So . . . the Jersey shore is better than the Hamptons. My friends and I went to Avalon, which we basically knew nothing about except that renting houses there is about $21,000 cheaper per week than in the Hamptons. And after I signed the lease with our rental agent, she told me that the house is “not new but very beachy”, which I assumed was a nice way of saying “old and full of the sand of a thousand old men’s swimtrunk crotch areas”. So I was worried.
But it turns out that the town of Avalon is full of the cutest restaurants and shops called things like Pudgie Pelican Cafe and Uncle Bill’s Pancake House, that the houses are just as impressive as Hamptons houses, and that the people are so nice they actually said hello to us as we passed them on the sidewalks, which I haven’t experienced since I left Ohio.
And we even loved the house! Mostly because this was in the backyard:
Along with these three ducks, two of which my blogfriend-turned-inreallifefriend Kim C. won from a claw game at a Wendy’s along the way down, and one of which was given to her by a little girl we cheered on as she pumped her mother’s entire paycheck into the machine:
And also this hot tub, which was never mentioned on our lease and which my roommate/landlord/co-worker/friend, Jack, was clearly . . . surprised by/pleased by/pooping his pants over?:
And many, many of these glowing-eyed owls, which were meant to either ward off rodents or predatorially ogle us in the pool:
Our joy over these things allowed us to forgive the fact that the house was this many degrees all week long:
The rental agent called me on our way down to the house on Saturday and said, “The air-conditioning isn’t working properly, so the house won’t get as cool as you’d like. They’ll be out to fix it on Monday or Tuesday.” And by that she meant the next Saturday as we were leaving. Even though I’m not the type to complain, I toooootally wrote a letter to the rental agency. Kamran said I should have had him write it on his special lawyer stationary to make it seem really threatening.
But I didn’t want to threaten, because really, we had the greatest time, as you’ll see:
Jeff, Nik, Beth, and Andrew sitting by the pool, pretending to make conversation for the sake of this picture. I think this should be used in a brochure for the Jersey shore.
Nik doing what Nik did for most of the week. I took this picture from the pool. Which means my $1000 camera was in the pool. I drank a lot of Smirnoff that week.
Beth, who was probably technically the first friend I made in NYC, posing with the shady pool owl, who was turned to face the trees many times throughout the week to keep him from watching her in her bikini.
A frog by the outdoor shower, clearly not dissuaded by the pool owl.
Kim making sangria. From box wine. That spilled out all over the sides of the pitcher as we filled it more and more full of fruits.
Grillmaster Jeff, trying to be nice to the people who asked for their steaks well done.
Beth and Kim, our resident fashionistas, wearing actual clothes poolside.
I don’t remember what Beth is doing here, but this pretty accurately sums up her personality.
Nik deconstructing kebabs in the shade of the tree-fence by the pool.
Nik deciding to forego the deconstruction and just gnaw the hell out of the things.
Jack with his fancy Grolsch bottle, which we later used to capture and drown greenhead biting flies. The flies were the only drawback to Avalon, actually; apparently they live in the bay behind the town and fly over to the ocean when the wind is blowing that way. Murdering them made for some of my sweetest Avalon memories.
Kim K. kebab-stick-fighting with Jeff. No eyes were harmed in the making of this photo.
Kim C. posing in the bathing suit that showed me her boob.
I guess I should tell that story while I’m here, much as I’d just like to just mention her boob and leave it. So, the ocean was about two blocks from our house, on the other side of some woods with a path through them. Kim and I went one afternoon to jump some waves, and the ocean was a bit unwieldy. We were getting sucked under by the waves and then spit out on the shore over and over. The ocean was also really crabby, so every now and then when we’d put our feet down, a crab would clamp on for a second. Well, just as Kim was shrieking about a crab eating her heel, a particularly crazy wave knocked us both over, and when we came up, one of Kim’s boobs had totally popped out of her suit! So I screamed, “Your boob is showing! YOUR BOOB IS SHOWING!” And then another wave came and wiped us out again, and her sunglasses flew off her head and were gone forever (only someone who grew up in Cape Cod would wear sunglasses in the ocean, right?), and she had totally covered up her boob by the time we both recovered, so I didn’t even get to enjoy seeing it. She saw mine later, too, so we’re totally almost dating now.
I told Beth and Andrew to scowl at me. Beth is doing an amazing job, but Andrew looks like a friggin’ model.
On the 4th of July, we went to the beach to watch the fireworks just as the sun was setting.
It was my first time seeing fireworks on the beach (my hometown ones are set off in the high school parking lot, and I’m never on the waterfront for the NYC ones), and I love the way they reflected off the water and silhouetted all of us watching them.
The peanut butter and jelly sundae from Sundae Best Avalon. It was as good as it looks. Or better, if you think it looks like baby poo.
Kim C. in the pool, sippin’ on a lowball.
The Kims, looking ethereal in their bedroom on the first floor that was perfectly cooled the entire time because the air-conditioning actually worked down there.
Roommates Jeff and Nik, pretending to hate each other.
Roommates Jeff and Nik, pretending to like each other.
The whole group with the creepy owl, which we had forgiven for its lascivious ways and were feeling nostalgic about by the last day.
To say that this was our best trip in three years is like saying I’m mildly interested in getting Kim back into the ocean with an even less sturdy swimsuit. We spent approximately eight hours a day in the pool (and sometimes many more), the ocean was uncrowded and actually warm enough to swim in, every restaurant and store in town was run by sixteen-year-olds who were sweet and polite, there were places to kayak and paddleboard (which only 75% of us did, because eww, bay water), Jeff brought a projector so we could watch HBO on the living room wall, I wore nothing but tank tops and jersey shorts every day except for the night when we went to Atlantic City and ate Cuban food and I lost $3 on the slot machines but paid $5.99 to use an ATM, and I totally didn’t sunburn for the first time in three summers. I just got heat rash. No big deal.