Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Weekend on the Jersey Shore

Road trip 2016 continues with a weekend visit to my brother and sister-in-law's home at the near the Jersey shore. We drove up through Maryland and Delaware, then across the Delaware Memorial Bridge into New Jersey.

This is not urban Newark, folks. It's rolling farmland.

And giant cowboy statues. My friend Ginny, a Jersey native, says he used to hold a lasso.

We arrived in time for a late dinner of homemade pulled pork, corn on the cob, potato salad and more. That painting? It hung in our home from the early 1970's onward, purchased by mom. My brother inherited it after she died.

After dinner we played a few games of Wits and Wagers, a fun board game, and two of the kids played the grand piano.

The next day we headed to Wildwood, New Jersey, where the boardwalk and piers feature amusements rides and water parks. We enjoyed Philly cheese steaks in one of the restaurants there. Here are my brother and his lovely wife.

The Great White roller coaster - loops and curves!

Later in the afternoon, we entered the water park for a few hours.

In the evening, my three teens rode the Sky Coaster on the Adventure Pier. We bought the photo since my camera died right before they went on. Wish I had a video of them swinging through the air on a harness over 100 feet above the boardwalk!

The next day we chose Ocean City, New Jersey for our beach day. On the way, we stopped to see Lucy the Elephant, built in the late 1800's.

Ocean City, New Jersey

And down it goes...

Just a little obsessed with cotton candy...

I bought myself a sun hat and an Ocean City t-shirt.

On Sunday evening, more excitement! My brother used to work as entertainment manager at the Taj Mahal. He asked a friend there for comp tickets to see the Wallenda's Zirkus show.

Million dollar chandeliers, I'm told.

So it turns out we had front row seats. And mine was in the exact middle. I was three feet from that spotlight on the right, and less than 10 feet from Nik Wallenda, world famous tight rope walker, when he personally introduced the show.

A German performer painstakingly stacked up chairs on a high platform and did a handstand at the top. Way high!

Then the aerial performers with the huge scarf like ropes.

The finale - the risky seven person pyramid on the tight rope!

Melody didn't hesitate to ask for selfies with the performers after the show. She is growing in boldness! I love it!

Here she is with Nik Wallenda!

Here are all four of the kids with the clown.

We had a terrific weekend, thanks to the amazing hospitality of my very kind brother and sister-in-law.

Other posts in this road trip series:

Cunningham Falls in Maryland

Cunningham Falls, a 78 foot high cascading waterfall,
the longest in Maryland
I'm slowly getting around to photo blogging our road trip. We've been back for almost a week.

Two weeks ago I took the kids to Cunningham Falls State Park in Thurmont, Maryland, about an hour's drive from my dad's house. I had thought of going to a different state park closer in, but the kids remembered Cunningham Falls from our trip in 2013 and asked to go back there instead. Fair enough!  This time, however, we did not first hike through Catoctin Mountain National Park. That made the day much more doable.

There was, however, a shorter hike from the parking lot to the falls. 

Finally at the base of the falls...

We could climb the boulders at the base of the falls, or climb a steep hill a little off to the side to get part way up. The girls chose the hill.

The rest of the way, we climbed the boulders along the falls.

The last time we came, my youngest daughter (then 7) didn't climb the falls. This time, at age 10, she did! I'm so proud of her courage and perseverance! 

She made it almost to the very tippy top, but these last boulders were just too big to scale.

I, however, made it up to the top! It took a lot of effort and balance, no small feat for a mama with permanent joint problems. I was definitely in some pain, but I managed to do it with slow and steady movement, thinking carefully where to step and hold. I'm glad I did! I am working hard to regain my strength after last year's car accident.

I loved this hole. The water swirled down the rock right into it, and then it came out again through another hole below. Cool!

This huge boulder was the favorite perch for photos.

She's joking, I promise. The picture's tilted.

After hiking the waterfalls, I asked who wanted to swim in Lake Cunningham. Only two of them did, and just for a short time.

To end the adventure, we went to Cow Appreciation Day at the Chick Fil A in Frederick, Maryland.

Other posts in this road trip series so far:
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