Yesterday, I took a trip down to Long Beach, NY, a town that holds a lot of memories for me. Growing up on the South Shore of Long Island in Oceanside, summer beach days in Long Beach were a weekly occurrence. The oceanfront town was just a short drive from our home and provided hours of endless entertainment.
As a kid, I remember being terrified of the waves and was often mesmerized by the surfers tackling them. I learned how to dive under the waves and boogie board down in Long Beach, and I eventually became a stronger swimmer due to all the time I spent in the ocean there. After a long day at the beach, we would stop at Marvel, a local ice cream shop that served up some of the best soft serve in the area (and is still there and a local favorite).
Close to twenty years later, I stood on that same beach and watched as kids played in the surf or made sand castles, lifeguards jumped down from their chairs atop a sand mound to blow their whistles at swimmers who got too close to the rocks, and I looked on as the waves seemed to get larger and larger as the day progressed.
While my beach days now are often spent on the North Shore, and I’ve traded the hot sand for rockier shores and waves for the calmness of bay water, I still get as excited as I used to when I was a kid to head to the beach….and most of my current beach excursions still end with ice cream (although at Herrell’s now).
Visiting Long Beach through adult eyes made the idea of a summer beach day seem almost new again—which is exactly what I needed this summer.