its a shore thing... [part 1]

So we spent this past weekend on the Jersey Shore where my parents grew up. And no its nothing like the show Jersey Shore although a few of the places that appear on the show are places that we frequent. Unfortunately this trip wasnt for pleasure, but instead was for my paternal grandmother, Gamma's memorial. Since most of my fathers family no longer lives there, we actually stayed with my Aunt Syd (my mothers sister) in her beach house in a town called Spring Lake.
thats my mom standing in front of my aunts house
The house is currently undergoing some major renvoations, but somehow we managed to fit everyone in their own room, except for my cousin who rode the train in Saturday, who ended up sleeping at her boyfriend's aunts house with two other friends in Point Pleasant Beach. This is who all stayed with us:
  1. Aunt Syd and her boyfriend Tom
  2. Mom and Dad
  3. My Sister Denise, her husband Mark, and their kids Andrew & Jenna
  4. Me and Matt
My parents are extremely afraid of flying, and for as long as I can remember they have always driven from Florida to New Jersey. This time was no exception. When I was younger I used to love the road trip and then spending a week at the Oak Tree Lodge (my familys owned and operated 22acre picnic facility). However, since Ive gotten older, its been a little bit more difficult asking for that much time off. So my parents, sister and the kids drove up a week prior and were staying in the house. My aunt was actually in Orlando the entire week, so it worked out perfect. Me and the hubs on the other hand flew in Friday night. Both our plane and my aunts (coming in that night as well) were delayed for a good 2 hours and the airport is an hour away from her house. So by time we actually landed (11:45pm) and drove back to the house, it was already 1:00am. Needless to say, we didnt see anyone until the next morning.

Saturday morning was the memorial and luncheon. My dads sister (Laura) and brother (Kenny) drove up as well. There was a bunch of family I hadnt seen in a long time. And I always say this, but I hate that it is under these circumstances that is the only time we all get together. But I was just thankful to see my family
My dad and his siblings in front of their parents headstones
from left to right: Uncle Kenny, Aunt Laura, Dad
As soon as we got to the cemetry, my Aunt Laura asked if I would be willing to read a poem after she spoke about Gamma. I of course did, and I wanted to share it with you all, because it truly hits hard, it was also printed on the card at Matts Uncles funeral that we had last month...
My 4yr old neice Jenna, didnt quite understand the whole death thing. When we first got there she asked me why it was called a cemetery? I didnt want to get too in detail and freak the lil one out, so I explained to her that this was where Gamma, Pop-Pop, Emma, and Dutchie all came to go to heaven. I told her that she could come here to talk to them and although they might not talk back to her, they are most definitely listening. She shook her head as if she approved of my explanation and then proceeded to ask me where the playground was (gotta love kids and their sweet innocence).  To entertain her for the few minutes while everyone consoled each other, we decided to do funny faces with each other on my cell phone
I also snapped a few other pics of the family that morning
Denise & Jenna
me and my mom
i think this is the only pic i got all weekend of me and the hubs
hubs showing Andrews the water by the docs
hubs playing with Jenna at the restaurant

I guess uncle matt tired her out, because she was passed out within 30mins

Andrew (note hes going for the surfer look and refuses to cut his hair)
dad being silly

my handsome hubby <3 him
I think thats enough pics for now, Ill do another post tomorrow showing some more pics and sharing a little about the rest of our time up there.

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