Aug. 30–Sept. 2, 2014

Joan’s mom, Alicia, was going to celebrate her 60th birthday during Labor Day weekend this year, so Joan and Laura treated her to a beach-block rental house in Beach Haven, N.J., on Long Beach Island.

Joan, Michael, and I met up with Alicia, Laura, and Jeremy from Saturday through Tuesday, and Alicia planned to spend the rest of the week with some of her friends. We took Michael to the beach and a playground facing the bay, embarked on a short day trip to Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, and enjoyed a birthday dinner at a terrific seafood restaurant called The Ketch.

Happy birthday, Alicia!

[ No. 667 ]

Aug. 15–17, 2014

Joan, Michael, and I hit the road again, this time for a low-key weekend stay at Joan’s family’s mountain house in north-central Pennsylvania.

On Saturday, we shared some home-cooked meals on the back porch, took a day trip to the scenic High Knob Overlook and Worlds End State Park, and relaxed with margaritas by a roaring fire pit in the backyard on Saturday night.

Michael enjoyed spending time with everyone and loved running through the wide open backyard. However, sleeping in the same bedroom as him proved to be a challenge, and Joan and I were up with him on Saturday night for long stretches of time.

We made a brief visit to historic Eagles Mere for some shopping on Sunday, then made our way home.

[ No. 666 ]