Seafood, Saltwater, Sunshine, etc.

11:33 PM

ANCF - All Nations Christian Fellowship = a.k.a. The Young AdultsOnly 55 hours away from home. Yet every moment was filled with laughter, intense conversation, relaxation, shopping, spiritual revelation, fellowship with the family of God. I have been so blessed by brothers & sisters in the Lord. I look around at the young adults group and just sigh. Because I'm happy to be apart of this family... Several months ago, we planned a young adults trip to Ventnor Beach, New Jersey. I've always mocked New Jersey. For its gas pumping rules (don't you think I'm capable enough to push the button myself?), its ban on left-turns, its general all-the-New-York-rejects-live-here attitude and liberal bent. Oh yeah, and that line from Madagascar 2, "This looks like a dump. Are you sure we're not in New Jersey?" Which I still laugh about. :) However, after such a pleasant weekend, I can't honestly continue to hate on New Jersey...

Travel commenced at 5:30 p.m. on Friday night. Driving fun = food-related nicknames for everyone (I am Marble Macciato), taking song requests, fighting over the good seats, pictures, a not-so-quick stop in Philly to pick up beach umbrellas at The Tall Guy's parents' house... we had to hold a cute little baby, too, so that was a nice distraction. Final arrival around 11ish. Blessed house THREE blocks from the beach. WOW. The girls go for a late night/early morning walk to the beach. Frolicing in the waves, walking in the sand, general fun. Didn't realize that we walked almost all the way to Atlantic City (2-3 miles away!). :)
Saturday at the beach... Being thrashed by the ocean, watching The Little Bro attempt to surf, reading---always reading, re-applying sunscreen, making sandwiches, napping in the hot sun..

Group cooking, sunset on a windy pier, then acoustic worship, Bible study & prayer in a pavilion by the beach, swingin on the porch swing, walking across the island for ice cream at Custard's Last Stand.... haha. I love puns! :)

Sunday. Up early for church. It was a great commute---walk down porch steps, to the next building and voila! We are in church! :) (we were staying with the pastor & his wife, who happened to live in the parsonage next door). How convenient. To the beach AGAIN. There were many people in serious redness and sunburn pain. I liked watching everyone hide under blankets, towels and beach umbrellas... We LOVE the sun! Oh wait, we hate the sun!... Confused. :) For the record, I was not sunburnt. Since this was the first *real* time I spent out in the bright summer rays, I was extra careful. SPF 85, baby! :) Back to the beach house. Slow porch swinging and lovely conversation with The Little Bro. Regaining my calloused guitar fingers with slow & meditative worship songs. Pack up and we're off!

Ocean City, NJ. We really wanted to eat seafood. I don't know how hot it was when we exited the van, but there was sweat dripping and smiles drooping.. dreadfully. As soon as we experienced A/C and the prospect of food again, it was amazing how quickly things changed! :) And because I love, love, love seafood, this will make you hungry... The Little Bro's clam chowder. Good, but the lobster bisque was AHHHmazing. So much better. But I'm prejudiced. :)

I love hole-in-the-wall restaurants. :) We passed this one initially because it didn't look like there was indoor seating... but whaddya know? There was! And they even made a table for nine just for us! Also love eating with "family" who let me try their food. Variety is the spice of life!... crab cakes (my entree!), clam chowder, swordfish, lobster bisque and those funny things above that I cannot remember the name of... hmmm. Yummy though.

My constant photography focus didn't escape the group's notice.. and the comments were...
"Everything is a photo shoot to you, Naomi, isn't it?"
"I don't bring my camera because I figure Naomi's gonna take lots of pictures and post them on facebook anyway."
The truth comes out. :)

Onward to walking the boardwalk, touristy shopping (cheap jewelry makes me happy!), ice cream again and then absolute nuttiness on the drive home. A thoroughly wonderful time.

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