Jersey Shore Here We Come . . .

Today we leave for our annual Family Reunion at the New Jersey shore. For the last nine years (give or take a year), every first week in August we load up the car and the kids and head to Wildwood Crest. It's actually a reunion of my sister's ex-husband's family but we're still very close with them so we continue to go. This year, my sister is even going with my niece and nephew but her ex isn't. That's a whole other story!!

Anyway, about 150 family members and friends pretty much take over the Compass Motel for a week. Guests of the motel that like us continue to come back the same week every year and are treated like family. Those that don't like us, well, we only see them once. : ) Upon arrival, we all receive an itinerary for the week. Eileen, family member and "Cruise Director" as we so affectionately call her, began creating an itinerary every year to give us all some kind of idea of when everyone goes to the boardwalk or when we are going to all (if you want to) get together for Family Bingo Nite. We have a morning where people sign up for Duck Races in the pool. This consists of men, women and children hanging on to a blow up duck float and swimming a length of the pool each way. The winning team each gets a chocolate bar with the Family Reunion logo on it. Let me tell you, when chocolate is the prize they are out for blood!!

The first Sunday that we're there we traditionally have a huge BBQ. Everyone chips in money and there are people that volunteer to do the shopping and they buy hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, clams, shrimp, corn on the cob, salads, etc., etc., etc. There is not one person that leaves that BBQ without a very full belly!! If anyone from the motel that isn't a part of the reunion wants to join in the feast, they just have to put in the same amount of money as we do and they can eat all they want.

Four years ago the BBQ was officially named "John's BBQ" after my first husband. For those of you that don't know, John passed away four and a half years ago very suddenly at the age of 40. He loved to cook for the BBQ and make his special steamed clams recipe. The tradition has been carried on and a very big banner saying "John's BBQ" hangs above the patio where we all eat. Every year, Eileen picks a theme for the BBQ. Last year we had a wedding. It was like one of those off-Broadway shows where there is interaction with the audience. The morning of the BBQ we each had an envelope taped to our motel room door. Inside was a sheet of paper with our role for the "wedding." My role was to be the wedding decorator. I was given flowers, paper wedding bells, Christmas lights and a wedding arch that had to be put together. It all came together nicely but let me tell you that putting together that wedding arch was no easy task. Thankfully, several of the cousins helped me otherwise I would still be there trying to figure it out!! I'm not kidding!!

This year's theme is in honor of the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. We all have to wear a tie dyed shirt the day of the BBQ. I took the easy way out and ordered mine from a wonderful Etsy shop that can be found at thegroovypanda.etsy.com. I ordered shirts for all of us except for Brendan. He made one in camp for tie dye day. When I opened the box and he saw the shirts he was very upset because there wasn't one for him. His shirt was still wrapped up in rubber bands and in the plastic bag from camp. He and I opened it up together and couldn't believe how beautifully it came out!! Needless to say, he didn't complain any more!!

So now I'm off to finish packing. This blog has taken me four days to write and I wanted to include pictures from last year's Reunion but, of course, I don't have time right now. I want to be on the road in the next couple of hours and there's still lots to do!! I promise I will take lots of pictures and will share them with you when I get back.

'til next week!!

Many blessings ~ Wendy

1 comment:

cindy said...

Sounds wonderful! I do love the beach and water. I hope you guys will have a wonderful time. And thanks for coming by my blog and leaving a sweet comment, that was very kind of you to say! :D

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