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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Horseshoe (crabs) and (hand) grenades, but no landmines.

Horseshoe crab

In case it isn't too obvious, the title is a Jersey Shore reference, which although I've never watched the show, having spent several days at the Jersey shore I feel that I am intimately familiar with it.

The one thing Lauren wanted to do most of all this summer was to go to the beach. We chose Ocean City, NJ because it was the closest (A little under seven hours away, or about six if you drive 88 on the Turnpike like Mark does), plus that's where my family (both sides, in fact) used to go when I was growing up.

Me at 6 years old on the Ocean City, NJ boardwalk.

See - here I am, about Lauren's age, posing beside the OCNJ boardwalk.

Hanging out on the boardwalk.

And here's Lauren posing beside the OCNJ boardwalk. Not the same location (That's the Music Pier in the background), and certainly not the same expression, but that's our Lauren.

Peering out into the ocean.

So this was a huge nostalgia trip for me. With the exception of new light posts and murals, the place had pretty much remained unchanged over the last thirty years. They also added dedication plaques to the benches. I love how this one is dedicated to Mom and Pop Shriver. Shiver's is one of the major salt water taffy companies on the boardwalk and has been in business since the late 1800's. More about Shriver's later. I did look into getting a plaque for our family, but unfortunately the bench project doesn't exist any longer.

Getting her feet wet.

A few notes about the photos. Before the trip, I struggled a little with the decision as to what camera equipment I wanted to take. Although it could take a great photo under just about any lighting condition, I decided to leave the new D7000 at home, both because it's heavy and I didn't want to have to be constantly worrying about taking care of an expensive camera. So instead I brought the old D50 with 35mm and 85mm lenses as well as my point and shoot. I debated lens choice too. Earlier this year, I bought a 18-200mm zoom lens that is supposed to be a great, all purpose walking around lens. That is, unless you're me. It's too heavy for me, and I can't seem to take great photos with it. And anyway, I'm finding that I much rather prefer using fixed focal length lenses over zooms. I also discovered via this trip that I'm not much of a telephoto shooter, and I only switched to the 85mm once (And that was to take close-ups of water lilies!).

Lastly, I had heard the warnings about how salt water and sand are the mortal enemies of cameras, so I was extra careful with the D50. However, for some reason that care did not carry over to the point and shoot, and it succumbed to the sand during one of our early trips to the beach and therefore ceased to function. As a result, I don't have many photos of us at the beach. In fact, many of the photos that I did take were shot in a single evening because I was trying to get everything I wanted at once so I didn't have to lug the camera with me everywhere. Which also means that I don't have photos of our wacky surrey ride or of the two times we played minature golf.

Ocean City, NJ

But that doesn't mean I don't have a lot of other photos to share. So many, that it will probably take me the rest of the year to cover everything, but if I break it into manageable chunks, maybe it'll only take just until the end of June. :)

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