Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cape May Escape!

A new recommendation for all of you!

Thanks to my friends Laurie&Linda who referred a fabulous get away, we decided to snatch up the 1 day we had left for spring break (snow days took the rest) and head to The Shore. No matter that it was still cold and rainy April. Adding our Saturday, it gave us 2 days at a little house near the beach. (We found it on Vacation Rentals by Owner - Who knew that such a little tiny vacation could be such GREAT BIG FUN???

Beginning with our stop at Kentucky Fried (so we wouldn't have to mess up the clean kitchen again!) and the Cape May cheer (arms above the heads! - who came up with that anyway?), we were set for good things to come!!

With cheerful spirits we could not be detained from having fun, despite the 2 hours or more delay in bad traffic! We decided to make the most of sitting unexpectedly on the freeway and exited for dinner. Lucky for us, a favorite of my sister's, Texas Roadhouse was right there. A first experience there for us we enjoyed everything from the peanut shells on the floor to the balloon tying and rodeo wrestling (OK, Clara conquered this saddle anyway), we loved our feast and left full to the brim (as you can see by my sister, Kristi and Isaac's bellies!)

We were thrilled with our little beach house and with our COUSINS being there!!! (My 2 sisters and families joined us - HURRAY!!!)

Cold could not stop us from running on the beach next morning, and playing on the huge rocks at the shore. With a light house in the distance and waves crashing we found it fabulous, forgetting the freezing!

Got even better when Dad drove up on a bike for 6!!! The darling roof and little bell ringing drew happy laughter from all of us and we jumped on and peddled our way around the quaint and quiet streets of Cape May!!!

The big girls (including Moms) and one big boy, Isaac, (hee hee! we are glad he didn't get scared away!) stole away to a street full of fun shops all with things unique and interesting to us.

A movie party that night complete with treats and a talk til 2 am with my son, Isaac, made it feel like real vacation for me!

Next morning we were off to the Cape May zoo. What a delightful day! Overcast weather was perfect for running all over a zoo without running out of energy!

When we returned to the house we couldn't resist the sunshine that had spread out on our beautiful weekend (despite forecasts of storms). We all headed for the beach, swimsuits on and, despite looking oddly happy running to the water as compared with the jacketed beach walkers all around us, we jumped in, freezing water and all!!!

You'd have thought it was 90 degrees to watch us. Perhaps we made a fellow beach sitters feel warmer in their heart at least by watching the sheer enthusiasm of 12 little kids and a very bold Dad splashing in the water!

Determined to do as much beach time as we could we delayed packing up. Aunt Kari couldn't get over laughing at the scene back at the beach house when we all returned and packed a household of 20 in 45 min. flat to fly north once again!

Wow. That was WORTH IT!!!


Mormon Prom

"What is it?" a friend asked, wondering why in the world we'd create our own prom. Honestly I was wondering myself, as a 38 year old mother of a 17 year old son, heading to Mormon Prom for the first time. Living in PA meant it was quite a drive to the event this year, a couple hours away at least. (though I heard it travels around). We headed out in a rainstorm so bad we had to turn around twice to avoid roads that had flooded out. And so arriving, driving the Excursion filled with myself and 11 eager teens, I could not resist heading inside with the youngest and prettiest/handsomest of them to answer the question.

Thinking I was entering a church building I was shocked to find myself completely removed to an exotic land the moment I entered the church doors. Bamboo, bridges over water and real sand, lanterns hanging as if from air covered the low ceiling of the entryway. A rock path (some real) lead us into an open area seeming more like a beach complete with bamboo hut than the gymn floor. I followed the teens into a pillared courtyard that looked more like a romantic corner of Europe, past the most luscious gourmet spread I've seen at any church event and into a gorgeous garden (indoors still of course).

I was in awe. Who did all this? Looking around and asking around I found nonchalant answers from the adult chaperons, as if it was part of the norm "everyone just donated what they had". Huts? bridges? pillars? and fences of bamboo to name a few? Who just had these on hand? Who bent over and tacked down every single paper rock and strung every little light and hung that many lanterns from the ceiling? A couple of wards did it together. Two wards? WOW. What would ever make them spend so much time and talent on a teenage dance?

Of course, the same thing that got me to leave my nest with 7 younger daughters in it, missing another event that night, wait in a near-hurricane, and drive home in the dark until about 1 a.m.? Yes, our LOVE and BELIEF that these children, growing quickly to adulthood are worthwhile. That a clean, safe, fun environment sharing with friends of similar standards and beliefs is just the strength they need in a world ready to drag them down.

These pics display some of the reasons: clean, happy, modest youth striving to live virtuously in a world becoming vastly different from that daily. Friends having real fun, enjoying one another completely because they feel respected, valued, safe, and joyful in an atmosphere free from swearing, immodesty, and pressure to put their futures on the line.

And so here's Mormon Prom: one more reason why I LOVE this Church and ALL the ways it blesses my family!!!!