I was not monetarily compensated for this post. GM did provide us a car for our trip. All opinions expressed are always mine.
As the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches us and we are reminded once again \how Hurricane Sandy wrecked havoc on New York City, Staten Island and the Jersey Shore, my husband and I also remember the vow we took last November: The summer of 2014 was not going to be any different from our past summer vacations. We were going to have a family vacation at the Jersey Shore no matter what.
So this past March, we booked our rental home. There were no shortages, and we were able to find one relatively easily. It seemed like Hurricane Sandy hit randomly. There were blocks that seemed untouched, where other blocks, all the homes were affected.
We drove down as we usually do. This time in our GMC Acadian Denali, which GMC graciously loaned us for our trip. The ride down was pretty much the same as years past except that several houses were torn up, vacant lots were peppered throughout, and the sound of cranes and and diggers could be heard while on the beach.
We vacation in the town of Lavallette, as we have done for the past six years. The beaches were busy, but not packed and the weather held up and was just perfect. The surf had zero rip-tide and low-tide was perfect for wave riding and boogy boarding. All in all, a perfect family beach vacation.
Businesses that we usually visit were open and running, although there were a few mini-golf courses that had not opened.
A family vacation at the Jersey Shore would never be complete without eating breakfast at Sunny Hunny. Fluffy pancakes, huge Belgian Waffles, delicious eggs and crisp bacon along with the never-ending cup of coffee. Get there early — it’ll get packed as the morning goes on.
A daily donut run to Donuts Plus is a must. (And so is a daily 2-mile run, which I managed to do two out of the seven days.) Their donuts are cake-like, which is how we like it; our faves are the cinnamon sugar, glazed, chocolate glazed and the cinnamon sugar/glazed combo. We were on vacation, so why not?!?
After several hours at the beach, we would take a break and have our daily fix of delicious ice cream and slushees from Dairy Queen (eaten in the back of the Denali, of course).
Runners Seafood Restaurant and Market was open; the girls love eating here because they have a kid-friendly menu and their chicken fingers are delicious. S said, “I like it here” after biting into hers. Picking up clams and mussels at Runners is a must for beach dinners at the house.
On a particularly grey and drizzly morning, we drove over to Jenkinsons at Point Pleasant. There, a huge sand monument was built and a small donation of $1.00 went to #RestoretheShore efforts.
A trip to the shore is never ever complete without going on rides at Jenkinsons. We’ve gone here for years and the rides keep getting better and better for the girls.
Of course, truly what the Jersey Shore means to us is several years of making memories: watching dolphins in the water (above!), walks along the beach at sunset and sunrise, lots of laughs, food and family.
We are grateful that the Jersey Shore is up and running, although we know that it will take another year or two to really be at 100%. And the only way that it can get there is if you can make a family vacation at the Jersey Shore next year. If you have any questions about vacationing down the shore, don’t hesitate to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you!