Monthly Archives: June 2013

Our #JerseyLove Weekend

Our family recently accompanied my wife on a trip to New Jersey.  We stayed at Caesars in Atlantic City for 3 days as part of the #JerseyLove Social Moms for Social Good event.  The weekend was intended to highlight both sides of the Jersey shore’s recovery from Hurricane Sandy last November:  the work that has been completed and the ongoing work that still needs to be finished.

The Shore is Open for Business


The boy, sizing up a SurfSkimmer before heading over to the beach to try it out in the water.

We spent Friday afternoon at Belmar, which appeared to be as family-friendly as any beach town I have ever seen.  The boardwalk was destroyed by the hurricane in November, but a brand new replacement has been completed.  At a restaurant/bar called D’Jais, the leaders of the #JerseyLove event presented Mayor Matt Doherty with a check for $5000 from the #JerseyLove participants and D6 Sports to help Belmar citizens who are still displaced because of hurricane damage.  D6 also provided adults with surf lessons and allowed children, including our 10 year old son, to try out a fun, new beach product they are introducing this summer–the SurfSkimmer.

What Happens In Atlantic City…..


Hail, Caesar. (Hit me!)

The Name is Better.  Dad Knows Better.  I waited until our last night in town to try my luck in the casino.  When the kids went to sleep, I took a nap; then I got up around midnight to head downstairs to find a blackjack table.  Almost 4 hours of up and down rush as my stacks of chips grew and shrank put the icing on the weekend cake.  In the end, the $100 I was willing (though not exactly planning) to lose was safe and sound back in my pocket when I headed upstairs to call it a night–or, more precisely, to call it an early morning–along with a penny or two of the casino’s money.

Work Left To Be Done

The region is more than ready for families on vacation this summer.  But that’s not to say everything is back to normal.  While visiting the Absecon Lighthouse, we met a lady who shared that she is still not able to return to her home because of storm damage.  Hurricane Sandy dominated the news for a few days last fall; but for many people whose homes and businesses were flooded, it is still not time to move on to the next story.  Hopefully the return of tourism to the Jersey shore will help.


Belmar’s new boardwalk, ready for summer

Additional details about the Jersey Love weekend are available online at

Disclosure:  Caesars Entertainment hosted the official social media participants, including Mrs. DadKnowsBetter, better known as MusingsFromMe, and families, including our accommodations.  Families were invited to the sponsored ‘beach party’ lunch at D’Jais in Belmar, NJ.


Filed under Cool Products & Services, Living Well, Places to Go, Uncategorized, Vacation & Travel

Changing Seasons

May….a month of sun, flowers, renewal…and one or two other things:


Club volleyball tournament–The end of an era.

Our 17 year old daughter’s volleyball season, and her club career, ended with a family trip to the annual Memorial Day Weekend tournament at Penn State, a 4 hour drive from our house.

Soccer season ended for her 10 year old brother with an all-day tournament last Saturday, a much easier 40 minute drive from home.


We ran around a lot this spring.

Chorus concert.  Strings concert.  Project & activity showcase.  All three were nice May evenings at the elementary school.

Field day.  End of the year scout events.

Projects.  Presentations.  Studying.  Post-PSAT college mail continuing to arrive most days, often waiting in a stack, unopened.

High school final exams…wrapped up today by our freshman and are coming up next week for her sister, the rising senior–their schedules out of sync because they chose to attend different high schools.

For me, dozens of hours devoted to coordinating statewide tests in the school where I work led to materials inventoried, distributed, used, re-inventoried, and shipped out on a truck last week–while still trying to do my regular work at the same time.

For my wife, lots of juggling to get everyone where they needed to be, including morning and afternoon carpools for the daughter who opted for a school 35 minutes from home….carpools that made possible, as it turns out, for that daughter to have the most successful school experience of her life over the past 10 months….but taxing, nevertheless, for a work-from-home mom with 2 other kids (and me).

In broad strokes, that was May 2013 in the DadKnowsBetter household.

So this may be most welcome summer we have had as a family.


My first book of summer.

There will still be logistics and driving.  And there will be appointments and accomplishments to sort out–doctors to see, a driving test for 17, a summer camp here and there…


But there will also be time to catch our breath.  And more time to read books that no one assigned.  And time to sift through that stack of college brochures–and to visit a few schools in person.  Time to relax by the pool during 10 and 14’s swim team practice.  And to travel a little.  And to write more.

I’m open to suggestions of summer-only….or summer-mainly…ways to unwind.  Any thoughts?


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