For being summer vacation, things have been pretty hectic around here.  I may have overscheduled things a tad bit.  The first two weeks the kids were off, they had swimming lessons every day.  Granted, it was only 45 minutes, but it was something.  Most of those days, we went swimming afterwards as well.  The second week they were off (and still in swimming), I was back at work, which made things interesting.  I worked Tuesday and Wednesday in summer school, so I had to employ my parents to shuffle the kids all over the place.

The third week of vacation, Sophia was in dance camp each morning.  I was at summer school Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, and worked in my outpatient clinic Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons.  That meant I had to bring her to camp, figure out what to do with Jake, run into work, pick her up, and then go back to work at the other job.

Oh, and I'm trying to sell my current book and work on my next one.

By week four, I was pretty burnt out.  It was also hotter than Hades.  But awesome mom that I am, I had another camp lined up.  This time, it was horseback riding camp, 15 miles north of here.  But I had a plan for this.  I would drop them off at camp, park myself in a coffee shop with my computer and write.  It worked like a charm on Monday.  I wrote about 5,000 words that day.  I had momentum.  I was on a roll.  At that rate, my book would be finished in two weeks.  Then came Tuesday.  I was sitting in the parking lot, making arrangements to get my broken windshield fixed (that story is here), when I got the call that I needed to go into school.  So, into school I go, and then haul it back up north to pick the kids up.  Then I had mandatory meeting that afternoon.  I tried to keep writing and got a little done.  Wednesday, I was back on track and type, type, typing away.  Then, due to the heat, we got the option to postpone the last two days of camp.  That meant no more quiet time.  But those two days were the first days of summer that we didn't have to do anything, and it was nice.  So nice.  We did do some fun things, and I got some writing in.

Then the weekend hit.  We drove down to Jersey for my cousin's son's first birthday.  We were those people who showed up two hours early, but we forced them into letting us help.  Heat aside, it was a great time.
The birthday boy and his awesome mom

All the kids in the pool

Sophia, my aunt and her grandson

My uncle and his youngest grandson

 Since we were already halfway there, we continued to head south to Cape May to spend the night.  We went to dinner at the Cape May Beach House, which is where I took the cover picture for Good Intentions, the last time we were in Cape May.  The kids were pretty worn out, but were revived by a walk on the beach, hunting for seashells.

 While we were walking on the beach, we spied dolphins.

 Also, there was something floating in the water that we could not identify.  I'm fairly certain that I saw a different type of dorsal fin checking it out...

I woke up pretty early the following morning.  I was out on the beach, walking around by about 6:15 a.m.

I love when my feet get flip flop tan lines.

This is our hotel, The Stockton Inn.  We've been staying there since I was 13.
When I got back, my dad was up and sitting outside.  We got coffee and sat on the promenade until it was time to wake the others to go to breakfast at Uncle Bill's Pancake House.  Can you say snickers pancakes?  Yum-o!  We then headed to the beach for a while.

 The dolphins were there again, just off shore.  I even got to see one jump fully out of the water.  We had to check out of the hotel, but were able to hang in the pool for a while after the beach.  We hit Dairy Queen and The Fudge Kitchen in the Washington Street Mall and were back on the road.

Pat did all the driving.  I read a book (or two).  The kids were good as gold in the car.  Jake started off travelling with my parents, but switched to our car about an hour into the journey.  There was no horsing around, no bickering, no fighting.  They didn't even watch a movie until the last 90 minutes.  I know not every day will be like this.  I know not every travel experience will be like this.  But I realized, that for that brief 36 hour period, we were in the sweet spot.

We're now as tired as can be.  I have lost all momentum on writing.  This week starts the mayhem of the kids in VBS, with me working Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings and Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon/evenings.  Pat and I are pooped out.  But for those 36 hours, to have my toes in the sand, to watch the kids together, to smell the ocean and feel the spray, it was all worth it.

When can we do it all again?


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