down to the shore.

If you aren’t from around here, take a look at a map of the United States and you’ll see that the Twin Cities are located about 100 miles from the southern border of Minnesota and about 300 miles from the border that we share with Canada.  In other words, about ¾ of the state is north of the Twin Cities.  It’s fairly common for people who live in the cities to either have weekend cabins up north, or to spend their summer vacations at a rental somewhere between here and Canada.  Don’t forget, this is the land of 10,000 lakes, so there are plenty of gorgeous destinations to choose from up there.  Around here we like to call this going “up north”.


(photo source)

But I’m not going ‘up north’ for the 4th of July, I’m going ‘down to the shore’!


(photo source)

This was totally an impulse decision.  We had my sister and another couple over for dinner a few weeks back.  My sister and one of my other guests, Pat, started chatting about summer vacations at the New Jersey shore.  As it turned out, Pat still goes there nearly every summer!  I knew that my sister went all the time when she lived in New Jersey, and I also knew that she had a friend with a ‘shore house’ (in Minnesota we have lake houses or cabins).  As we were talking, I realized that both my sister and I had taken the 4th of July week off work already.  Hmmmm … it suddenly occurred to me that we had a free place to stay and time off work, all we needed were plane tickets.  Debbie and I did some googling and found tickets that were affordable.  So now, instead of a staycation over the 4th, we are going down to the shore!

We’ll be leaving Mr. Q at home to man the fort.  He’s not all that interested in an otherwise all-girls trip to the Jersey shore.  He’ll be going to visit a friend in NYC later this fall instead.

I’m looking forward to some quintessential Jersey shore activities like strolling on the boardwalk, watching the fireworks from the beach, and eating water ice.  I’ll probably have to get some salt water taffy too.

nj taffy

(photo source)

But the main activity that I’m looking forward to is this one.


As you might have guessed from yesterday’s post, I am totally a beach girl at heart.  I love a day spent at the beach complete with salty skin and sandy feet (don’t worry, I wear lots of sunscreen).  Although I don’t expect the Jersey shore to be quite as fabulous as Jost van Dyke, it’s still going to be pretty great.

How about you?  Do you go ‘up north’, ‘down to the shore’, or is there some other summer vacation destination that is popular where you live?  I’d love to hear about it, so be sure to leave a comment about your favorite summer vacation hot spot.  I’ll draw a name from the comments and send that person some salt water taffy from down at the shore!

20 thoughts on “down to the shore.

  1. Hey! You’re headed my way! Have a great vacation! The Jersey Shore isn’t The Caribbean, but it is lovely in its own way! Have fun and definitely remember the sunscreen!


  2. While I am more of a ‘going somewhere with culture (museums)’ girl, I do like going to the beach. This year I have been to the shores of Texas (Galveston) which is not the prettiest beach and in the fall I’ll be heading to North Carolina with my sister to the beach and the mountains! The prettiest beach I have been to is a tossup between Greece and Hawaii. Hawaii is more user friendly but the views in Greece are spectacular! But each beach I have been to has great memories for me.


    1. I love a good museum too. My only experience with beaches in Greece is Paradise Beach in Mykonos, which was pretty fun. I spent my honeymoon on Makena Beach in Maui, another fab beach. I agree, great memories!


  3. It sounds like your trip was just meant to be. I hope you have a great time. My husband and I always seem to gravitate to vacation spots near water and beaches. We have never been to the Jersey Shore though. We find being near the water very relaxing. Not to mention we love seafood so that’s a plus for us too. Here in Northeastern Indiana we have some beautiful lakes too and we have spent time there many summers. Also, Outer Banks, Virginia beach, several beaches in Florida, Hawaii, Bahamas, the coast of Maine is gorgeous and the Great Lakes are a must see too. Wishing everyone a Happy 4th of July.


  4. That sounds like a blast, Linda! Have a great time! Looking forward to seeing the pictures of the shore having never been. We just returned from 6 days on the island, so staying home on the 4th. Every year my parents come for boating, BBQ and fireworks over the lake. I bought the Chinese lanterns to send off this year. A great garage sale find! I love tropical beaches and the ocean, but my heart is always “up north” 🙂


  5. Love the way you pull vacations and junking trips together so quickly and efficiently. Husband and I are currently at my home away from the cities up north in Webb Lake Wis. Still very much a cabin but very comfortable. I’ve got all three of my grown kids and 7mo old grand baby in tow. Two decks and a patio provide lots of out door private or together space. Fire pit and sleeping porch/ knitting room / get away space seal the deal. And then there’s the lake with the moon rising in the east. Can’t beat it . Enjoy the shore. Never been. I do love salt water taffy by the way.


    1. That sounds like a blast Andrea! I’m so envious of your sleeping porch, I’ve always wanted one. I’m a big fan of salt water taffy too, but I’m sure I can get at least one to two boxes home without eating them myself first 😉


  6. What great fun! My grandfather had a house at the shore and we would slog out from Chicago and visit him in the summer! I learned to swim there! Have a great time!!!!


  7. Good for you Linda do have a wonderful time! When my children were small we owned a place on the South Carolina coast – Hilton Head where we also played lots of tennis. My in laws owned a beachfront villa at Wild Dunes just over the causeway from Charleston for many years beautiful beaches and fab seafood resturants. And now my husband’s sister has a cabin at the lake also peaceful place. There are night sounds around the lake that cannot be beat. It’s almost a toss up beach or lake? I guess for me there is nothing as relaxing as listening to the waves crashing against the shore. I adore sitting in a rocker on the screened porch reading a beach book listening to those waves…total bliss.


  8. Hey Linda,
    Have a blast! That sounds so fun!

    P.S. – I love my vintage camera I won, and the Fusion paint! Than you so much again!


  9. Being a homegrown and raised Minnesota girl, i can remember going to Gull Lake (up north…there’s a gazillion Gull Lakes…not sure which one) with my Mom and Dad and six brothers and sisters. We would rent a two bedroom cabin, and sleeping arrangements always ended up with kids sleeping with someones feet in their face…lol. we would rent a pontoon boat and each of the kids would get a stick wrapped with fishing line and a red daredevil. We would troll off of the back of the boat and my Dad and older brother spent their time taking walleyes off our lines. Great feeling. Only problem in those days was the lack of good sunscreen…resulting in the purchase of large jars of Noxema!


  10. Vacation to me must also include the beach. Though I’d prefer the Caribbean, being from the Northeast, I most often get to the Jersey shore. We love it so much that we often will spend a day there even when it is not a bathing suit time of year. There’s just something about the ocean air that awakens something inside of me!


    1. Having lived in Florida for a while when I was younger, it always seems strange to me that there is such a thing as going to the shore in the cold. I know that’s silly because of course there is, but it just seems alien to me. I did go to Cape May in the winter once though, so I have experienced it myself and I totally understand the appeal.


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