It’s summertime in Stoneybrook and most of the baby-sitters are taking off on vacations! Dawn is headed to California to visit her dad and her brother Jeff; Claudia and her family are going to Vermont on their annual cabin trip; Mary Anne and Stacey are accompanying the Pike family (including Mallory) to Sea City again to be mother’s helpers. Kristy and Jessi’s families don’t have vacation plans, so they’ll be handling all of the BSC’s sitting jobs for two weeks – yikes.
Mary Anne and Stacey make it to Sea City with the Pikes after a loooong car ride during which Vanessa constantly rhymes, the triplets torment Nicky, and Claire gets lost when they stop for ice cream. But all’s well that ends well, because they arrive in the beach town ready for a fabulous two weeks. Mary Anne and Stacey reminisce about the last time they were in Sea City, when Stacey had a huge crush on Scott the older lifeguard and had her heart broken (don’t worry, she can laugh about it now), but then got her first kiss from Toby in the Tunnel of Luv, and Mary Anne and Alex (the boy mother’s helper for another family) exchanged engraved rings. Of course, Mary Anne has Logan now, so she’s not looking to rekindle anything with Alex (if he’s even there).
Mary Anne takes Mallory, Vanessa, Margo, and Claire into town and they end up at the Ice-Cream Palace, where everything turns into a disaster. Claire spills her chocolate soda all over herself. Vanessa gets a crush on Chris (the twelve-year-old waiting on them) and then cries when he has a whipped cream mishap while trying to give Mallory extra whipped cream. Mallory and Chris have a little bit of chemistry (really?) and the whole thing is awkward and Mary Anne is mortified.
Another day on the beach, Mary Anne and Stacey are surprised to run into Alex and Toby (who are still lookin’ good), who are working as mother’s helpers for the whole month. The four of them spend the afternoon with all the kids they’re sitting for, building a huge sand castle. Stacey and Toby fall right back into their flirty thing (natch, Stacey’s the queen) and Mary Anne and Alex have a good time too. Mary Anne is excited about the prospect of spending more time with Alex, but feels conflicted when she thinks of Logan. Stacey’s like, “what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him!” but Mallory’s looking at Mary Anne like Mary Anne just slept with Alex under the lifeguard stand or something.
Mary Anne and Stacey get into a little tiff because they both scheduled dates for the same night – without checking with each other. (The Pikes asked that they take their nights off separately this year.) Stacey is planning a romantic night out with Toby and Mary Anne is supposed to hang out with Alex. They’re both upset at the other, but Stacey wins – she gets to go on her date. Mary Anne has to hang out with Vanessa and read all the cheesy love poems Vanessa’s written for Chris the ice cream scooper, which she wants to leave for him as Secret Admirer notes.
The next night Mary Anne goes out to dinner with Alex and then they wander around the boardwalk, where he wins her a big stuffed hippo (her choice, not his). Mary Anne has a great time and wants to see Alex again, but she feels guilty about Logan. (AS SHE SHOULD! Remember how she basically had a nervous breakdown at Leicester Lodge picturing Logan talking to bikini babes in Aruba? And now she does this!) The next day Mary Anne takes Vanessa, Margo, and Claire into town and back to the Ice-Cream Parlor, where she finds out Vanessa has actually been leaving her anonymous love notes for Chris. The problem? Chris thinks they’re from Mallory, and tells Vanessa to tell Mal that he can go out with her on Saturday night. Vanessa is crushed.
Stacey is crushed, too, when she gets dumped by Toby. He wants to be able to go home and date other people and not be tied down (um, duh, you’re 13 and you’ve spent less than a month in each other’s company ever). Meanwhile, Mary Anne has another date with Alex, and this time it doesn’t go so swimmingly. Things are super awkward and they have nothing to talk about and then Mary Anne lets it slip that she has a boyfriend back home. Turns out Alex has a girlfriend too! From that point on, they can both relax and have fun and decide to be FRIENDS FOREVAAARRRR. Stacey and Mary Anne make up (again… they can’t seem to go to Sea City without fighting) and Vanessa writes Chris one final poem, without revealing that Mal was never his Secret Admirer; she lets him know that she can’t go out with him on Saturday (the Pikes’ll be gone by then) but that she’ll always think of him. Awww.