If I lived at the beach in the summer, I would want to live in a little house in the middle of town. It would be close enough to the beach that I could hear the waves crashing and smell the ocean through my open window at night.
And it would be within walking distance of a sweet little bakery that wouldn’t mind me showing up in my flowery hand sewn lounge pants every morning for a cup of coffee and a crumb bun.
The house would have a little front porch with rocking chairs on it, and I would sip my coffee, read my morning blogs, and look up every few minutes to wave at the neighbors walking by.
Maybe someday. But for now, there are day trips, and the occasional overnighter.
These pictures were taken in Ocean Grove this weekend. We bought a Groupon for a two-night stay at The Majestic Hotel, which is a lovely place. Being April and all, it was too cold to open a window and listen to the ocean at night, and there was really no need to visit the bakery, as the hotel had a free breakfast, complete with coffee and quite delicious crumb buns. (Although that didn’t stop us from popping in later for a cookie.)
We did a lot of walking, as we often do when we are there. This was our first visit since Hurricane Sandy blew through, and it was somewhat eye-opening. I had known that the fishing pier was in a shambles, the little house on the end of it having been carried out to sea, but I hadn’t realized the boardwalk had taken such a beating. Most of it was gone, in fact.
Because of the fact that the boardwalk is actually owned by a private nonprofit organization, FEMA has denied the funding to replace it. On Saturday, though, the area was crawling with volunteers, there to put things back together. We watched some of the work, and even had our picture taken for inclusion in the local blog.
In addition to the volunteer effort, the local shops are all selling t-shirts to help fund the repairs. I happily forked over a few dollars to outfit the boys and myself. I also donated a little bit directly to their fund. If you’re interested in helping out, the official website is here. I found it a bit clunky to navigate, but I eventually found my way to the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’s donation page, which is the best way to go, if you’re doing it online.
There is only one commercial building on the Ocean Grove boardwalk and it is right before the entrance to Asbury Park. I don’t think we’ll be buying sunglasses or other cheap sundries here this summer… The entire back of the building got blown off. Crazy.
Back in town, all of the businesses are open. I was able to visit some of my favorites, and I finally splurged on a pair of earrings I have had my eye on since last March. I’m wearing them in this picture (not that you can see them all that well). I think they are made out of wood. They’re mini paintings of grass and sky, which are sealed by some kind of glossy coating. I chatted with Christine Rotolo, the artist (she also works at the gallery where I bought the earrings) and discovered we share a love for greens. Yellow-greens, blue-greens, yellow-greens and blue-greens together… mmmm.
I’m looking forward to our Summer day trips back to Ocean Grove. It’s close enough that we can even head down there after supper for an ice cream cone and fireworks, if we really want to. We did that once.
Someday maybe we’ll be able to afford to own a humble little cottage down the shore. Wouldn’t that be sweet?