So what do you suppose the Globetrekker family would want to do after five months of go-go traveling? That's right: we went to New Jersey! We were home for a week (much of which I have no recollection of whatsoever) and a week ago we headed to Point Pleasant, New Jersey, John's home town. There were a number of reasons for the timing. We hadn't seen my in-laws since Thanksgiving, for one. Second, looking at their summer plans and our summer plans, if we hadn't gone last week we'd be looking at sometime in July. Finally, considering the Jersey Shore is a prime summer destination, the difference between a motel room last week and this week was about $200 per night. We basically got three nights for the price of one by going before Memorial Day weekend.
It was a good visit, and the Amethyst Motel worked beautifully. It's two blocks from the boardwalk. Rooms are clean and quiet. There is a pool in a center courtyard somewhat protected from the chilly winds. JieJie and MeiMei spent quite a bit of time in that pool, and where JieJie used to sort of float-hop while moving her arms in swim-esque ways, she actually seems to be swimming underwater now--exciting to think where she'll be with that by the end of the summer. I was also pleased to see that her little sister, who wants so much to do everything her big sister can do, displayed basic common sense and limited herself to the pool's steps instead of insisting that she was tall enough for the 3-feet deep (both girls often think the numbers are for age, not depth..."I'm 3! I can go there!!").
We didn't do many earthshattering things at the Jersey Shore, just the usual. We played skee-ball and some other arcade games, and I got lucky on one game of chance, winning enough tickets (325 points!) to get the girls something beyond the usual bamboo finger trap and plastic ring. We ate at Brielle Omelet, which has to be the best breakfast place in America bar none. We also ate dinner at the Shrimp Box, which has a nice view of the Manasquan River. Food was nothing to write home about, but then we are SO spoiled.
When we got home, I said a silent prayer of thanks that we are not going much of anywhere until maybe August. We're not sure where we're going yet, but we are strongly considering returning to Peaks Island, Maine, which is one of the resort islands in Casco Bay / Portland area. Peaks Island is great because once you're out on the island the pace is very slow, walking or biking...there's a restaurant or two, and a little grocery for necessities, a family beach for playing and swimming, and the rental cottages are quite reasonable. If you crave city activities, you just take the ferry to Portland for some of the best shopping anywhere. There's Portland Green Grocer, the Whip and Spoon kitchen store, Foreside Company catalogue outlet, and a whole indoor shopping pavilion that reminds me of Quincy Market in Boston.