FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Beach Days

by Eli Shapiro

Aug 13, 2023

When I think of summer days, one of the favorite things I think of is spending time at the New Jersey shore with my family. Not just with my wife and children, but my siblings, their spouses, my mother and her beau, and all 10 nieces and nephews (just on my side of the family).beach

Our nieces and nephews span in ages from 25 to 8 years old. This year a few of the older girls brought their boyfriends, which added to the mix. The days usually begin with the younger kids waking up early. Usually my brother, Nate, and I are up with them. Nate, who now lives out of the Tri-State area with his family, has to make a Wawa run for coffee and soft pretzels. Whoever is up is either hanging outside on the back patio or inside, playing cards waiting for others to wake up.beach

By the time Nate comes back with coffee, the older gang starts to trickle down the steps and the breakfast grazing occurs along with the debate of what is going to take place for the day. This is mostly a joke because, quite simply, we are going to the beach. The debate is really what are we going to eat for lunch and dinner and, perhaps, what will be the evening activity.

So, off to the beach we go. Now picture this: We get to the beach. It happens in waves (no pun intended). Whoever is ready starts off, usually a couple of adults and a few of the younger kids. We need to find a spot big enough for everyone. This year there were 22 of us. That is 22 beach chairs, blankets, a bunch of boogie boards, towels, umbrellas and more. You get the idea. Yes, at times it seems we take over the beach. We sit in a semi-circle, passing drinks and snacks, talking with conversations going from one side to the other, catching up with one another.beach

Of course, one of the younger ones begs their parents to swim in the ocean with them, so a bunch of us head in the water. When I was young, I would spend hours upon hours in the water, riding the waves in and swimming out again. I had more fun body surfing than using boogie boards. Not much has changed. The water was great. We did take breaks to bury the younger ones in the sand.beach

Then, the great debate of which sandwich shop to order from begins. Sack O’Subs in Ocean City was the choice on this particular day. Someone calls in the order. We order a variety of different hoagies and cheesesteaks. One of us would run, pick them up and bring them to the beach. We would cut them up into little pieces so everyone could try the different ones, hoping not to eat too much sand! The younger kids would scarf them down and eat just enough to get back to playing.beach

Of course, the ice cream guys pushing the little carts with coolers walk by and, eventually, one of the adults gives in to one of the younger kids and we all get some ice cream for a cool treat. The rest of the day is more of the same: riding the waves, throwing a ball around, digging in the sand, taking a walk.

Towards the end of the day but before anyone leaves, the big debate starts. What’s for dinner? With 22 people, we usually do not go out to a restaurant; sometimes we cook, other times we order in. One of the nights we ordered a bunch of Italian dishes and ate on the back patio. Another night we had seafood, another we grilled, etc.beach

Then just like we came to the beach, we exit the same way, in waves. A few members of the family start to walk back to the house to get showered and ready for dinner, then a few more and a few more and so on until we are all back.beach

After dinner we sit around and talk and play cards. Some people take walks. There are several ice cream places nearby. There is the famous Margate Dairy Bar, my brother’s favorite. There is Custards’ Last Stand, one of my favorites, and so many more in between. On this particular night, we ended up walking to Sundaze, fairly close to the house.beach

One by one we all went to bed, just to start the next day all over again. It started just the same. The younger children got up first, my brother, Nate, and I were up with them. Nate went to Wawa for coffee and soft pretzels while the younger kids played cards as, one by one, everyone trickled down the steps … .

— Eli R. Shapiro, director of sales


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