Jun 16, 2020

My Visit to Sea Bright this Spring

By Julia Mortimer

Photo by Jack Linkin

As I drive from the Sea Bright Bridge onto Ocean Avenue, with “Jersey Girl” by Bruce Springsteen playing and the salty air beginning to fill my car, I can’t help but feel excitement for the summer ahead. While the sun begins to hide behind Chapel Beach Club, the thoughts of a sun-filled, barefoot summer fills my mind, despite the regulations in place.

It was Mother’s Day while the sun was setting, when I had decided to take a drive down Ocean Avenue. The weather was crisp, but the sun was shining – that wonderful, happy medium when it is warm enough to have the windows down, but cool enough to wear an oversized sweatshirt.

Cars are lined up in front of restaurants to pick up their dinners in support of their local favorites. Tommy’s Tavern + Tap had customers patiently waiting in their cars for the sushi or wings they had all been missing. Woody’s Ocean Grille appeared to have its pick-up order system perfected, working quickly and efficiently to ensure smiles from their masked customers.

With the ever-changing beach restrictions and regulations, it is difficult to dictate whether stress-free beach days will be in the foreseen future. But, despite these strains, locals always seem to prevail and find a way to enjoy the Jersey Shore.

Photo courtesy of Rory’s Pub

While we continue to take part in Zoom meetings and accept the fact that surgical masks are now a necessary accessory, the day dreaming of sun-kissed beach days paired with a late lunch and happy hour at Rory’s Pub begins. Outdoor seating and live music were once just a part of the day but now have become something we long for. If the pandemic has succeeded at anything, it is forcing people to appreciate the little enjoyments of everyday life, the small snippets of the day that were once taken for granted.

The mornings-turned-afternoons spent at Donovan’s Reef with best friends or family are aplenty. Everyone enjoys chatting about future plans and sharing belly laughs as well as the exchange of pleasantries with people you had lost touch with and have been meaning to reach out to but life had gotten in the way. (Has it gotten to the point where I long for small talk? It appears so.)

As everyday life persists and lifestyles have changed, it is far too easy to grow exhausted and frustrated. Thinking of the summer that will (hopefully) be filled with hikes through Hartshorne Park, drinks in town and beach days in Sea Bright is one way to help in feeling less discouraged through the uncertainty of our lives.