A Reunion on LBI, NJ at Beach House Retreats, Beach Haven Crest, NJ
by Mary Ann Gutchigian
(Beach Haven Crest, NJ)
Dad is 94 now with a huge following!
We had a family reunion sadly during the weekend of my Mother's funeral. We had 44 come from the immediate family. My parents bought a beach house in Beach Haven Crest, NJ, because of allergy problems with my oldest brother; we have come there since 1958. Our home burned down in 1988 and my Mother rebuilt and moved to the beach permanently. I moved down in 2002 to care for her and lost her in 2006. The home was home for all of us, and the reunion was a tearful but a joyful one.
I feel beach reunions are great for families to spread out, play games at the beach and in the water. The family walks on the beach are so reminiscent of when we are young walking with our parents and siblings. The chaos at meals was just like the summers we spent when our families colliding in the summer weeks taking vacations, visiting in the off season to spend time with Mother and holiday gatherings. It was the perfect get together and I am sure my Mother was smiling, seeing what she had started by getting the house in 1958.
We still gather at this home and I also rent it out for family reunions to share the destination with others. When we get together now we hide a big truck of treasures at the beach early in the morning for the young children to do a scavenger hunt with their cousins, and the evenings are set aside for some serious game playing. When the water is inviting we all go out bodysurfing and remember what it's like to fly through the waves with grace and ease at the ages ranging from 89-3.
LBI is a home for many that summered here in the past. The family oriented island is wonderful and slow paced to smell the roses of family time.
When looking for the right spot for a reunion go back to where you were as kids it makes you feel young and remember life when it was simple.