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…

2016-03-17-012016-03-17-022016-03-17-032016-03-17-052016-03-17-062016-03-17-082016-03-17-092016-03-17-112016-03-17-122016-03-17-13

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!

Advertisements

Pura Vida in Pictures

 

20160130_172633Our Girls Getaway to Costa Rica was a complete success!  Perfect weather, an incredibly relaxed resort & the discovery of “Pura Vida” – the simple life at it’s best.

We really enjoyed the Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa, as it was a change from our usual “stock” all-inclusives.  The intimate atmosphere made everything so accessible… just a few steps from the pool, to the restaurant to the beach.  The service was excellent & the staff was friendly & knowledgeable, offering helpful advice on what to see & do.  We loved the open-air feel of the resort & enjoyed all of our meals & drinks outside in the beautiful, tropical setting.

For a full review of this resort, check out my latest article on Trip101.com:  “Discover Pura Vida at Costa Rica’s Flamingo Beach Resort”

But for the “Photostory” – just keep scrolling 🙂

I’m starting with my favorite thing to do on vacation…  Morning coffee on the balcony. Here it came with a great view & a strong Costa Rican brew.

Here’s our actual room from the inside & out.  Basic accommodations, but with everything we needed.  And our 2nd floor “Poolview” room was a winner as we could see both the pool AND the ocean – jackpot!

I loved heading over to the beach early in the morning and enjoying this long, beautiful stretch all to myself.  And I mean EARLY as the symphony of tropical birds had me up every day by 6am!20160130_0618302016-01-30 06.44.57

The sun rose from behind the resort, so the ocean lit up before the sand… so pretty to watch!

This the main Arenas Restaurant, with air-conditioned seating inside and this awesome screened-in patio outside, looking over at the beach.  Drinks & dinner were also available upstairs at the open-air, Sunset Lounge.
MainRestaurant

We did make a few friends during our stay…  this guy crawled right up onto my chair to say hello one afternoon!PhotoGrid_1454433100894

Here are a few more shots from around the resort… As you can see, it’s all about the water.  The covered pool is for the kids – such a great idea!

We did venture out and took a Sunset Catamaran Cruise on the 47′ “Panache” – a beautiful boat, manned by a super fun crew.  We stopped to snorkel, had some snacks, enjoyed the complimentary cocktails and ended with an amazing sunset…

Speaking of sunsets… staying on the Pacific side of Costa Rica guarantees some breathtaking views every night.  These were taken as we walked down the beach to “Coco Loco” – a restaurant/bar that sits right on the sand.

Costa Rica is famous for its surf… Unfortunately the only wave I “caught” was this one, just as the sun was setting.

This really was a perfect destination… totally relaxing, friendly people and a great place to reconnect a little with nature.  The “Pura Vida” lifestyle certainly is amazing!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Last but not least… for the Foodies:  Two delicious ceviches, fresh fish tacos (at the airport of all places) and my favorite cocktail – The Green Monster!  Cheers!!!

 

Why You Should be Jealous of Seagulls

IMG_20150918_094351

I know… they’re dirty, disgusting scavengers.  They look their best from far away, as a silhouette in the sky.  But you know what?  I think they may just be on to something…

  • Seagulls spend every day at the beach, hanging out with their friends.
  • They get to swim, relax in the sun & blissfully stare out at the sea.
  • They can go to any beach, any time, any where.  Or even multiple beaches in the same day without having to set up, pack up or pay.
  • They have unlimited access to an all-u-can-eat, fresh seafood buffet.  For a change of pace, they can dip into any number of unattended snacks on the beach.
  • And they can fly.  I don’t know about you, but being able to soar through the sky and easily travel from place to place would be my dream come true.

So the next time one of these squawking birds walks over to your towel and tries to steal a piece of your sandwich, give him a little credit… he’s managed to take “beach life” to a whole new level!

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.

20150905_180226-1

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!