Sunday, July 18, 2010

NJ Shore Points Trip - Part 3

At this point of our NJ shore excursion, we were relaxing in the shade of the pavilion and umbrella-covered picnic tables. My mom, grandmother, aunt, cousins and I had cooled down from the boardwalk stroll in the hot sun. For a few hours we just talked and enjoyed our view of the ocean, maybe 100 yards between us and the waves.

I had hoped to get some photos of people surfing, but I'm not sure if that particular beach area was for hangin' 10. The boyfriend of one cousin said that the surfing is more in other spots along the NJ shore. So there were mostly some people on boogie boards and just generally keeping cool in the water while plenty of others relaxed on the sand.

What I like in the way of water sports is boating, although I have only rarely been out on boats in my life. I inherited the family interest, especially on my mom's side, in all things maritime - marinas, lighthouses and a variety of ocean-going vessels. So as I sat in the shade, I snapped photos of boats sailing along the shore and somewhat wishing to be out on one. Well, maybe sometime I'll go on one of those boat excursions for a sailor's view of lighthouses in NJ, DE or MD.

Gazing out to the horizon, I saw a large white ship but it was very faint due to all the humidity that day. This was the first glimpse, just to show how faint it looked from our view on the pavilion.

I thought it was a cruise ship at first as it came into better view, but it didn't have the numerous decks going up from the main deck. Below are the much improved views we eventually had of the distant ship.

This last photo of the ship is the closest zoom-in that my camera would allow. I think with just a little bit more, if not double, the zooming power would have revealed what name was on the side of the ship. Well, it was an interesting thing to see since it isn't every day we see such a large ship like that.

A while later, we decided to head back to the car and it was a much cooler walk this time around on the boardwalk. It was so much easier to enjoy the scenes in the cool breeze of the late afternoon. We watched some sea birds resting out on rocky jetties, and even two people trying to surf the waves. I never saw anyone actually get up on their surfboards, but it wasn't a good view to get photos of them either. They were far past the area where we had parked by an entrance to the boardwalk. So surfing photos will be on another trip to the NJ shore, but it was overall an enjoyable trip.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NJ Shore Points Trip - Part 2

Continuing on from my last post, we began walking along the boardwalk at Spring Lake towards a structure off in the distance. The boardwalk here was not wide like that of Atlantic City, and was lined with benches. It was a pretty hot day, so we took short breaks along the way and noticed that each bench had a dedication on it, honoring someone who had passed away.

While walking further on toward the structure ahead, I stopped a few times to capture some of these beach scenes below.

Such scenes make me want to visit the California coast someday as well...I always have wanted to go there. The scenes of boats and the ocean, however, weren't the only attraction for us at Spring Lake. There were so many beautiful beach houses just across the street from the boardwalk. We could only imagine what it would be like to have an ocean view from one of those beach houses. My grandmother even loved some of the pretty wooden fences enclosing the yards in Spring Lake. I loved the columns, balconies and fancy wrought iron details that gave the beach houses a classic look.

When we were just a few yards away from the structure, a pavilion as it turned out, we passed a bunch of colorful beach bikes secured at a bike rack. So many people were seen riding around this scenic beach town on bikes resembling these.

After the bikes, I noticed some maritime detail decorating the wall just out from under the shade of the pavilion. Coming from a family that loves maritime history, I stopped to take these two photos.

I also saw this "Hands Across the Sand" flier hanging up on the wall, since the event had taken place earlier that day. It was interesting that the flier, at least this one, was posted next to the wall detail of sea birds. I felt that it was another way in which someone was raising awareness of the wildlife affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Inside the pavilion, there was a little shop to buy snacks, water and souvenirs...and we were so glad to see that! We bought huge bottles of cold water and two of us had frozen fruit bars to cool down with in the shade. There was a little sitting area with round picnic tables covered by umbrellas, so we sat at one table and just took in the ocean view.

There is still a lot more to our NJ shore trip, so I will stop here for now. To be continued...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

NJ Shore Points Trip - Part 1

On June 26th, we set out on the delayed family trip to Point Pleasant with the only drawback that day being the heat. It was my mom and I, plus my grandmother (who loves going to see the ocean) heading up to Lakewood. There, we picked up one cousin and unexpectedly, my aunt decided to go as well. Before we left their house, other shore points were suggested to avoid the possibly more crowded Point Pleasant.

The five of us left the house and while not sure yet where we'd end up, we decided to grab lunch at a nearby Cheeburger Cheeburger. Another cousin, the youngest of my cousins in this part of NJ was working there in the cool 50's themed diner. As we walked in, the first thing I saw was this cardboard likeness of film legend James Dean.

Lunch was, service, atmosphere. With my burger, I had a sugar-free raspberry Shake-a-Soda which was served in a style that reflected the diner's theme.

After lunch, we were on our way again to pick up one more cousin from the area and it was decided that we'd go to Manasquan. Once there, it turned out to be a bit crowded and we were unable to find a place to park. It seems like a nice beach area to visit another time, and it was an area of NJ that we hadn't seen before...the first of many that day. Here are some photos I took there as we attempted to look for a place to park.

This old structure looks like it has some stories to tell, with how weather-worn it appears. I didn't catch a glimpse of any signs indicating what the structure is, but very interesting.

With no parking spaces to be found, we continued on our way again to see how things would be at Spring Lake. In Spring Lake Heights we spotted an Irish pub and decided to stop there for a few moments, so I took these photos.

I found out later online that Spring Lake has a very large population of people who are of Irish descent. Irish is what makes up the majority of my ancestry, so it was interesting to find out about the town's Irish connection.

The next time on the road, we were heading to the shore point of Spring Lake and we saw so many beautiful beach houses before parking the car. Some were across a lake that was being occupied by a large flock of swans. The best photo I managed to take of a swan was of one with its head underwater for a moment.

I'm going to leave off here for now, since there are still a lot of photos I want to post with the stories behind them. The trip so far was already interesting what with seeing so many things and being in places for the first time. To be continued...