Have you ever had that one place that whenever you’re not there you wish you were? No other place in the world compares, and sometimes when you’re having a rough day you find yourself daydreaming of your favorite place -- maybe even becoming a bit emotional. I’m lucky enough to have that place, and that place is Lavallette, N.J.
If you are also lucky enough to have a home in Lavallette, or somewhere on the Jersey Shore, you most likely know the following feelings well.
The feeling of waking up to the sound of seagulls, and ringing bike bells, as the ocean breeze blows through your window, sending a rush of glowing energy through your body. As you crawl out of your tiny bed in your tiny beach bungalow you realize that size does not matter and that, although so small, everything about this place is so perfect. The mixed smell of coffee, bacon, and sunscreen transports you back to many summer mornings.The happiest of moments were as simple as your mom or dad waking up at the crack of dawn to get the first batch of freshly made donuts and bagels from the donut or bagel shop down the street.
The feeling of throwing on the first bathing suit in your drawer (and maybe a T-shirt), and jetting up to the beach on your bike -- so excited to check the conditions of the ocean, your butt doesn’t touch your bike seat once. You turn the bend and slowly bring your bike to a stop at the end of the boardwalk that leads onto the beach. The rising sun gleaming. High tide: 10:42 a.m. Low tide: 4:25 p.m. Temp. 71.
As the morning slowly turns into the early evening, the beach empties and the sense of calm grows. Runs along Bay Boulevard, or the Lavallette boards, become something I crave, leaving me feelings strong and at peace. An orange and cream swirl on a cone from Kohr's on a comfortable warm summer night. Curling up on the couch with a book or a puzzle on a rainy day. The sound of fireworks and the smell of burgers and hot dogs on the grill. I could go on and on...Although simple, these are some of my favorite and most cherished moments of life.
I am lucky enough to call the beach my home for the months of the year when I'm not at school. Even if you can’t, it is important to remember to value the little blessings of life.
Lavallette, you are my home, my happy place, my sense of calm among anxious thoughts. Lavallette, I love you.