Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween From The Jersey Shore

Happy Halloween from the Jersey Shore.

We love this creative decorating idea with painted clam shells from the beach.   They are always creating a scene based on the time of year.  My other favorite is the back to school design.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Treasure Island Pumpkin Picking

We had a great day pumpkin picking on Treasure Island (aka Osborn Island).  Treasure Island is located on the Manasquan River between Brielle and Point Pleasant.   

My sister Katie w the kiddo.
It is believed that  Robert Louis Stevenson wrote his famous novel Treasure Island about this location. According to wikipedia, Stevenson spent about a month in Brielle along the Manasquan River. One day Stevenson visited Osborn Island and was so impressed he whimsically re-christened it "Treasure Island" after his famous novel Treasure Island (1883) and carved his initials into a bulkhead. This took place five years after he had completed the novel. To this day, many still refer to the island as such.
The kiddo made sure to dress up like a pirate for his first visit to the island. 
The Manasquan water taxi took us there from the Brielle Yacht Club. While on the boat, we enjoyed a free drink, received pirate bandanas and listened to some fun fall music. 
Pumpkin picking on Treasure Island

Upon arriving on the island, our tour guide brought us through the woods and pointed out exciting things like sarsaparilla( what root beer is made from). At the end of the island we all congregated around the tire swing and piƱata. We talked about our halloween costumes and picked out pumpkins.

On the way back, we even went crabbing!

What a great way to spend a Fall day!  We got a free water taxi season pass too in the event we want to hit the area bars next summer.

Tip:  The boat ride wasn't sold out but it is recommended that you make a reservation.  Bring a light jacket because it gets a little windy and chilly on the water.  Also bring a little snack.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

When on vacation we get towels too

It was interesting to get towels delivered to our villa for our vacation. It's not how we deliver our items, but then again, there is only one Relax Concierge.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Vacationer tip: Bring your own lock box

After spending a week in a villa of over 20 adults, we were always left asking "who has a key?". Since the group didn't do every activity together it was sometimes hard to coordinate keys. In some cases we kept the doors unlocked.

I definitely don't recommend leaving doors unlocked. We were fortunate to not have any issues but we were lucky. 

In the future I plan to bring a lockbox to our next vacation. We will provide our  family and friends with the code so we can rest assured our belongings will be secured and everyone can come and go as they please.

Monday, October 21, 2013

We rent beach stuff too when on vacation

While visiting the beach in Positano we had to rent some beach equipment to fully enjoy ourselves. We rented 4 lounge chairs and 2 umbrellas for about 2 hours. It wound up costing 30 euro for the time but I think it was totally worth it.  Our rates are so different and you keep the items for a week!!!

We did order some pizza to go from my favorite spot, chez black,
and my sister got us some coronas (haha). It was probably the most relaxing we did during the trip.  

Baby rental items for our vacation

Prior to traveling this past week we looked into some baby rental options in positano. We were hoping to rent some items that were similar to what we rent to our guests. We brought our umbrella stroller, baby back pack and car seat.  Of the relax items, we brought the baby monitor.

 We were looking to rent a crib, play yard and a high chair but didn't find anything. I can make it work without a crib but I definitely missed the play yard and the high chair.  We had lots of folks to hold him he was on the loose a lot:)  the monitor did help me relax a bit while he was napping. 

 it was our luck that the airline messed up our bags and didn't send the car seat or the baby back pack until mid week. Ugh!  Fortunately our driver brought a car seat just in case. Thank you Giovanni! I don't know what I would have done if he didn't have one.

I spent some time researching back carriers vs strollers before our trip and thought I had it covered. Our uppa baby g-luxe umbrella stroller worked out great when not taking the stairs. That probably accounted for 50% of our time in positano. It had to be carried by someone the other 50% of the time. There was one day where I had to do the stairs (let's say 15 stair cases) alone w the baby and stroller. It wasn't impossible but it was not easy! 

We purchased the kelty 3 baby back carrier before the trip after reading lots of reviews. I never used it.  It was too much pressure on my lower back and I couldn't figure out how I'd handle the incline /decline of the
stairs w my 25lb baby on my back. It may just have been me because a lot of men didn't seem to have any issue with the back carriers. It did work out just great in the airport. The baby loved it too! The flat terrain seemed to make the difference for my back. I would have brought my baby bjorn if the kiddo wasn't too tall for it. That seemed like the way to go for most women I saw. 

If I were to do it all over again I'd probably buy the ergo baby carrier. A friend let be borrow hers after my brothers wedding reception. We had a long walk from hotel puppetto through town and then onto the bus. In all the wedding fun, someone forgot the stroller at the villa so I carried the baby down the mountain, through town and to the beautiful yet very challenging walk to the reception. The ergo baby carrier seemed to fit him well, he stayed asleep for the trek and I had my hands free.  I'd still like to see if he would enjoy it while awake but that was a huge help!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Vacation tips

We haven't taken a vacation in a very long time. We've been away this week for my brothers wedding in Italy. Her family did an amazing job booking a villa for all the guests to enjoy for the week. We are so blessed to have had the opportunity to get to know her family. 

They did so many thoughtful things at the house - in addition to planning the main event. 

