Ahhh…what a lovely day.


After a 6 hour drive we arrived at our little cottage by the sea at 7:30 pm.


And it was as charming as can be!

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Tucked onto a narrow, four block wide strip of sand off the coast of New Jersey, our little home away from home was exactly what we were hopping it would be when we first spotted it on the Airbnb website.

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We made quick work of unloading all of our gear after a quick tour of the house. Toby was hoping we could get unpacked by 8:00, just in time to watch the Pittsburgh Penguins play in the third game of the series.


Toby and Tyler were excited to watch this game, due in large part to the fact that not having cable at home means they had to miss watching the first two games of the series.

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Everything was put away in short order and pizza was ordered for a late dinner. We spent the evening kicking back, watching the game, and reveling in the fact that we were on vacation! Woo hoo!

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The next morning we  woke up to a pancake breakfast that Rusty and Molly prepared. Grace and I packed lunches and Toby was on sunscreen duty.

With blankets, towels, lunch, water bottles, sand buckets, and kites packed we headed to the beach.

The cottage we are staying at is located in the center of this narrow peninsula. Which means we can either walk two blocks east  to swim in the ocean, or walk two blocks west to swim in the bay.

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Yesterday morning we swam in the ocean.


We are staying in the town of Lavallette, NJ and love how untouched by commercialism it is. It has more of an Outer Banks feel than a Myrtle Beach feel.

“Lavallette lies along New Jersey’s Atlantic Coast about 42 miles south of Sandy Hook and 63 miles north of Atlantic City. The quiet beach community of 1,875 shares the Barnegat Peninsula with several other beach towns, including Seaside Heights. While the latter has a somewhat frenetic amusement-park atmosphere and is home base for the “Jersey Shore” reality TV show, Lavallette is far more tranquil and laid back, but still offers plenty to do.

Lavallette’s boardwalk stretches for just over a mile along the town’s attractive beachfront. The boardwalk is well maintained and offers excellent views of the beach and the waters of the Atlantic beyond. Unlike the boardwalks in many other New Jersey shore towns, Lavallette’s is 100 percent noncommercial, so your stroll won’t be interrupted by vendors hawking saltwater taffy or touts for arcade games. Located roughly midway along the boardwalk is a shaded pavilion with seating where you can rest a while and people-watch or enjoy the natural scenery.”

We spent the day at the beach. While crowds were higher in the morning they slowly trickled away as the day wore on, temperatures dropped, and the wind picked up.

The water was chilly, which would have been ok if the air temperature was 90, but with an air temperature of 70 most of the fun happened on the shore rather than in the water.

Ozzie was the only one not too affected by the cold water.

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The big kids did brave the cold water long enough to cross the deep tidal pool so as to get to the sand bar where they could play on the soft sand and enjoy the incoming waves.


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Tyler spent most of his day collecting seashells with Toby. There are so many shells on this beach which makes it a fun place to seashell hunt.

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While searching for seashells on the edge the tidal pool Tyler discovered this critter. What a thrill to see a horseshoe crab up close.

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After a impromptu science lesson we put it back in the water and it scurried away.

Rusty spent an hour or two in the afternoon building a sandcastle. And while this beach is great for collecting shells it isn’t as good for sandcastles, due to all the shells found in the sand. So building a sandcastle requires a lot of effort. Rusty carried in buckets of softer sand and water from the edges of the beach to create this castle.

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It was a perfectly relaxing, soul searching, heart healing, day at the beach.

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