A long weekend in October that just happened to coincide with my birthday – wonderful timing for a trip to the ocean! Earlier in the week I got the bill from the Marina for hauling the boat so it appeared that an added benefit would include being able to cover the boat with the help of my wife… what more could a guy ask for?? We arrived at Ocean Grove a little after 8 pm on Friday evening. After checking in to our Bed and Breakfast, we walked to the beach. It was rather windy, and apparent, even in the dark, that the surf was rough. We enjoyed a stroll on the sand up to the north end and then ventured a little way into Asbury Park. It was pretty quiet except for one venue in Asbury Park that appeared to be a hang-out spot for the younger crowd. Back to the B&B for a cup of tea and some reading before turning in for the evening.
Saturday morning we enjoyed a cup of tea on the porch before joining a young couple for breakfast. They happened to hail from an area in the Poconos, not too distant from our home. After a lovely conversation with them, we headed into town where a fall festival was taking shape. Janet found a nice pair of earrings which made a great birthday present… wait a minute.. it is my birthday weekend! Well, every guy understands that true joy stems from a happy wife 🙂 and the earrings look great! There were lots of nice items at the fair, but nothing that we absolutely had to have. However, a little girl’s dress that was 60% off at the April Cornell store caught our eyes.. it is so much fun to shop for little girls, but my little girl is now 26, and my youngest step daughter is 16… what about the grandchildren that we don’t yet have.. surely there will be a grand daughter at some point….. how silly to plan that far ahead.. we moved on. ( but, in a weak moment.. we returned and picked it up – I told Janet that I would build her a hope chest where we could store things like this!)
Early in the afternoon, we decided to make the 40 min trip to the boat to complete the task of covering it so that we could get back to Ocean Grove in time for an early dinner. Upon arriving at the marina, it soon became apparent that I had made the erroneous assumption that getting the bill for hauling the boat meant that the boat was, indeed, on land. Nope- there she sat in her slip 😦 We made the best of the situation, removing the sails, the engine, and other items for storage at home. It looks like one more trip to Jersey this fall!
By the time we returned to Ocean Grove, the festival was winding down.. no more butternut squash soup – bummer, but we enjoyed pizza and then bought an ice cream cone at Nagle’s, along with a cup of tea and headed to the boardwalk. The wind had increased, and the ocean was really whipped up. Later I found that it was blowing 25-30. The picture above was taken at what used to be the fishing pier prior to Hurricane Sandy last fall. There were no boats on the ocean, and even the surfers seemed to have the good sense to stay out of the water. We lasted about 10 minutes on the boardwalk before surrendering and returning to the B and B where we sat and read in the living room. We greeted a number of couples who came in, but one couple, Bonnie and Mike, stuck around and chatted for a while before we all called it an early evening.
We enjoyed breakfast with Bonnie and Mike this morning and then continued our conversation on the front porch – invited them to attend the Apple Festival at the orchard next weekend. The wind was still steady and strong this morning – bad news for the couple that was planning on being married on the beach later in the day. A visit to the bakery – a sweet and another cup of tea to take with us on one last trip to the boardwalk… it turned out that it was still too windy to really enjoy sitting there.
So we decided to walk in town, along side streets where we could enjoy the Victorian architecture for which the town is known. Before heading home, we opted to have lunch at Starving Artists at Day’s.. this happened to be a spot that I took Janet to on our first real date years ago.. We were fortunate to be able to sit outside this afternoon – what a nice way to bring the weekend to a close.. except, there is more.. but we will address that in the next entry!