Ah, summer…..that time of year when everyone heads for the outside, and a person can never get enough sunshine. I’m sure everyone knows by this point in my blogs that I love this time of year. I have never-ever liked the cold. No matter how warm I dress, I always fear it will never be enough. I require the higher temperatures, waves whooshing against the shoreline, seagulls calling and standing on one leg in the sand, the familiar aroma of suntan lotion, and my footprints lingering, yet to be washed away by the next approaching tide, right next to the sandpipers’. The sun leaning in the sky, sending the bodies rushing toward the ocean as one replaces perspiration with that thin layer of salt. And lastly, let’s not forget the sound of the local band doing its version of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville as it’s carried in and out on the breeze from the beach bar.
Growing up in New York, we of course visited Heckscher State Park in East Islip, Long Island, where a family could picnic in the morning – have the sausage and eggs camper style over the pit, play baseball, and then, round the corner in the afternoon for the beach or vice versa – and Jones Beach in Nassau County, but my most visited strip of sand had to be Rockaway Beach in Queens, the borough in which I lived. That beach also had an amusement park; I can’t count the amount of money spent in that place. Of course, Coney Island also made the list, but that I visited mostly as a child when we lived in Brooklyn. Oh…..the Original Nathan’s hot dogs, and a ride called “The World,” not together of course. But, let me slow down, that’s a whole other topic for another day.
After marrying and moving to New Jersey, I became land locked for a bit. The Northern New Jersey area in which I lived happened to be two or more hours from the shore, and I’m going to say…….my “doting husband,” had a problem with my driving so far alone. I did get there, just not as much as I would have liked. But, then, we moved to Central New Jersey, and whoo-hoo, thirty minutes from Point Pleasant Beach. I could drive that with my eyes closed, and never have to hit the Garden State Parkway with the crazies. Needless to say, I have quite a few fond memories of this place. Along the Jersey Shore I have visited Mantoloking, Seaside Heights, and Island Beach State Park, to name a few; everyone always asked why I never went to Wildwood – my only answer – I always get pulled back to Pt. Pleasant. I could even call it my third home – Nassau, Bahamas, being my second. That loving husband always makes fun of me by saying, my ancestors had to be from the coastal part of the Motherland since, I love the water so much. He’s such a jokester.
I think my favorite spot at Point Pleasant had to be by the jetty on the northern end of the beach, straight out from Jenkinson’s (comparable to Rudy’s on the Inlet in Virginia Beach). Be it blanket, chaise lounge or both; weekends, weekdays – book, no book – just communing with nature and allowing the ocean to do a work in me, that would carry me until my return. And, granted, we do live close to the shore again – it’s not the same as home. There are nice restaurants here at the ocean, but on inlets, and the ocean is nowhere in sight. Find me a place where the dining room sits beach side (not a lake or river) and they have to flash the lights for me to leave. My father used to say, it takes all kinds to make a world, and I say isn’t it funny how we’re all different? What does it for you, spring, summer, fall, winter; mountains, ocean, lake, river or green pastures?
Image Broadway & Boardwalk courtesy of Google Earth
Pictures courtesy of iStockphoto