Today our temperatures dipped below freezing. There were signs it was coming. Winter coats came out. My gloves and scarf made a few appearances. The leaves started to turn vibrant hues of red, yellow, orange and brown (okay, the brown…not so vibrant). But, when the temperature gets low enough to freeze water, even I must relent. Summer is officially
over. Like I said, I knew it was coming. Sure, we had those few great days of Indian summer and I thought maybe, just maybe it would hold off. And as I was finally tricking myself into believing it, we hit below 32 degrees.
Luckily, we had already done our post-summer celebration. I’m always up for a celebration. You might remember we ushered in this summer by getting up really early to see the sunrise on the first day of summer (well actually second, nobody’s perfect!). We thought we’d go out the same way by heading back to the beach, Ocean City to be exact.
We left in the late afternoon and parked in a free lot. The trip was already working out since we didn’t have to pay to park! We walked along the boardwalk and watched the waves for a while. It was a little windy but the sun was shining making the temperature just warm enough. Luckily, our favorite cheese fry place (Jilly’s) was still open and we indulged – yum!
We stopped at an arcade for some skee-ball (Leah’s first time). Then made our way to one of Matt’s favorite activities, mini golf. He shot well on the front nine but lost his groove on the back nine. He did manage to come out just over par. Leah on the other hand, shot just under par…pretty amazing, huh? Not really, when you consider she would put the ball on the tee area and hit it a little bit then she would pick it up and carry it to the hole. She’d place it right next to the hole and hit it in…she made every hole in only two strokes! This could change the sport as we know it!
After golf, we went back to the car and headed to Atlantic City, baby! What? Don’t your end of summer traditions include gambling? Okay, ours don’t either. We were going because they have a Rain Forest Café there, which we thought Leah (and Matt although he’s been before) would love. The drive is only about 20 minutes and the GPS gave me a route I’d never taken before. As we started out on the drive, it was so scenic. I thought…how have I never taken this road before? After our 30-minute drive turned into a 45-minute drive, I realized it was because there is a traffic light every 10 feet and as impossible as it seems, I hit a red light for each and every one of them!
We made it to AC and parked in the first lot we found. Of course, it took me a while though since the GPS kept directing me to drive on the actual boardwalk since the restaurant is located there. We pulled into a lower level-parking garage, which was a huge space with only one other car. It really looked like a perfect NJ mob hit location. I was expecting to see Tony Soprano at any moment!
We went with it though, and parked. We found the restaurant and were seated immediately. If you’re not familiar with Rain Forest Café, it has awesome fish tanks and fake animals (monkeys, gorillas, elephants, etc.) that move and make noise. They even have a thunderstorm happen (no rain but lots of thunder and what looks like lightening). We were “lucky” enough to come in when the thunderstorm was happening. Leah had the death grip on me. I went to put her on a chair but she clung to my body. Fantastic, that’s what I was going for…not!
After the storm, she released her hold and started to love it. Of course, when the storm came again, she scrambled quickly into my lap. Our server was nice enough to bring her a balloon, which made her entire day. Not sure if I’ve mentioned this, she LOVES balloons!
We left the restaurant, made it back to our car, and out of the parking garage without any mob related incidents, unless you count the $10 they charged us to park for an hour. I guess it made up for my free parking earlier!
This had been a great summer and a fantastic way to close it out! Now, where is my electric blanket?
If you like this story, follow us on Facebook (happy family travels), Twitter (@happyfamilytrav), subscribe to the blog (top left column) or share it with someone (below)!