Back To My Happy Place:

lbi

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I grew up summering on Long Beach Island, specifically, Beach Haven, for most of my younger life.  I would go down once school ended in June and would depart the Island right before school started the following year.  I never desired to go to sleepaway camp (although Colette will be going), but instead have only the fondest memories of my Summers “down the shore”.  Of course as I got older, worked, got married, had a baby, life got in the way and the amount of times I have gone to LBI in the past few years is pitiful (I can count on one hand).  This Summer I decided to take Colette down there with my Mom and have a few days of relaxed bliss while she took it all in.  For those of you who have never been, you must.  There’s so much to do with the kids, and some of the yummiest/beachiest restaurants.  Not to mention, some of the most gorgeous beaches around.  I’ve been asked for recommendations from friends and readers in the not-so-distant past, so I figured I’d compile a list of my personal favorites from the Island.

– Fantasy Island:  This is a fabulous amusement park for kids.  Colette insisted on riding the carousel three times, followed by a boat and train ride.  Of course the night ended with ice cream.  This was actually the best soft vanilla ice cream I have ever tried- two enthusiastic thumbs up.

– Panzones:  This casual Italian place has everything and anything you’d ever want.  It’s basic, easy food.  I used to always get chicken cheese steaks down the shore, so we brought these in for dinner.  DELISH.  I’m actually going to replicate them tonight (post to come!).

– Holiday Snack Bar:  You haven’t had cake until you’ve eaten cake from Holiday.  This no frills “restaurant” is nothing more than a big wooden bar with some stools, cakes and pies kept under plastic casing and a limited menu from burgers to pizza grilled cheese.  The chocolate cake with marshmallow icing is out of this world.  We’ve been known to have my parents bring back individual slices and travel with them for hours just for a taste.

– Bike Lanes:  I really took advantage of these.  Living in Westchester now there are very limited places to walk; nonetheless, a wide bike lane just doesn’t exist.  It felt good to be able to walk to the end of the Island and back without having to worry about oncoming traffic.

– Crust & Crumb Bakery:  There are two outdoor shopping centers called Bay Village and Schooner’s Wharf that you must hit up.  Crust & Crumb (in Bay Village) is a bakery that has been around for what feels like forever, and always has freshly made donuts, muffins, cookies and bread.  Just the smell when you walk in is intoxicating.  Colette went here every morning for her second breakfast that inevitably consisted of a powdered or glazed donut.

– Thundering Surf Water Park:  Right alongside the adult water park there is one for little kids.  This is fairly new.  The water is shallow and all of the slides and toys are appropriate for tots.  This was a huge step up from the water park on the Pier along the Hudson in Tribeca that Colette’s used to.

– The Clam Bar:  Although I wasn’t able to enjoy this establishment on this go-around, next Summer I’m hoping to.  This is a family favorite.  Nothing more than a bar, some stools, and ice buckets scattered throughout (it’s BYOB), The Clam Bar offers some of the freshest fish around.  It’s cheap, delicious, and is a recipe for a really fun and wine-filled night.

 

T-shirt: Old Navy/ Linen Shorts: True Religion (similar here)/ Aviators: Oliver Peoples/ Sandals: Birkenstock 

 

 

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