The Calm Before the Storm…

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In a few short weeks, the crowds will arrive and the summer season will officially begin at the Jersey Shore. I love living here, but I have to admit, I’m not ready to give up my empty beaches and boardwalk quite yet!

We’ve had a few mild mornings and I’ve been trying to take full advantage… enjoying long walks, bike rides, collecting shells, taking pictures and mostly just relishing in the solitude. Nothing quite compares to having that empty stretch of sand all to yourself where you can stroll, explore, & search for treasures while listening to the soothing sound of the surf and digging your toes in the sand. It’s the most peaceful and calming time for me… and always so hard to leave!

The locals know how precious this time is, and how beautiful this time of year here can be. ¬†Everyone’s seen the crowds and heard the horror stories of wall to wall people spread across the sand, and bodies bumping into each other in the water, so I wanted to share a handful of my morning pics, and even a little poem… lol… to give a glimpse of life here in the “off-season” ūüėČ ¬†Enjoy!!!

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An Ocean Grove Sunrise for St Patrick’s Day

I’ve been lucky enough to live a few blocks from the beach for over 20 years now, but somehow, I’ve never made it down to watch the sunrise… until this morning. ¬†Thanks to the time change & an inability to sleep lately, this was my view this morning…

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So amazing! ¬†You can bet I’ll be making an effort to get down here on a regular basis in the months to come… and I recommend that everyone makes this happen at least once or twice!

September Summer :)

For those of us who are lucky enough to live at the Jersey Shore year round, we know that September is one of the best months of the year here.  The weather is still warm enough to enjoy the beach during the day and cool enough to sleep with the windows open at night.  We fall back into our routines without having to deal with crowds, traffic or tourists.

IMG_20150905_160925This time of year you can visit the beach for free,
and without the fear of being impaled by hundreds
of poorly planted umbrellas. There aren’t any crazy tents or people painted white with sunscreen. ¬†No one will be walking across your towel,¬†feeding the seagulls right next to you or¬†setting up shop so close that you can actually hold hands.¬†¬†When you live here, beach etiquette is an unwritten rule that everyone knows how to follow.

Walking on the boardwalk or strolling around town is also more pleasurable now… you’re not sweating, or dodging in and out of crowds. No one is stopping suddenly, trying to figure out where they’re going or blocking the middle of the sidewalk while they wait for their party to catch up. ¬†There aren’t any crazy lines for ice cream or for dinner. ¬†You can eat anywhere, with little or no waiting, and park wherever you’d like.

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Tourism certainly helps¬†fuel our economy so we really can’t knock this crazy influx of people during the summer months. However,¬†once Labor Day has passed, it’s hard not to celebrate the return of our peaceful little paradise!

Sadly, the forecast looks rainy for the next few days but there will still be plenty of time to get out there and enjoy this magical month at the Jersey Shore!

Running the Boards

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This post isn’t necessarily a “trip” but it does give a little “taste” of what I’m lucky enough to see every time I head out my front door for a run. ūüôā

I started running about a year and a half ago… I’m not fast, I don’t run very far, and I don’t really enjoy the process. ¬†However, it’s where I run, that makes it all worth while. ¬†From my home in Ocean Grove, I can head north to Asbury Park or run the same distance heading south, through Bradley Beach & Avon by the Sea. All 4 of these towns offer something a little different, but what they have in common is a gorgeous, uninterrupted stretch of boardwalk along the Atlantic Ocean.

This time of year is the best… perfect temperatures, empty beaches and photo opps galore. ¬†I try not to stop WHILE I’m running, but sometimes, something just catches my eye and I have to pause & grab it. ¬†At the end of my run, I usually wander down to the water’s edge as a little “reward” for completing the dreaded task. There’s nothing better than the sound of the waves, the cool breeze & a feeling of accomplishment to start the day. ¬†Here’s a little glimpse from the past couple of weeks… Enjoy!

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Snow Day

My own “home beach” in Ocean Grove looked gorgeous this afternoon once the snow finally stopped and the sun came out. ¬†The cold was invigorating… although not quite enough to join the brave soul I saw paddle boarding through the icy surf!IMG_20150217_231232