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On the Boardwalk

December 4, 2010

Since there is a fresh coating of snow outside (six inches!), I feel that it’s time to (belatedly) post about our summer trip to Ocean City, NJ. Even though John and I both LOVE snow, and will spend many winter days going on snowy hikes in the woods, ice skating, and hopefully skiing, we relish the warm summer days too. During the week that transitioned from August to September of this year, we went to visit John’s family and stayed at their condo in Ocean City.  We had been to the condo several times before, but never for such a long trip, so we had been looking forward to it all summer. John’s parents, brother Andrew, and Andrew’s girlfriend Taylor also came on the trip.

Ocean City is an island off the coast of New Jersey with a long boardwalk along the coast (2.5 miles, I believe). All along the boardwalk are food places, beach-themed shops, bike and surrey rentals, mini-golf, an amusement park, and a waterpark. The Ballams’ condo is located just one end of the boardwalk, so all we had to do was walk outside to get right on the boardwalk or the beach.

What we did every day!

We spent at least some time every day just playing in the water. The weather was in the 80’s and 90’s most of the time, so it felt great to jump in the water. The waves were larger than normal while we were there (about 3-5 feet most days, as opposed to 2-3 feet) due to Hurricane Earl approaching. We had a blast swimming out to where the waves were breaking and diving under water just as they came. Sometimes we’d get pretty pummeled by the wave and would be rolled around a bit, but then we’d jump right back for more. We also did some boogie boarding and a little surfing, though the big waves made surfing a little more intimidating than usual (at least for us beginners).

It had been three years since we last surfed!

Other activities included jet skiing with Andrew and Taylor, fishing (John and Andrew), running on the boardwalk (Elena and Taylor), mini golf, bike rides around Ocean City, and EATNG (apple cider donuts, Rita’s Water Ice, Mack and Manco’s pizza, caramel corn, and much more). I was glad we were getting so much exercise every day to burn off the junk food!

Hurricane Earl arrived about halfway through our trip. We didn’t have much to worry about because the hurricane was miles out to sea, but we did get some pretty spectacular waves. The beaches were all closed to swimmers, but the expert surfers came out. We spent a lot of time watching the surfers catch the 10 foot waves. Another amazing sight was the dolphins. All throughout the hurricane’s duration we saw dolphins jumping over the waves, then surfing down them. Most we saw from the balcony, but we saw one up close as we were walking along the beach. As an enthusiast of all things marine life, I was amazed to see the dolphins, as well as the countless shells and jellyfish that washed up on the beach.

A brave surfer catching a good ride.

Overall, the trip was wonderfully relaxing and good for our spirits. John had just finished his first year of school and was in need of a break, and we both needed one last hurrah of the summer. It was great to spend time with family, and we also were able to catch up with some college friends as well (Andrew, Katelynn, and Johnny). As soon as we arrived back in Minnesota, fall arrived. Now that it’s winter we’ll enjoy all that the snow has to offer, but it’s encouraging to know that warm weather will come again, and that good things come in all seasons!

We didn't even plan to all wear green!

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