Tuesday, September 20, 2016

"Honeymoon" week in Long Beach Island

Quizzing us on how well we know each other. 
What would anyone's perfect picture of their honeymoon be? To spend it with the whole family, including new in-laws and throw in some friends? Well, thats exactly what we did and it was one of the greatest weeks ever! We took the traditional Sierpina family beach vacation and gave it a New Zealand Devo direction. We planned the whole week out so as to have the silly fun of the bachelor/bachelorette parties on the first night followed with a recovery day including a rehearsal and dinner, then the wedding on an untraditional Monday. This left the rest of the week to be a plan-less, stress free time to enjoy the company of all those that had made it out to celebrate with us. The invitation was out, come for the wedding and why not stay for the whole week?

So the annual drive down to LBI was stressing me about a bit, due to it being an absolute cluster. Seeing as every man and his dog makes the drive from every direction on Saturday morning converging onto the causeway onto the island. Trying to partially avoid this, we took a few car loads down friday. It was still a stressful day and a bit of a cluster for myself. As I drove the RX7 down, along with Simon taking a load containing my parents and Gina and Sean. Once we got to Barnegat, I proceeded to empty the Honda and drive all the way back to Newark Airport to collect another car load of fresh arrivals: John and Kel from New Zealand via Texas, Marc from London and Phil from Colorado. It was a lot of traffic for one day, but man it was nice to be in a car with cruise control and air conditioning after the real 80's driving experience the RX7 offers.

The most PG photo of the evening
The next day was a breeze though, all we had to do was sit in traffic on the causeway for a bit and there we were. Running round to collect keys and right on 2pm we were in our houses. We filled the fridge to get the beers cooling, had a quick swim and it was time for the boys to celebrate my 'last night of freedom' in a typical fashion. A few beers, a BBQ, some classic yarns, a few more beers and a bit of music, and watching the All Blacks. Pretty low key stuff really. The ladies had far more sophisticated plans however, and when I say sophisticated I really mean the opposite. Going to the gambling capitol of the East to a hall of gaggling bridal parties, ogling over sweaty questionable males. Culminating in a cup full of vomit on the bus ride home for Amy, I left her to spoon with the toilet bowl for the night.

The night before the wedding, Steve and Margaret hosted a slightly weather affected rehearsal dinner. A few practice walks down the aisle by all involved and we were free to enjoy the evening, Kiwi BBQ styles. In typical NZ fashion it rained, classic. John manned the grill outside, as all our guests comfortably squeezed into the upstairs Deverson's holiday apartment. It was a great night for our friends and family to meet for the first time or catch up on old times. Mum's potato salad was a crowd favorite, John stealing the glory, because he made it! Otherwise, the Kiwi Dip, Watties Tomato Sauce and Lollie Cake were on point. We even were subjected to a "newlywed" how well do we know each other game, and although we didn't get many answers technically correct, we agreed we knew each other pretty well anyways.

The wedding followed the next day, best day ever of course!

The following days all melted together. Happy memories of beach days, adventures around the island, dinners and drinks. Earlier starts for the households with young children, and funnily enough, nearer to lunchtime awakenings for those in the friend's house. The general day would go: mornings at the beach swimming, body surfing, beach games, entertaining the kids till we were throughly melted, then lunch and activities over the island. We took the shuttle up and down the island to mini golf, the arcade, the island brewery, Barnagate Lighthouse, and Bay Village.

With Charlotte's birthday falling on the Thursday, the Deverson children and their spouses jumped on some jet skis for a an hour and blasted around the bay. Which was an absolute blast, in quite choppy conditions. All Amy could scream was for me to slow down and not turn so fast, but as soon as she got in control of the machine, it seemed like she was quite enjoying the speed, bumps and turns. This then made me ignore her pleas resulting in us catapulting off the jet ski in quite the dramatic fashion. The evening followed with a lobster and seafood feast, cake, and some home videos.

Ready to Jetski! 
A more bizarre night was going back to our wedding venue, the LBIF, to see a presentation on Wolves and getting to meet a few real live specimens. Not the usual beach activity, they were however impressive and didn't mind a scratch behind the ear.

With a wolf! 
Of course the greatest addition to the week was all the extra people. More people, more fun, more stories and more great memories. We are truly so thankful to everyone who was part of the week. We had friends and family come from all over the world, and it wouldn't have been the same without everyone there with us.

The honeymooners 

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