actually watched the season finale of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" while drinking a six-pack. Still entertaining. I can watch Theresa upend a table all night long.
Now, for the beach itself. This picture says it all:
It rained. It rained a lot. Noah's ark, pounding-down, tear-your-umbrella kinda rain. We found ourselves playing with the train table at a charming toy store and going from one coffee house to the next, leaving a trail of muffin crumbs in our wake. We went to the arcade and I introduced Owen to the wonder of ski-ball. He didn't quite get the concept, since he flung the balls across four lanes, narrowly missing the noggins of children and the elderly.
Despite the rain, we were happy. And very, very wet.:
To combat the rain, we spent much time at Funland, a glorified arcade with kiddie rides. Owen went on them, but it was grim, serious business:
His expression was the same on every ride: a set gaze, a serious jut to the jaw, and no, under any circumstances, smiling. We suspect he was a little nervous about the whole thing and was being the stoic Norwegian his heritage suggests.
Funland is an interesting place. On the way home, we found that it was on the road map, a monument of equal importance to the Statue of Liberty. Who knew?
It's staffed almost entirely by Eastern Europeans. I feel a little guilty peeling off dollar bills to Natalya, a guest to our country from Lithuania. While her country is bartering bread for medical services, I'm spending my hard-earned dollars in the hopes of Owen winning a stuffed turtle, made in a Chinese sweatshop.
This line of thinking means that I'm thinking too hard. Luckily, the sun eventually came out and there was fun to be had in the sand and surf. And, of course, awkwardly posed photographs on the boardwalk:
I can't wait to go back.