seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

Six months ago, when I booked this vacation, I knew that planning a trip with a two-year-old and a four-month-old in tow was a risky endeavor. In the end, it proved to be every bit as difficult as I’d anticipated… and then some. Gratefully there were lots of beautiful memories tucked in there that made it all worth it in the end.

Roman had a blast heading out to the boardwalk and riding the amusement rides. It was the first time that he was tall enough to ride. I simply can’t express the joy that I felt watching the smile on his face as he whizzed around in the warm July sunshine. He also went on his very first roller coaster ride with his Papa. I laughed so hard watching them that my stomach actually hurt. The people around me surely thought that I was a mad woman.

He played arcade & boardwalk games for the first time, too. The water guns were a favorite, as well as a “Play-’til-You-Win” crane game that gave out rubber duckies. We came home with five new, colorful rubber duckies that he is still loving at the moment.

One day, Matthew took Marina for a couple of hours while I took Roman to the water park. They have a fantastic toddler area. Roman had a ball running around, going down the slides, and splashing in the fountains. He is such a cautious boy. He gets that from me. I am constantly telling him to watch his step — and for good reason, he’s so clumsy. It was fascinating to watch him among so many other toddlers. They are all very different in their mannerisms, bravery, & maturity levels. After awhile, I took Roman over to the “Lazy River” where I placed him on my lap as we floated around the river, under bridges & waterfalls, beneath hanging wooden fish, and so on. It was the highlight of the trip for me. It was so special to have those hours of uninterrupted time with my little guy. Those moments are few & far between these days. I cherished it dearly and my heart was bursting with gratitude by the end of it.

My mom wheeled the kids around the boardwalk for a couple of evenings so that M. and I could have two childless dates — such a treat. We had our first dinner at the Mexican restaurant that is home to my favorite shrimp & lobster quesadillas. I had a massive & delicious raspberry margarita to go with my meal. We sat outside on the deck with a gorgeous view looking out over the beach. It was heavenly really.

It wasn’t all sunshine and smiles, though. Marina was a handful, as ever. And Roman had a lot of tantrums and grumpiness fueled by lack of quality sleep. All of that was to be expected. However, there was one epic disaster of a day that I could have never imagined in my wildest nightmares. It was the worst day that I have ever experienced as a mother and one of the worst days of my life as a whole.

Most days, we took the kids over to the pool at the motel where my aunt was staying. It was easier than trekking out to the beach every day. On the day that we finally decided to head to the beach it was extremely overcast and humid. We thought that would be a great thing — less sun and a good opportunity to cool down in the sea.

What we didn’t realize, however, was that it was also the perfect weather for biting beach flies. When we got to the beach, we quickly unpacked our things and set up our umbrella so that we had shade for Marina. I blew up Roman’s little pool and then started making trips with his play buckets to and from the ocean to fill it up. When I was about halfway through filling, the flies started biting. By the time I was finished, they were attacking. We knew that we had to do something, so I left Roman with M. and walked back up to the boardwalk to hunt for some bug spray. Typically we only use organic bug sprays, but desperate times call for desperate measures and we were desperate. When I got back to our spot on the beach, we all got a spray down with bug spray (except the baby). We tried to go about our business, but the flies were relentless. It was like the bug spray did nothing at all.

Within minutes after my return, the flies were literally swarming. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of them. Roman was covered. I saw that he was bleeding where they were biting him and that’s when I’d had enough. I screamed to M. that I had to get the babies off the beach. I picked up Marina and took Roman by the hand and we started running toward the boardwalk. The sand was so hot and Roman said his feet were burning, but there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t physically carry both babies. We had to keep going. The flies were still attacking us.

We finally made it up to the boardwalk. There was a girl selling beach passes. I frantically asked her to take the baby so that I could put Roman’s shoes on. She said that she’d never held a baby. The flies were still attacking! I yelled, please just take her and handed her off. As I was putting his sandals on, she explained that she and her colleagues were getting bitten too. I got Roman’s shoes on, took the baby back, and we took off toward our house. When we were halfway there, Roman fell in the middle of a parking lot and scraped open his arm. I was holding his hand but we were just moving too fast as the flies were still biting. When we finally got back to our beach house, I realized that we were locked out. There was nothing we could do except sit there and wait in the blistering heat, flies still biting, Roman’s arm bleeding.

