We’d been planning our family summer vacation since early March and couldn’t wait to finally pack our bags and head out for some uninterrupted family time in the sun. Bry’s been working some hellish hours lately so we’ve especially been looking forward to having 24/7 daddy time. Thanks for some intense overnight work we ended up being able to leave a full day ahead of schedule and enjoyed 5 days on the Jersey Cape.
Wednesday morning Bry got home at 5am after working all night. He layed down for a bit while I finished up last minute packing and fed the boys. At 7:30am when Andrew woke up, Bry jumped in the shower and I changed and loaded the boys in the car. We were off and in the Starbucks drive-through by 8am! I drove so Bry could catch up on more sleep (which he didn’t do) and we ended up making decent time. We arrived at the Cape May/Lewes Ferry by 11am just in time to board early for the 11:15am ferry.
Bry booked the Ferry thinking the boys would love a boat ride and as an alternative to driving another hour+ around the cape. And love it they did! We spent the entire 85 minute ride walking up and down the decks, only stopping for some quick bites of lunch.
I felt a little seasick (which only happens when I’m pregnant) but was able to keep it at bay as long as we were outside and there was lots of wind in my face. Before we knew it we were docking on the Cape May side and reboarding our car to drive onto the Cape.
For our 4 day trip we used AirBNB (our first time using it!) to book a couple rooms in a house a block from the beach. But when we added on a day to our trip we decided to just book an oceanview hotel room on the boardwalk for the night. The selling factors: 1) an oceanview balcony and 2) an indoor pool. We immediately checked in and tried to get the boys to take a late nap. After a half hour of wicked laughter coming from their pack n plays we decided to power through naptime and head to the pool to swim. The boys had a BLAST swimming. Jackson used his new puddle jumper and Andrew inherited the floatie we bought almost 2 years ago for Jackson (and have used at least a dozen times since). We splashed, jumped and paddled around for a good hour before our stomachs began to growl. After showers and changes into clean, dry clothes we fed the kids a few pouches and snacks and ordered take out from the hotel restaurant, which ended up being the best food we’d have all trip. We ordered the Sunset Special from Hemingway’s which included full sized house salads, delicious crabcakes + steamed vegetables + mashed potatoes and NY cheesecake with strawberry reduction. Everything was delicious and we ate our dessert on the balcony overlooking the ocean once the boys went down.
We were all exhausted from a long day of travel and ended up crashing by 7pm. We woke up at 10 to the sound of Andrew vomiting in his crib, which was definitely not the ideal way to start a vacation. I stripped his bed while Bry ran him to the shower. Within an hour everything was cleaned and he was laughing and happy and we all tried to get back to sleep.
Thursday morning began bright and early with a 5am wakeup from Jack. I grabbed a bra, shoes and a clean pair of underwear for Jax and we left Daddy and Drew to sleep in. We managed to catch the gorgeous sunrise which was definitely worth the early wakeup.
We spent an hour or so walking around the hotel grounds and playing in the arcade. Jax had a blast driving the cars. At 6 we headed back to the room to get daddy and brother and walk over to breakfast. Andrew decided to grab and appetizer of pears and climb himself onto the balcony rocking chair to enjoy them.
We stopped along the beach to play for a bit on the way, and to make a very special announcement 🙂
We had breakfast at Uncle Bill’s Pancake House and it was less than stellar. It was absurdly overpriced (a side of 2 eggs rang in at $5!!!!!) and the food was rather meh. We vowed never to return and headed back to the beach for some more sand play.
The clouds started rolling in and the boys started to show signs of needing a nap so we headed back to the hotel to shower, change and pack up the car again and head over to the house we’d be staying at for the rest of the trip. We hoped the kids would nap in the car as check out from the hotel and check in at the house left a 4 hour interlude. They crashed a bit in the car as we drove around exploring and I managed to run into Key West Tacos to pick up some lunch. We ate fresh fish tacos in the car while the boys slept. They were really good and I’d recommend the place if you’re in the area.
The nap only lasted 15 minutes or so, right around when I received an email from AirBNB that our rooms were ready and we could head over to the house. We ran in, set up the cribs and crossed our fingers for a nap. Spoiler: it never happened. We ended up driving around to find ice cream before heading to the beach near the house and walking around for a bit. We headed back around 5pm and ordered some local pizza and salads before putting overtired children to bed at 7pm.
