sunburns, suntans, and shadows // first ever VLOG + beach diary! [:

Normally, I hit the beach for two weeks every summer with my family, but this year [and the past couple years] have been a bit different.

This year I was super fortunate to make it down there, even if it was only for four days [:

Even then, the days blurred together, in a whirlwind of sand, ocean foam, lemonade, lotion, and sunburns.

Maybe a break-down day by day accompanied by a lamely-edited vlog would help unravel what happened:

*PS I actually attempted a vlog for this but FUNNY STORY I just lost my camera’s memory card the other day [it literally just disappeared into thin air off my bed and I’ve looked in all the surrounding areas?  So all I have is the footage I saved to my computer and whatever is on me phone. Will be out shortly, hopefully.]

DAY 1 // Started off in a church. At home. With my best friend along for the ride. My internship this summer happens to be in a Sunday school classroom, partnered up with a fellow Episcopalian gal also approaching her sophomore year in college. Halfway between Vacation Bible School and traditional K-5 Sunday school, our job is to monitor the children, make sure they don’t destroy each other, make awesome crafts, all while teaching them of the Lord’s work along the way.

3 hours later we left to go re-fuel with some Thai food across the street before we actually started hitting the road.

For what seemed like 5 hours later, we got through the line to pay the toll on the Bay Bridge, and zoomed along until we actually hit the beach. Upon arrival, we pretty much just dropped everything and went down to the water– my spirit couldn’t stay away any longer.

Later, we joined my parents and family for dinner at one of my favorite places– Harpoon Hanna’s, right on the water. Their coconut muffins are tantalizingly tasty, and I can say the same with their Tropical Salad, a mix of greens, mandarin oranges, a sweet light dressing, shrimp, and tomatoes and cucumbers.

We got more exhausted as the  night went on, but vowed to wake up super early the next morning to witness the sunrise.

DAY 2 // Started on the sand [pretty much]. We woke up around 5:00 AM to be on the beach at 5:38 for the sunrise. We found ourselves in solitude on cool sand, practically in the dark. I set up my towel and put my phone up for a time lapse shot [I’ve never done one of the sun rising!]. As it was running, I got lost in trying to find the flaming orb amongst the horizon, highlighting the undersides of various clouds until it finally pulled itself up over the vanishing line of the horizon. Truly breathtaking.

Though the original plan was to fall back asleep, we couldn’t do it. So we got dressed quickly and quietly left to find out how the city busses worked. Once we got on, we took it all the way south to the end of the peninsula, to the buzz of the boardwalk and intoxicating smells of funnel cake and boardwalk fries.  We stopped to grab some coffee [we were going to need it after the amount of sleep we had lost] and then found a spot on the shore. Andrea was able to do the whole chill-and-tan-and-casually-sleep-on-the-beach. I was not so lucky. Not only am I super pale and turn into a lobster if I’m exposed to direct sunlight for even 30 minutes, but I’d just had some Grande Starbeverage macchiato thing and I was kind of buzzing.

So I pulled out my beach read, STRETCH by Scott Sonenshein and read until I was practically half-way done with the book.

When Andrea woke up, we packed up and dusted off and hopped on the bus [well, moar like walked for like 10 blocks to hunt down a bus stop before finally doubling back to get to one we knew existed] to go back and put on real clothes to tackle the boardwalk in. This is where the hard-core “vlogging” was attempted– I always found it a bit weird to just have a camera filming your every move, but after a while I got more comfortable with it and it was a bit more manageable. I will, however, never get over the feeling of people walking right behind you as you’re doing it. Awkward.

We then hit up the boards, ate fries, got ice cream, and prepared ourselves to go in the Haunted House. It’s old and cheesy at this point, but still mildly thrilling to go inside because of the jump scares. I hate jump scares. With a passion.

After we’d had enough, we went back to our condo, heavy and thoroughly sunburned, and fell asleep.

DAY 3 // Started with sleeping in. Finally. But that didn’t last long– we were up and dressed and hopped on the bus to go back to the boardwalk buzz and be on the beach for a bit. I didn’t want to challenge mother nature more than I already had, so I left my clothes on and made sure to tuck my head under my street umbrella as I laid on my stomach to read. 

We got in the water for a bit [even though it was freezing and it was gonna wash all of the carefully applied UV protection right off] and then air-dried some more.

We then got ready to go down to the boardwalk, where we binged on the rides and amusements at Trimper’s. Highlights included taking video on the only coaster in town, riding the Zipper, and whirling at lightning speed both clock and counterwise. The night ended with delicious tacos [shout out to mah ROOMIE who is mildly obsessed with tacos] at Tequila Mockingbird, followed by a deep, heavy sleep.

DAY 4 // Started also on the beach! …After bussing down to the boardwalk beach, that is. We were on a mission to find a new sweater [er, ahem, “drug rug”] for Andrea, a post card for my Irish penpal, and a hermit crab for Andrea. Along the way, we found 2 chili dogs, an excessive amount of fidget spinners [both legit and knock-offs, mostly knock-offs though], and some ice cream.

We did eventually find a drug rug, and the hermit crab’s name is Sheldon [he’s actually fidgeting in his cage in my room as we speak! I’m hermit-sitting until A gets back from her Wisconsin trip! ^-^]. I got a postcard at the Ocean Gallery– the owner, who’s been there since it opened and has met countless celebs, gave me one at the register for *free* after I asked where I could find one. What a guy.

As the sun set, we went back on the beach down by the pier by the boardwalk. There was a family there taking family photos with a hilarious photographer. I wanted to somehow bribe him to take pro pics of us by offering to promote him on all our social media, but A said no. Lol. [I would have done all the talking, too! Ah well *shrug*] We ended up with some nice pics regardless with phones and whatnot, then we went to what was probably my favorite part of the entire trip– the jettys. Long strips of rock sticking out from the coastline to help slow down erosion, they were huge rocks covered by moss that was greener than green. I ended up going to the edge of the strip, where big waves sloshed against the boulders and sprayed foam in my face. It was wonderful.

We ended the night with dinner at Dumser’s Dairyland, a plate of clamstrips, fried chicken, salad, rolls, and applesauce later…

I passed out upon returning to the condo.

DAY 5 // Was leaving day. We got up super early [A had to be back by 5pm to work :/] and hit the Wawa gas station before heading out of town. We chugged some coffee and bid our tired good-byes.

A hot soundtrack, a wrong turn, and an accidental toll later we were back home. Andrea transferred her fish and hermit crab to me and we parted. I was exhausted but still managed to do some work anyways.

As I type this I’m editing the VLOG– I hope it turns out better than I hoped. [UPDATE: it’s done! See below!]

This trip, albeit somewhat brief, taught me a couple things:

  • Don’t leave your savings at home. 
  • That being said, it is possible to be on vacation and only spend about $50. Working on saving and “stretching”!
  • Starting and ending the day with the sunrise/sunset respectfully is very satisfying and peaceful. It also makes the day feel hella long. 
  • I like how my bangs look on camera! [LOL #vanityinsanity]
  • I *can* physically vlog and it’s not terrible!
  • …I can also manipulate Movie Maker really well [LOL I’m a PC user so not having iMovie on my desktop is kinda sucky!!!] But it’s possible. 
  • I’m gonna miss the water more than I think.
  • It’s possible to be almost *too* independent.
To those of you who made it through this entire thing… video and post alike… May god bestow upon you a multitude of blessings.  Thank you.

💚,

steph

One thought on “sunburns, suntans, and shadows // first ever VLOG + beach diary! [:

  1. Pingback: 2.0.1.7.: a look backward | strictly stephanie

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