Let’s Talk with Nancy J Cohen

Playing at the Beach
by Nancy J Cohen

IMG_2091The Hollywood Beach Broadwalk is always crowded with tourists and locals alike, who enjoy the sidewalk cafés along with the sunshine. Exercisers whiz by via jogging, cycling or walking activities, while sunbathers stake an umbrella in the sand.

This visit brought back memories of childhood summers in New Jersey. Once a year, we’d make an excursion to Bradley Beach. This had a real Boardwalk, made out of wooden boards. First we’d head into a series of locker rooms to change into our swimwear and then head onto the beach to claim a spot on the sand. If we wanted to venture into the water, ropes strung overhead were there to help steady us in the rough surf. The ocean was anything but calm in those northern parts.

IMG_2094After a full day of sun and sand, we’d shower and dress before driving to Asbury Park. Here my brother and I liked to zip around on the bumper cars. We walked along in the evening on the Boardwalk, ending up at the same seafood restaurant as in previous years. I loved to eat there. The whole day was a treat that I remember with fond thoughts.

What do you remember from childhood trips to the beach? Or if inland, did you frequent a particular lake? Is it someplace you’d want to revisit now? As for me, I’d rather go to Florida’s Gulf Coast and sit in the calm ocean with warm bathtub-temperature water.

Name your favorite beach getaway for a chance to win an ebook copy of Hair Raiser, where hairstylist Marla Shore helps her cousin with a fund-raiser to benefit an ocean preservation society.

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  1. I grew up in St. Croix USVI where some of the most beautiful beaches are. I still travel to the BVIs now

  2. I love the beaches on the Oregon coast, especially Newport and Canon Beach. They’re beautiful and dangerous at the same time, which is what I love about them.

  3. Key west beaches are so beautiful as the sun is going down

  4. I love just walking on any of the beaches of Cape Cod.

  5. As a young adult we always went to Ocean City, New Jersey.
    When my sons were young we use to camp on the Assateague
    Island beach area.
    But my favorite place was when we went to Key West. Perfect
    color sand and bathtub water. Love it!!

  6. The Outer Banks in North Carolina is my favorite beach vacation. The ocean and historical sites – I don’t think a better combination exists.

  7. I live in a town on top of a River so if we left to go to the Beach we always went to Florida. But because of that my Sister always preferred the Mountains. Me…I still love the Ocean. Thank you for having an ebook contest I love them.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  8. I lived for four years in the 1980’s in Santa Cruz, CA…and loved every minute of it. The scenery, the weather, the laid-back lifestyle, all of it was absolutely wonderful. I wish I’d never left. Every once in awhile I visit … and still love it. Thanks for the question and post. jdh2690@gmail.com

  9. mary irvine says

    we live out in the country, my fav beach would be mrytle beach i havent been to the beach since i was very young but i would love to go though!

  10. Harriet Ottenheimer says

    My childhood summer beach community was Cherry Grove, in Fire Island. Such a narrow island that we could easily walk from the ocean side to the bay side. We played in the ocean waves, and we dug for clams on the bay side. I love beaches and am delighted to now be living in Hollywood FL on the beach.

  11. I was going to the beach “in utero” as it was my mom’s favorite place to be. We vacationed in Newport Beach, California for many summers, and I lived withing walking distance of the ocean in our first ‘married’ apartment. Then we moved to Miami where it was too hot and sticky and buggy, and the ocean felt like bath water, so we rarely went. From Orlando, it was an hour’s drive to the coast, and the weather could changed in a heartbeat, so we stopping beaching altogether. Now I live in the mountains, and love it!

    • Bath water ocean is the only temperature for me! Ditto for our pool. I would miss the seaside if I lived inland, but everyone has their own affinity. You’re clearly a mountain gal.

  12. I’m actually a mountain girl — the only beaches I like are deserted, cool, and dark. Though I adored my time in Negril on my honeymoon, my fav beach is North Beach at Tybee Island in Savannah, during the winter or a cool spring/fall night, under a full moon.

    • It seems like most people prefer desert, mountain, or seaside vistas. I’ve never been to Tybee Island. But then again, I like the tropics and a wide, sandy beach with the sun overhead.

  13. maggietoussaint says

    I remember that feeling of soaring as we rode on a shrimpboat out to the nearest barrier island. All the kids climbed up on the pilot house. We’d often tell silly elephant jokes and watch for turtles, dolphins, and the like. It was an all-day affair, with the entire extended family along for the adventure. When we arrived, we took turns getting in a small boat of supplies going to the deserted beach. What fun!

  14. I didn’t see a “real” beach (defined as coastal) until I was in my 30’s. We had Lake Michigan in Chicago, but we lived in the heartland, the Midwest, and our trips consisted of visits to the family farm. While I appreciate those walks on the beach, I’m happier hiking a trail through the hills or mountains

  15. jmjackson054 says

    I grew up across the street from Lake Ontario, so a long way from the ocean. While working in New Jersey, one of my favorite things was to drive down to Island Beach State Park very early in the morning with my bicycle strapped on the car and park far down the beach in the small lots that allowed may 10-15 cars.

    Then I’d peddle back to town for breakfast, peddle back as the sun was warming things up, and leave early afternoon before I burned to a crisp and to avoid all the traffic.

    • This sounds like fun. I grew up in NJ but haven’t heard of that state park. We used to go to Bradley Beach.

      • jmjackson054 says

        It’s a barrier island. Take the bridge from Tom’s River to Seaside Heights and head south. Great birding during migration, as well.