...had a wonderful time at the Jersey Shore! A good friend of mine has a beach house on Long Beach Island (LBI), NJ, so we headed up there for a few days of respite. It was a much needed break from the busy which has been work, and served as a wonderful prelude to my actual vacation which begins in just a few days! We both took off Friday afternoon, me taking the MARC train up to Baltimore where we would meet up and drive to LBI. LBI is a skinny island, but about 18 miles long. Friend's house is in the Barnegat Light area--the northern end of the island--and the house backs up to a lagoon. After exceptionally refreshing margaritas on the dock, we were off to dinner and what else does one eat so close to the ocean but seafood?!
We walked over to a quaint little shopping/food/boating area called Viking Village and ordered take out at Off the Hook. Now, I'm a fresh water girl myself, and haven't eaten much seafood outside of shrimp and the occasional crab cake in the past six years I've lived in the Mid-Atlantic. That being said, the broiled seafood platter (crab-stuffed flounder, scallops, shrimp, and clams casino) was absolutely delicious. Everything seemed to be fresh and cooked/flavored just right. The clams casino were my favorite, but I truly believe that bacon does make everything better. After all of that scrumptious food, it was time to explore the beach!
We decided to walk over to the ocean, and from there walked all the way around the northern most tip of LBI, to Barnegat Lighthouse. It was a pretty long walk, but a beautiful night--we waded into the ocean, were amazed by the stars, and mused where the various planes were headed as they set out on their transatlantic flights. It was a simply delightful evening with great food, perfect weather, and exceptional company.
On Saturday, we both slept in and awoke to find ominous clouds which would produce quite a bit of rain. It was necessary, although somewhat disappointing, we remembered that on our walk we had seen a movie rental place. Set up in the garage of a private residence, Ives Five Seasons rents and repairs bicycles for sunny days, and rents DVDs for the dreary ones. We picked up a couple of movies and went back to the house, broke out the potato chips and dip, and settled in for an afternoon of lounging. So nice! The weather eventually cleared up in the evening, and we went to a local family restaurant called Scojo's. Entrees were enough to feed two people easily, and it was pretty good home style grub.
Sunday was another day for sleeping in, and then we were off to lunch...by boat! Some friends of my friend picked us up at her dock, and we weaved our way out of the lagoon, through the bay, and into the ocean! This was my first time actually on the ocean and although I thought it was incredibly choppy, I was a little proud of myself for not getting seasick. The last time I had been bumped around like that was on an awful commercial flight which included what the pilot called "evasive maneuvers", which has led to some minor anxiety during air travel. Since I can swim, I figured there were worse things than being knocked out of a boat, so I was able to enjoy the trip up to Martell's. Martell's is a unique restaurant as you can actually pull up in your boat, secure it to one of their mooring balls, and then a water taxi (pontoon boat) picks you up and takes you to the waterside restaurant! We dined outside where the food wasn't anything special, but the atmosphere was casual and relaxed. A very enjoyable afternoon with good company!
After we made our way back to the beach house, it was time to pack and close things up. I would have loved to stay a week, until my proper vacation started, but we were both back to work Monday morning. However, it was a much needed weekend with a great friend, new adventures, and a lot of fun.
Soon enough it will be onto the next adventure--home to Michigan! If there's time, I'll blog from there a bit. In the meantime, hope you're having a blessed week!