I had just trekked to the beach, setup and filled a baby pool, trekked to the boardwalk for bug spray, trekked back off the beach, and finally made it home — all in the blistering heat. I was so physically and emotionally exhausted. I don’t know how much time passed before M. showed up carrying all of our things and the key to the house. When we finally got inside, I broke down. It was one of the worst moments of my life. I didn’t care at all about my pain, I was gutted by the fact that Roman had gotten bitten and I was helpless to save him.

That afternoon, I laid down for a nap with Marina. When I woke up, I felt horribly ill. Within hours, I was shivering violently and I had a full body ache. It felt like I had a horrible flu that came on very quickly. It was scary and we came very close to heading to an urgent care center. I still don’t know exactly what it was but I imagine it was my body going into some sort of shock as a result of the trauma of the day. Gratefully, I was able to sleep and felt much better in the morning. Roman was mostly unfazed. He had no marks from the bites and we fixed up his scrape with ointment and a band-aid. Marina didn’t get bitten, thank God!

It was an awful experience that put a damper on an already stressful trip. But, what can you do. Life happens. We braved the beach again a couple of days later (when it wasn’t overcast!) and we had a beautiful time. Overall, the trip was stressful, but we had fun and made a bunch of beautiful memories. I am sure that one day we will look back on “the terror of the flies” and laugh — that day, however, is a long time away from now!

I’m glad to report that I got lots of photos of the happy moments, so that’s what I want to focus on. Enjoy!

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

seashore // livelovesimple.com

Just for fun, here is Roman’s first trip to the shore and his second trip to the shore. My goodness, how these years are flying. I’ll take a vacation from my “vacation” now, please. 😉 xo

4 thoughts on “By the Seashore”

  1. Hi there! Im just wondering if you flew for your vacation. We are taking a 2 year old and 4 month old to Cabo in April and wanted to get some advise, on flights and things to take….stuff like that…Let me know if you have any advise for me! And by the way you have a beautiful family!

  2. WHYYYY were there flies on the beach?! And they bite?!?!? I have never heard of such a thing and I like live at the Jersey Shore all summer!!!!! That is crazy and sounds so terrible, I’m sorry you had such a bad experience at the beach. Also it sucks that you didn’t get to go to the beach every day 🙁 However, maybe since the beach you are at has killer flies it’s for the best haha. Maybe try Ocean City next time… it’s the best best best! Your photos are so beautiful!!!!!

  3. What…the…F?!?! (Flies…not the other word). Your bad day story sounds incredibly awful. I would have freaked out for sure. I’m so sorry you had such a damper on your trip! But, it does sound and look like ya’ll made some pretty great memories. Mia would have never got on a roller coaster. My kid is SUCH a wuss when it comes to most things. Like, she won’t even attempt a carousel or those quarter machines outside of stores…the race car or motorcycle or whatever. Pretty sad! We’ve been itching real bad for a family vacation of some kind. Really hoping we can make that happen this summer before it ends. We were talking Hawaii…but most likely not! Can’t imagine Margo on an airplane. Anyways, I’m so glad you were able to enjoy your trip and THANK YOU for that pic of the margarita. As soon as you mentioned it I’m thinking, “Girl better have a shot of that bad boy!” Looks soooooo good. My fav has been a MangoRita from a spot I worked at in San Diego. Mouth is watering now 🙂 -Misty

  4. i alway love and enjoy reading and seeing all your pictures…this one especially touched my heart…seeing you mom and the babies visiting my mom and dad touches my heart more than you will ever know… going on vacation with little ones is always a challenge thats for sure…but as you said one day you will look back at the “fly day” and it will be fondly thought of….i miss all those days they go by soooo fast..as the bench said… family memories.. you are now making yours with the children…im glad you and your husband were able to enjoy a few nights together alone…those days are rare when our kids are little…thank goodness for wonderful grandparents…as always i enjoyed this blog….you are a beautiful person inside and out…seaside heights always full of memories…xo

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