The past two Sundays we have filled the Odyssey with friends and hauled our pale asses out to Long Beach.  A miraculous fact of NYC that is all too easy to forget on a daily basis:  We are spitting distance from the Ocean.

This is, however, a fact that some 8 million other people do not forget on a blisteringly hot weekend so the beaches can look a bit like an umbrella parking lot. The key to an enjoyable beach day, therefore, is to go early so we've been aiming to leave before 9am. Really it's no problem since those of us with kids are up anyway, it's packing all the gear that's a challenge.  By the end we look like the Joads setting out for California in The Grapes of Wrath.

Once you find your waterfront spot you stake out your territory and then construct all manner of beach gully around you so the eventual encroachment by trolly toting suburban dads is kept at bay.  By 1pm it it's a sea of plastic chairs and unfortunate tattoos as far as the eye can see.

The first week I think we overdid it because after 4 hours at the beach we went back to Tim and Libby's to watch the World Cup final and eat burgers and didn't get Roan home until after 6pm at which point he promptly threw up all over the couch. Lovely.

**I found some old old unused Polaroid film kicking around last time so I brought it along for our first foray out last Sunday. There are real polaroids not an iPhone app!
Long Beach

The boys

Say "hello" boys!

Our encampment

Boardwalk shadows

Roan and Charlie

Charlie was a good boy and wore his hat

Sand mascot


Busy day at the beach

This Sunday we got to the beach even earlier and practically garroted Roan with a large Aussie-style sun hat, followed by obscenely good lobster rolls and clams at Jordan's Lobster Farm.  Apparently, the place has a line around the block by 5pm but when you eat dinner at 2:30 you've got no problems.  It was us and old people.  Perfect!

Sand toes

This hat didn't last long

Charlie and Roan

People eating humongous lobsters

Roan with his new wee friend

I am normally not the early bird but I have to say the worms made it worthwhile.