Sunday, August 11, 2013

On The Water

This weekend reminded me just how much I love living here. I feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful area so close to the ocean. After a long week of work I wanted nothing more than to relax with my family and enjoy the beach. Thankfully we didn't have any specific plans or obligations, so we could wake up and do whatever we felt like doing each day.

Yesterday we lazed around in the morning, got some stuff done around the house while Riker took a lovely 3 hour nap, and then had spinach & coconut tofu salads for lunch before heading out for the day.

Matt needed to do a little back to school shopping (I know, sooo soon) so the mall was our first stop followed by a visit to Chris and Vanessa's to say hello to their new addition. They just had a baby last week and little newborn Brayden is adorable. His parents were glowing as well, and it was awesome to see them so happy with their little guy.

We left there late afternoon and drove over the bridge to Island Beach State Park for the evening. All summer Matt and I have wanted to do an evening BBQ up on the beach, so getting there late in the day worked perfectly. We set up some fishing poles, took a dip in the water, and then Matt fished and played with Riker while I got to work on the grill.

I made a simple picnic of grilled zucchini, quinoa salad, grilled keilbasa for the boys (soy dogs for me) and sliced mango, which we ate while watching an amazing sunset.

We had hoped to build a fire and stay out a bit later making s'mores, but the beach tired Riker out and by the time I got him dry and into PJ's he was crying for his crib. Instead of building a fire with the other beach-goers, we packed it up and went home so Riker could go to bed, then built a fire in our own backyard. It was just as well, since being home meant we could crack open a bottle of red from our trip to Napa and put on some music. Perfect ending to a perfect day.

Today we had more plans to be on the water. We got a call from Matt's parents last night asking if we wanted to go out on their boat today, and you don't need to ask me twice to go on a boat. I haven't been boating all summer so was really excited to go.

We hit the road as soon as Riker woke up this morning, so were on the bay by 9:00 am. It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be out - 85 degrees and sunny, with no humidity and crystal clear water.

We did some fishing in the inlet, then spent some time splashing around on a sandbar where Riker could swim, and spent the rest of the time at the end of Island Beach across from the lighthouse, where a bunch of boats tie up and hang out by a secluded beach.

I even caught a fish! Not a keeper, but it was still fun. As if all that wasn't enough for a great weekend, our friends Heather and Kevin invited us and a couple other friends over for some poolside action this afternoon. Jen and Dan came over as well, and brought with them a bunch of seafood and appetizers.

Dan made shrimp two ways since we couldn't come to consensus on what kind of we wanted: grilled Old Bay shrimp with cocktail sauce...

...and shrimp poached in the grill pan with the broth leftover from cooking the clams - it had lemon, butter, parsley, garlic and clam juice. Both were really delicious, but I liked the grilled Old Bay ones best. Mmm.

Everyone at the little party was talking about ice cream and this new place, Sweet Kate's, down the street that I've never tried, and it doesn't take much to get me to agree to an ice cream cone on a weekend night in the summer. It just seems like the most appropriate way to top off a great summer weekend. Especially when it's a scoop shop with flavors like Carrot Cake, Toasted Coconut and Sea Salt Soiree - which is what I ordered. Oooohmygod. It was filled with salted caramel, chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate covered potato chips.

The perfect amount of sweet & salty goodness. Yum.

We're back home now with beach bags unpacked, a toddler bathed and in bed, and in sweats on the couch waiting for the premier of Breaking Bad. I've only been waiting an entire year to see this series finale. Cannot wait! Hope you enjoyed your weekend!

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