Posted on 10 Comments

Adventures by the sea

Six One Way: Week of May 12

I’m back. Miss me? We surprised the boys with a trip to Ocean City, NJ this weekend. We had been there at the end of March last year, and although it was really cold and our hotel was kind of run-down and a bit of a walk to the boardwalk and the downtown area, we still enjoyed it enough to plan on it being an annual event. This time, though, in the interest of warmth, we decided to go as late as we could and still be in the “off season.” We also decided to try a different hotel, and hope for something more up-to-date and closer to the beach.

Rainy Day

Friday was a cold, rainy day here in Stirling, and most of the way down the Garden State Parkway as well. The weather report was promising for the weekend, though, so we plugged on through the rain and the traffic, and eventually made it to our hotel.

We had trouble finding it at first, partly because I forgot to print out directions and didn’t know the address, and partly because I’m entirely too trusting. When I made the reservations, I asked how far from the boardwalk the hotel was, and was told “one block.” In reality, it was more like three blocks, one of which was really long. The hike between hotel and boardwalk was a bit of a disappointment, and somewhat tough on little legs, but we could live with it.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the only thing we didn’t like about the hotel. The room, while it was newly-updated as advertised, it was in no way spacious, and it certainly didn’t look like the “suite” they said it was. It was one room, with a queen size bed, pull-out couch, table & chairs, and kitchenette. We couldn’t pull out the couch without blocking the exit with the table and chairs. We were starting to feel like maybe we were being ripped off for what this room was costing us, but even that we could have lived with and looked back on with a chuckle someday. I even might have been able to overlook the lack of a hair dryer in the bathroom.

But there was one more thing…


Neil found this little friend on the floor in our room. It was about an inch long and really ugly – probably some kind of roach. Upon further inspection, Neil found two more, as well as some bait traps around the room. All of the bugs were dead, but there could very easily have been living ones hiding someplace dark, so we complained to the management. They admitted they knew there was a problem with that room (oh, nice.) and gave us the keys to a different room. It looked clean so we unpacked and settled in.

Just as the boys were going to bed, we found another bug under the pull-out couch. We probably should have just packed up and gone searching for a new hotel then and there, but it was late and we were tired, and as far as we knew, there may not have been vacancies anywhere. So, after a thorough inspection, we put the boys to bed and then got online to find ourselves a new place to stay on Saturday.

Which we did. And when we checked-in there the following afternoon, we found this:

There was a bug in this hotel room, too

Heh. BIG improvement, eh? This hotel was a major improvement in every area, really. It was the same price as the first place, but this didn’t feel like a rip-off at all. The room was standard hotel size, which was fine because they weren’t trying to pass it off as a suite. It was bright, clean, and up-to-date. And there was a hair dryer in the bathroom. Thank goodness there would be no more bad hair days on our vacation 😉

In the new hotel

And look at the view out our window – yes, that’s the ocean right there. No “one-block walk that was actually three but felt like six” involved. I watched Neil and the boys go down to the beach at one point right from the comfort of our room, and I glanced out the window at the right time to see them come back, too.

In the new hotel

The boardwalk? Right outside the door under the balcony. Much better. We spent a lot of time walking up and down that boardwalk, doing some shopping, munching on boardwalk food, watching the people go by.

On the boardwalk

We all got pinked-up from the sun, particularly me and Neil. Neil and the boys all bought hats and 99-cent sunglasses. I got a couple of batik dresses and some fun jewelry at a great, inexpensive little shop that I couldn’t seem to stay out of! We flew the kite Eamonn got for his birthday, we played in the sand, we slurped fruit smoothies, we took loads of pictures. And I am ready to go online to write two hotel reviews (one very bad and one very good), and to make reservations for next year 😉

Posted on 10 Comments

10 thoughts on “Adventures by the sea

  1. yes you were missed. I was having withdrawals yanno. It looks like once you got to the *right* motel you had a great time. I couldn’t see a couple of the pictures ( 🙁 ) but the ones I could see looked like you were all having a wonderful time. too bad you weren’t having the temps we are having…..high 90’s

    See what Kathi has been blogging about: Finally! The Clayroom has been born

    1. Oh, yeah, whoops! Maybe I shouldn’t be linking to private photos, eh? Duh. How’s this?

      On the boardwalk

      On the boardwalk

      On the boardwalk

      1. now that is a super serious look as he puts his straw in the drink. Looks like you really did have a blast.

  2. Glad the bugs didn’t ruin the whole vacation but dang! BUGS! BLEAH!
    Looks like you all had a fabulous time and what a view. 😀

    I love the Atlantic coast 😀

    Welcome home!!

    1. Yeah, they really grossed me out, but somehow I managed to sleep that night without having phantom crawly feelings on my skin, LOL!

      And at least now we know where to stay next time. That second place was great and pretty affordable for a weekend trip.

  3. Oh My I have to say I’m grossed out just looking at that creepy crawly thing. I will have to say you handled it better than most. I for one would have been out of that hotel 123. Glad you had better luck on the second spot and it looks like the location was great. Don’t you just love how revived you feel after being away for a few days?

    See what Janey has been blogging about: To Quilt

    1. Yeah, I surprised myself, actually, with that bug. I really thought I’d be up all night freaked-out. I guess I underestimated how tired I was! I don’t usually have a problem with bugs, unless I think they’re going to be crawling on me, or if they’re big like that one. Blech.

      Oh, definitely feeling revived – I love that!

  4. You seemed to handle the bugs MUCH better than I would. YUCK!!! I probably would not have been able to sleep.

    I’m very jealous that the beach is available for a weekend trip for you guys. Midwest living does not lend itself to being good for a beach lover. Glad you had a good time!

    See what Michele has been blogging about: Home Girl: Building a Dream House on a Lawless Block by Judith Matloff

    1. I was never much of a beach person before – truth be told, I’m still not a huge fan of being on the beach. But I love the boardwalk, and the smell of the sea, and basically the whole shore environment. As long as it’s not in the height of summer, surrounded by a large crowd, and I don’t have to spend all day sitting on the beach, I’m there!

  5. Ah yes… the picture of the bug brings back (not so) fond memories of staying in the La Concha hotel in Las Vegas for a dance convention. We fondly called that hotel “La Cucaracha” until the day it imploded!

    Glad you found a better place, and had a fun stay!

    See what Julie has been blogging about: ACEOs/ATCs

Leave a comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.