Today I wanted to bring you my final guest post of the week, even though I’m home and my cruise is over. Just go with it. Cait from Finding My Balance is a great friend of mine who seems to be my carbon copy in all things anxiety and health. (Although she’s tall and skinny. I’m…not. Whatever.) Her blog does not get the recognition it deserves so you need to check it out where she details her life dealing with anxiety, health problems, and life with E, her boyfriend. Even her mushy relationship posts make me smile, and mushy relationship posts generally don’t. First, enjoy her post and then visit her blog!
Right now, Stephany is off on a cruise doing … cruise-y stuff. Truth is, I’ve never been on a cruise, so I don’t know what actually goes on. Whatever she’s up to, I’m sure she’s having the time of her life because vacations are simply awesome.
For me, the word ‘vacation’ is synonymous with ‘the beach’ … or, as we say in New Jersey, ‘the shore.’ Yes, I am from the great garden state and am only about an hour’s drive away from Seaside, the suddenly infamous birthplace of MTV’s Jersey Shore. While I won’t deny that the boardwalk is often crowded with people who spend their nights in clubs pumping their fists (it is Jersey tradition – we pump our fists, not our gas), I will say that there are several other beachy destinations in the state that are guido-free.
The best of these by far has to be my aunt and uncle’s shore house. It’s a two-hour drive, but is absolute heaven and worth the trip. As soon as you step out of the car, all of your stress melts away. Everything looks and feels light and airy, and with the bay only a block away, there’s always a cool breeze. It’s rarely ever too hot to spend the entire day outside, but even if it is, you can sit inside and the breeze rolls in through the open windows and doors.
They live on a block of absolutely wonderful and welcoming neighbors who will stroll in while you’re drinking your morning coffee and sit with you sipping wine late into the evening. Every weekend, so long as the weather prevails, everyone gets up and goes out on their boats, riding across the bay to a sandbar that becomes our own private beach. When the sun starts to set, we all haul ourselves home, shower, and every family cooks up a yummy dish or two for a potluck dinner.
Although these are weekly occurrences, there’s no pressure to participate if you’re not feeling social. On several occasions, we opted for a relaxing day at home instead, maybe cruising garage sales in the morning and spending the afternoon reading outside. When we were younger, we’d go swimming in the lagoon that’s right off the back deck; now we go for trips around the marsh in the small motor boat that my two cousins are both licensed to drive.
I’m so lucky to have a wonderful aunt and uncle who open up their shore house to me and the rest of our family. As long as they’re planning on being there, we can show up whenever we like, staying for one day or the entire weekend. It’s the perfect little summer retreat that allows me to have a weekend ‘vacation’ whenever I’d like. (Plus, no Snookie or MTV cameras in my face.)