Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Stone Harbor. The words bring to mind seagulls gliding on the wind, beautiful sunsets, long walks on the beach, shelling, and the constant sound of the waves coming and going over the sand where we just walked. These were sounds we knew very well 12 years ago and that I was able to share with Don on our honeymoon 6 years ago, but last week I took the time to realize just how much I love Stone Harbor. I think everyone felt the same way by the time the week ended. Matthew and Jonathan were there for the first time and they now know why we love it so much there.
On Saturday we started our journey bright and early, but not as early as we intended. Doesn't that always happen? My Mom and Dad, our family, and my Sister-In-Law all climbed into Dad's Astro and off we went. We expected a 10 hour journey with a lot of stops for our newly peeing-in-the-potty princess, but made it in 8.5 hours with only two stops. As we sailed down the Garden State Parkway on the last leg of our journey, the smells of the ocean greeted us every once in awhile and only heightened our desire to get our feet in the sand.
Unloading the car was quite easy but we realized just how much we'd brought as Dad pulled stuff out of every nook and cranny he had in the car. The car top carrier was left for last and since we didn't have a ladder, Jonathan went up on top to unload. We shoved everything in the house, gathered together and headed down to the beach.
Here's our first taste of the ocean. You will note that the boys didn't waste any time getting down to the water.
The first few days there were very hot and humid so the boys tried to cool off in the 60 some odd degree water but it was just toooooo cold. However, down at the point of the island, there is a much calmer beach where tide pools are common and shells are plentiful. So we headed there. Here are some pictures from those adventure. You'll note that almost always, heads are bent looking down either trying to find shells or checking out something that they found while looking for that elusive uninhabited whelk.
Playing in the tide pools, which were much warmer than the ocean overall, was a fun way to get our feet wet without freezing!
There was a sandbar out a ways that could only be reached during low tide. It was a gathering place on and off during the week. Here you can see the first of many family gatherings there.
And the mighty team of Poppy and Jonathan were always together, heads bent, always looking. Determined to find their treasure.
And SUCCESS!!! Overall, Jonathan found three or four whelks and chose a few to bring home. They will be the happy home of some air plants as soon as we clean them off.
Even Mom braved the water to head out to the sandbar! I think this was her only venture into the water.
We also discovered that Laura loves water. And sand. And having her brother build things for her in the sand. Here Laura and Daddy play in the tide pools
And a picture of the three of us.
Mom and Dad
Mom and Diane
We were joined at the beach by my brother's family. They rented another house and we got to spend a lot of time together. Their house had central air - something we didn't think we'd need at the beginning of June at the beach but alas, we did. So common meals happened at his house. It was fun even though some folks had to sit on the floor to eat. Here's my brother, Scott, holding the always present shelling bag.
I'll post some more pictures of our trip in another post but this one, highlighting our beach adventures, wouldn't be complete without posting Matthew and Seth's attempts to body surf in the freezing cold, bone chilling ocean. I managed to catch one picture of them successfully 'catching a wave' but they are just dots buried on the white curls.
Jonathan joined them periodically but he had enough common sense to stay out of the water when it was just too cold. Smart boy, that one. :)
We finally were forced to pack up and head home. Since there was no ladder, we pulled the car up to the porch and Jonathan still helped load it from there. Here he is relishing his status as the chosen one to actually get on top of the car.
And so ends another week at the beach. It was refreshing, fun, relaxing, filled with family, packed with times we'll remember all year long as we plan for next years trip. Of course next year we'll rent a house with central air. :)