house guests.9: the adults

I've already introduced Baby R to the blog, but long before she arrived on the scene, P&A were near and dear to our hearts. And when I say long, I mean about as far back as either NS or myself can remember. My mom has home videos of my fifth birthday party, and AJD was one of the names on the gift bags. PD and NS grew up in the same neighborhood, where afternoons were spent racing through each other's fenceless back yards. I could go on and on about the similarities we share with this couple, like having parents in the same profession, enjoying the same songs and books from childhood, playing basketball games against each other, getting married four weeks apart, and being part of the U.S. Air Force. But aside from the many memories we've shared, we are now commonly united on two major points: 1) Baby R is their pride and joy and our beloved goddaughter and 2) we love the beach.

The four of us are originally from Pennsylvania but have all lived (or currently live) in the neighboring state of New Jersey. For all of my non-Jersey readers who need a brief introduction to the Garden State: Think of the show Jersey Shore. Now think of the opposite. That is (most of) New Jersey. 

For the past couple summers, NS and I took advantage of these fine friends and their close proximity to Long Beach Island, which, in my humble beach-connoisseur opinion, is one of the east coast's treasures. NS and I used to leave our Central Jersey apartment and hop on the Parkway late on a Friday night after the beach traffic died down to arrive at P&A's for a late night snack while we planned our Saturday on the beach. Then all weekend it was sunshine and sandy snacks by day, and backyard grilling and favorite movies by night. 

Finally, it was our chance to return the favor when P&A came to our island for a change. We started them off with a proper Cayman sunset.

As per our norm, after the sun goes down, it's time to eat. P&A are both fabulous chefs who truly enjoy creating a delicious dining experience. I'm always quite happy to relinquish control of my kitchen, so all of the following are courtesy of my guests. (Some bed and breakfast I run. More like, make your own bed AND your own breakfast.)

Like my salad tongs? I got them for $3 during my last vacation in you-know-where.

So we have grilled veggies, steak 'n potatoes,
lemon cookies, "Jew treat", and local mango. Oh my heavens.
Oh, just kidding about the breakfast. I actually do make that.

Seaside pancakes. Scrumptious!
We didn't just eat in, of course. We took P&A to some of our favorites, including Sunshine Grill and Karma.

We also sampled Michael's Genuine Food & Drink in Camana Bay, which turned out to be a newly-found gem. (Really, all Camana Bay establishments are top notch, in my opinion.)

Admiring Camana Bay's fountains before dinner.

If you go to Michael's and don't try the homemade ginger-lemongrass soda, you have made an enormous mistake.
I can see that one of us is ready to order...
We also took a gander around my favorite Cayman property one evening. The Ritz Carlton looks spectacular in any light, but it didn't hurt that the backdrop was the setting sun.

What I love about these next shots (other than the friendly faces in them, of course) is how drastically the sky changes in the background. Even with low-lying clouds, I've yet to see a sunset that didn't take my breath away, and every thirty seconds the sky transforms into a new glorious mural.

We finally dragged ourselves off the beach, with the sky putting on its final act behind us.

One thing I have to say about P&A is that I'm so thankful parenthood hasn't changed them, except to make them more interesting, selfless, happy people. Baby R has become a natural part of their lives, and her needs are met in a way that doesn't confine her parents. Traveling with a baby can't be easy, but they made it seem like a breeze. She's just a welcome extension to our little group.

I've learned that good friends have good babies.
*Sigh*  Goodbyes. They always have to come. But friends like this feel near to us always, no matter if they live down the road, four hours away, or across the globe. (We've tried all of these distances. Trust me; these people can't get rid of us so easily.)

The only question that remains: Next time, your beach or ours?


  1. love the pictures of the legs off the dock and the b&w of mom with baby!

  2. I agree with Katie! And this was just a wonderful blog post in general! Lots of cute witty things you put in here Jenn! Loved it! What great friends you have! :) And good-looking, too! :D

  3. The sunset pictures were my favorite, and then the feet picture, love the baby feet. Reagan is such a doll!