The next morning Bry took Jack out when he woke up at 5am and I stayed at the house to wait for Andrew to wake up. They went out to find our breakfast place for the morning, Flight Deck Diner, a neat little place that overlooks an airfield.
When Drew woke up, Bry and Jax came and picked us up and we headed back to the diner for breakfast. The food was good and they have a great M-F early bird special for $2.99 that we took full advantage of. Definitely a cool place to check out if you have kids.
With full bellies we headed back to the beach!
After a couple hours of play we headed to a nearby comfort station to wash off. We stopped by the Original Fudge Shoppe for a chocolate fix (their dark chocolate turtles are incredible!) and then headed back to the house for naptime. While the boys took turns evading naps with dirty diapers, Bry and I snacked on fresh fruit, trail mix and delicious K- Cups while researching things to do. The boys finally crashed and when they woke up we headed over to the Cape May Zoo for the afternoon. We stopped on the way at the Seaside Cheese Company for some sandwiches. Bry went with a Muffaletta which ended up being gigantic and I had the MaryAnn which was delicious.
We walked around for an hour and a half checking out the lions, zebras, ostrichs, giraffes and even snow leopards! It was a really nice zoo for such a small area (and free!) with great shade. Perfect for an afternoon activity. We stopped by a local ice cream place on the way home and got some Philadelphia Water Ice to rehydrate. Once back at the house we walked on the beach for awhile, fed the boys and had our leftover sandwiches for dinner before calling it an early night ourselves.
Saturday morning started with another 5am wakeup. Bry and Jack went out to WAWA for some chocolate milk and coffee while I waited for the little to awake. Once we were all up and dressed we headed to Saltwater Café for breakfast. I chose it specifically for their Greek omelet I saw on their website after I had a major craving for feta cheese. I was supremely disappointed when we arrived and sat down to find out that they no longer carry feta. Womp womp. Disappointed pregnant mama for sure. I ended up ordering a veggie omelet with goat cheese (and then removing all the goat cheese) but it was still very good and the homefries were yummy. As per usual, after eating we headed back to the beach.
I snapped a family picture using a lifeguard chair to prop up the self timer 🙂
Again the boys forwent nap time so we headed over to Wildwood in hopes of hitting up the waterpark. The area was absurdly over packed (which is definitely not our cup of tea) and both boys ended up passing out on the way so we headed back to Cape May and just spent the afternoon on the beach by the house (which was more secluded than the main beach we spent every morning at–but also required beach tags and $$ between the hours of 10am-4pm). We picked up ice cream on the way too (cause you know what they say about pregnant women and ice cream…)
After a long time splashing and walking on the beach we showered off at the house’s outdoor shower and called in an order for seafood from The Lobster House for dinner. It was ridiculously packed and after some confusion picking up the order we ended up not getting back to the house until close to 7pm. As we pulled up Jack started crying and complaining that we was sick…then promptly turned his head and vomited all over his carseat. So we ended up starting and ending our vacation on the same note: puke. Luckily his “bug” or whatever it was seemed to be as short lived as Andrew’s and he was good as new 30 minutes later. Both boys crashed hard, Bry and I ate and fell asleep watching a movie in our room.
And before we knew it, our trip had come to it’s end. The boys slept in until almost 6am and then we packed up the car and headed to breakfast at Bagel Time. We got omelets, hashbrowns and toast and ate it outside while the boys went nuts and refused to eat anything, even the muffin we bought them. We walked over to the beach and only spent a few minutes–both boys were tired and ready to nap. We said goodbye to the gorgeous blue waters and silky sand, vowed to find a way to work more to live than live to work, and find a way to live closer to the water, then we headed back to reality.
It was one of the best vacations we’ve taken. The boys are at such fun ages and the beach was the perfect place for us to have fun, unwind and relax. Cape May was our ideal town: so much to do but quaint and laid back without any of the overpopulation and excessive partying that a lot of beach areas are known for. I only wish we’d have had more time and loved every moment of our family trip. Waking up this morning to an empty bed and back to the reality of long hours of work was hard but it also made me appreciate the fact that after a week of 24/7 togetherness, I still crave being with my husband and our family and THAT, is something to truly be grateful for ❤