We've worked with many families planning events such as weddings and reunions.  We thought you would enjoy some of these ideas:

Welcome bags- we received gorgeous personalized bags in our rooms upon our arrival. The bags included an itinerary for main events, info on the wedding couple and party, a pillow, lotion, local guide book, etc.  

Fruit and some snacks - after a weary travel day this was great to enjoy as soon as we arrived.

Room assignments- this is probably very important to know upon arrival if there is a large group and varying bed sizes.

Family dinner- Italy may be known for their food but I will always remember the dinner we had at the house on the first night. My dad cooked up some speghitti and meatballs. Delicious.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Packing ideas - Part 3

I'm starting to now believe that duct tape is definitely the answer for traveling. There is so many things you can do with it. In my case I knew traveling with a very curious one year old would be somewhat challenging and that my safety items may not fit in our luggage or may not work at the house. 

We used duct tape in the house to: 
Cover the stove knobs... They were so close to his level compared to American made stoves.
Keep drawers closed... Especially the ones below the sink and ones with glass items.
Keep doors closed. My lo loves handles. The house we are in has some big doors that could easily hurt a toe or finger.
Cover outlet. I only own us outlet protectors and don't have adapters for the protectors - ha:)
Mark our luggage. With lots of colors in stock - our teal duct tape makes it easy to identify in a sea of black bags.
A project for the lo. He loves stickers so duct tape keeps him occupied if we make a piece somewhat easy to take off.

If you have some vacating tips using duct tape we'd love to hear about them.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Packing ideas part 2

Here's one of our packing ideas when traveling with a baby...particularly a baby that likes to get into everything. 
We put his clothes in zip lock bags and organized by outfit. This way we can just pick up the bags should he get into the luggage and if e don't have a dresser with drawers above his reach. This will also help when family members want to help get him changed or when on the go

I wish I did that with my bag.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Packing for a big trip - Part 1

We are off to Italy for my brothers wedding. We are looking forward to visiting the amalfi coast and enjoying the food and wine and of couse celebrating their marriage. Our flight is a day away and oh my is there a lot to pack when traveling with a baby. I've talked with many moms this summer about their preparations and now I know first hand. 

Over the next few days I plan to share some of my travel tips with our readers and pass along a few we've received from our vacationers.

First tip: load the iPad with lots of apps and movies! I'm already on it. I just need to remember the converter for the layover in Rome. We can't run out of battery during an episode of Sesame Street. Thanks to Katie and Kelly for that great tip.

Relax And Halloween

Toga out of a bed sheet!  Pretty!
Relax is normally associated with Summer at the shore; but we have Halloween on our mind! Ghosts, togas and other costumes can all be made from simple items at home or (in our case) in inventory.  Check out our Pinterest page for ideas.
With hundreds and hundreds of sheets and towel sets in stock - we can't help to think about all the fun we can have this halloween.

I particularly love the toga idea as pictured on right. I think I would probably wear that all year round.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

From Beach To Petting Zoo

We had a great time visiting Atlantic Farms petting zoo on Monday.  We've driven by many times and have seen the goats and cows from the car but we've never stopped until now.

I have no idea why we've waited so long for a visit.  The baby and I enjoyed walking around to see the goats, sheep, ostriches,
 donkey and miniature horse.   We also got a delicious pie from the farmers market.  Next time we will take a hay ride to the pumpkin patch.

Vacationer tip:  Atlantic Farms is open for most of the year.  If its overcast and not the best beach day - go visit the petting zoo.  Whenever you decide to go, head over to Hinck's Turkey farm for a Thanksgiving-like meal afterwards.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Red bank - jersey shore?

When we moved to red bank back in 2003 we were so excited to be at the jersey shore. jersey shore? Coming from north jersey and my husband from the Cherry Hill area we definitely considered the "Rb" the shore. We were a mere 10 min from
Sea Bright without getting on the parkway! We were thrilled to be able to walk to town, the NYC train and be so close to the beach.

We still love our trips to the Rb even though we are now a bit closer to the beach.  This week we were there 3 times! We went to the galleria, nirvana to shop, broadway diner and to the count Basie for the Robert Hunter concert. We even ran into out friend, dori, who owns the Wooley Monmouth.

Vacationer tip: For those wanting the best of both beach and hip city like town - red bank is the best!  If u are visiting points north of seaside - it's a short drive. Check out the antique spots and art galleries. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Homeowner Services

Summer may have just ended but the Jersey Shore is already gearing up for the next season.  Realty offices up and down the shoreline are currently working with homeowners to set their 2014 Summer rental rates. We are here for homeowners looking to  make their home more relaxing and enjoyable for their guests!   We offer homeowner discounts for linen rentals and can provide a list of references for homeowners interested in our services.

To learn more, visit our website

Is it really October?!

The weather has been perfect this week at the Jersey Shore. We definitely enjoyed yesterday's weather so much that we promise we will not complain on a freezing cold day in January. The beach in Manasquan was pretty busy considering it was a school and work day.  We spent some time walking the beach, sitting on the beach, birthday shopping at brave new world and picking up cannolis
at joe leones! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Funny Expression

I was talking a family friend earlier today about Relax and the need for vacationers to either bring or rent linens and towels on their vacation.  He made me laugh when he suggested a new motto for us "Call Relax To Make Your Summer 2014 Reservation Or You'll Be Sheet Out Of Luck!"  I'll have to remember that one :)