Just got back from my weekend in New Jersey, and we had a great time! The weather was not the best, and we had some stressful calls from home about a minor health emergency with my daughter (which turned out fine), but all in all it was a very nice trip.
We stayed at a great little inn in Spring Lake (the Chateau Inn and Suites), which is at the northern end of the shore, and it proved to be the perfect home base for us. The town itself is beautiful…with big wide avenues for strolling and bike riding, a long stretch of boardwalk along the beach, and some cute little shops and restaurants.
From there, we spent hours driving south along the coast exploring Point Pleasant Beach, Long Beach Island, and all the way down to Cape May. We walked along the boardwalk, bought souvenirs, took photos of the beautiful old Victorians in Cape May, and found the beach house on LBI that my family had rented a few years ago. Unfortunately, it was too foggy to go visit “Old Barney” (the Barnegat Lighthouse).
Here are a few things we learned this weekend:
- Never use the Cross Bronx Expressway at 5pm on a Friday afternoon (I should have known this already, since I grew up in NY!)
- Always have LOTS of change on hand for tolls when you’re driving in NJ
- Remember to leave a health insurance card with your kids when they stay with their grandparents (or with any babysitter, for that matter)
- A weekend without kids is great for your marriage…and does make you miss the little ones just enough
- Even a short getaway can feel like a real vacation if you make an effort to put the everyday world behind you and explore a new place
This trip also reminded us that traveling in the off-season (or the “shoulder season”, which is what this really was) continues to be a great way to save money and avoid crowds!