Well, now that it is the end of November, I thought it might be a good time to catch everyone up on our summer vacation. Tee Hee.
Actually, today (Thanksgiving Day) is the first opportunity I have had to actually even consider posting anything at all, and in fact, I feel a little guilty that I am not studying Greek or Hebrew for my final ordination exams... oh.. wait.. yup, there it goes... I better get these posts in before it comes back. It is very likely that this will be the first of many posts tonight, so set your feed reader to "sort newest first" if you care to read these in chronological order...
This post will be the longest, and perhaps the longest I have ever posted - at least since one of my very first posts on my trip to Texas with Kyle. If I had the wherewithal to find it, I would link to it.. but I don't...
This is our full week of vacation. I'll try to provide a running commentary.
We got to Brigantine Beach late Sunday night. Our friends who were sharing the week with us were already there, as were some surprise guests we weren't quite sure would make it. Monday morning the girls got to play together while we figured out what to do on day 1.
Below, Scott is forcing himself to finish Moby Dick. It's a principle thing I suppose. Scott is a principled guy. But apparently, as far as books go, the unabridged version Moby Dick is not much of a page turner. I think that's why it took hundreds of years for people to care that it was ever written - and then because it was so bad, they made it a classic to torture young people into reading it, and principled people into finishing it.
One of the "must do" things on our list was to have lunch at the "Whitehouse Deli". Apparently it's a famous sandwhich shop in Atlantic City. My wife used to go there when her family came here for vacations as she grew up.
We got our grub on, and Ben lead his family in prayer before their meal.
The Sandwhiches were excellent by the way... highly recommended.
For the record... Scott looks far more intimidating in this photo than in the Moby Dick one... if anyone is keeping track.
Found a little beauty in an otherwise pretty run-down Atlantic City.
"From now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven." (disclaimer: that statue is not Jesus)
There were lots of interesting scupltures around. Particularly as we got closer to Caesar's Palace, which is below. This is the very front of the casino.
Then on the roofs of all the surrounding buildings were these statues, clearly guiding everyone walking the nearby blocks to come to Caesar's.
I was going to make up some funny banter for the statues, but I would have to post more pictures than these two, and this post will be long enough as it is. I'm sure you can come up with some on your own. Feel free to add it in the comments.
We walked through Caesar's to get to the boardwalk. I had never previously been inside a Casino. I suppose I can see what the 'attraction' is. It's like an adult arcade or something. But I couldn't care less about slot machines and crap like that. And the odds on all the table games are so stacked in favor of the house, that people are basically fools to play anything but poker. While I enjoy the home game we never play (no money included), I wasn't even tempted to join the huge poker tournament that had just started at Caesar's. But anyway, this was what we passed through to get to:
On our way downstairs to get out there, we passed a bunch of shops (it was really more like a mall attached to the Casino), and one such place was called SUGAR. The candy elephant you see will come up again a few pics down.
Daddy and the Bean.
The rest of our platoon.
The next day Scott and I played a very fun and beautiful round of golf at a nearby public course. It was a great day for golf, and we both shot OK, but I was too busy playing golf to take pictures...
We took Abby to the very quaint (small) local aquarium Wednesday afternoon, and then went looking for some of the places Natalie used to traverse in the old days when she was just a wee lass.
I'm not sure Abby ever really saw fish like this before this day. It was fun to watch her interact with them.
To this point I don't even think she had seen "Finding Nemo" yet.
Normally, I wouldn;t post my own "wildlife" shots, but this was cool. You can see me in the reflection of the glass.. kind of kills any ooo aaa factor.
They had a pool upstairs where you could pet nurse sharks and sting rays. The Clown Nosed Rays were particularly cute and very friendly. Abby actually reached out to pet one all on her own. She is fearless I tell you.
I have a large scar on the back of my head. If you never knew that, now you do. If you noticed and never knew why, it's from before I was born. Seems my head attached to the placenta somehow - at least that is the best guess, but no one really knows. If you never noticed, never wondered, and never cared... sorry for wasting your time. ;-)
Despite the look on her face, Abby really enjoyed the Aquarium.
This is the beach house that Nat's family used to come to (own?) when she was a kid. It's about 150 yards from the beach.
From this beach, in fact. Longport. It's a nice beach.
This shot is the precursor to the video I posted several months ago.
Thursday morning, we all had breakfast together.
Scott and Becca got to feed Abby. Woohoo!
Then we went to visit Lucy. Lucy is a giant elephant that used to be a hotel. This is just a few blocks away from Natalie's old beach house. We wanted to come and bring the baby to have her picture taken with Lucy, as her mom had done so many years ago.
Lucy's coach is down for repairs. They are restoring her (again?) She is pretty old apparently.
Scott and Becca got in on the Lucy action as well.
Then we all had dinner together too. Abby got her hands on some bread.
She really had a great workout from dinner...
This next series of pictures is from the morning of my birthday. Scott and Becca and I went down to the beach to watch the sunrise. I took about 4000 pictures, but tried to get the best parts and post them here.. but naturally I am a little obsessive, and I will probably post too many... just keep in mind that these are all from the same sunrise. 9-21-07
It started off great...
and just kept getting better. This is a shot I just wished would have come out clearer. I thought it was so amazing... ah well.
same shot much further away...
One of my favorites...
The sun finally breaking through... things begin to heat up.
A very distant shot... many of these next pictures are all within only moments of one another, but taken at different zoom levels.
My second favorite picture I took all week... If you showed it to me on its own I don't even know that I would recognize it as a sunrise. But it's incredible.
again, above and below are taken one after the next, with seconds - amazing what zoom can do.
The sun starts to get higher and things begin taking more shape.
This might be the best picture I took all week. The sun is to my back, and it was struck me how the light played so differntly from this perspective, and how soft everything looked.
Again, above and below are taken within seconds of one another.
Perfect timing... but not mine.
another fun bird shot...
Awesome morning was followed by a day at the beach. really the only day all week where we all went to the beach together with the purpose of going to do beach things. The weeks weather wasn't really great for swimming, but Friday was warm.
Here is Abby after her first venture out into the ocean, and her first faceplant into the sand. No pictures, but it was kind of funny in that 'don't you dare laugh' kind of way. Mom wasn't around when it happened, but she was on her way as we were trying to clean the copious amounts of sand out of Abby's facial orifices. She needed a break after that...
And a new diaper...
but she survived.
mmm green tea.
This photo is the only evidence you will see that my wife was even on this trip. She prefers it that way. Otherwise there were lots of great shots of her and the baby on their little nature walk down the beach looking for shells and stuff. Abby had tons of fun.
And she met a couple of dogs, which she still goes crazy over. She also loved walking in the ocean water as it splashed up the beach. She would even chase the breakers back into the sea. It was a joy to watch her love it so much, even though she had already taken a few lumps at the hand of the mighty ocean.
It was a fun week. And tiring. We decided that the next vacation has to be two consecutive weeks, because we barely really began to relax by weeks end, and it was already time to go home. But we really enjoyed ourselves, and were happy to have been able to go with such good friends.