Nine Things I Learned at the Beach

Once, my grandparents took me on a Caribbean cruise. And once, my ex-boyfriend “Shortcake” took me to St. Augustine. But it wasn’t until yesterday’s trip to Island Beach State Park in New Jersey that I had a chance to swim in an ocean.

uncredited photo from

Here’s what I Learned:

1. As you might expect, the Atlantic tastes deliciously salty. Drinking the ocean is a big step up from drinking municipal pools.

2. Much to my surprise, the Atlantic smells fishy! Mr. Jaunty says this isn’t always true, but yesterday the beach was undeniably fish-scented.

3. Sand is pretty— so sparkly and clean! My heels are cracked after six years in flip-flops, so I made a point of shuffling down the beach. The world is my foot file.

4. Waves roar… and if I swam out too far, waves grabbed me and washed me back to the shore. It felt like being picked up and thrown, only glorious.

5. I’ll say one thing for my old-timey swimsuit; bullet bras are PERFECT for stashing seashells.

6. Seagulls are adorable! Some flew right over our heads, hoping for handouts; others scurried across the sand on twiggy legs, looking perplexed.

7. There’s no sense being self-conscious in a bathing suit, because everyone at the beach is either reading, napping, or playing in the waves themselves. It would be a crime to miss swimming in the ocean because of body worries.

8. “Beachy hair” is wildly overrated.

9. I found part of a nifty gel insole or silicon breast implant or… something. Mr. Jaunty claimed it was a jellyfish. The internet informs me it WAS a dead moon jellyfish, so I’d been running around the beach with a corpse. Good thing I didn’t tuck it in my bullet bra.

I LOVED the Island Beach State Park. Not only was “swim in the ocean” one of my Things To Do Before 30, yesterday was one of the happiest days of my life.

What about you? Have you tasted the ocean?

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  1. oooooooooooooooh!
    happiest days of lives are one of my favorite things,
    Yay for the Jaunties.


  2. My Dear Ms. Jaunty! I miss you desperately, but am really enjoying hearing about your adventures in and around your new home. I love the beach more than almost anywhere, and you described it so beautifully that I could easily summon up memories of lots of lovely outings! Beach days are some of my very happiest, too. SO GLAD yours was so special


  3. Smiley Woman says:

    Can’t really believe you just first swam so adult…. I mean, it’s super cool, actually… I can’t remember how was my first time since I was born and raised in a coast city. I really like the ocean and the sea. This summer there were times where I could see tiny fishes in the shore. Really nice.
    Besos =)


  4. mum – Thanks, Mom! =)

    Barb – Why, fancy meeting you here! Isn’t the beach WONDERFUL? I’m SO happy I finally got to see it, I’ve dreamed about it for years.

    Smiley Woman– Being raised by a coast sounds so beautiful… I grew up surrounded by cornfields and small towns, much less exciting. I bet YOU know better than to pick up dead jellyfish. =) Besos!


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