Ampersand

Happily Ensconced in Our Beach Haven Bubble 

By TED RITTER | Aug 30, 2017
Courtesy of: Ted Ritter Ritter and Fontana family members take a recent group surfing lesson on Beach Haven’s 14th Street beach.

My wife and I celebrated our 15th anniversary at a charming, historic bed and breakfast in Beach Haven this past July. Over a delicious two-course breakfast one morning, the innkeeper told us about the “Beach Haven bubble.” 

The bubble, according to the innkeeper, helps Beach Haven avoid some storms due to the greater expanse of open bay between the Island and the mainland at this location compared to other points on LBI. “So we don’t worry too much about the weather here,” he assured us.

Well, I’ve enjoyed my own version of a Beach Haven bubble this summer. As a kid, my family always vacationed in or very close to Beach Haven (and loved it). But for the past 18 years, we’ve been north in Surf City (which we also adore). Sure, we would still head down to Beach Haven for restaurants, Bay Village or other amusements, but until this summer, it had been years since we had spent any extended time there.  

This season, in addition to our delightful anniversary weekend, our families spent two full weeks at two different rental houses. Perhaps thanks to the Beach Haven bubble, the weather was extremely cooperative, permitting sunny days on clean, wide beaches. Off the beach, we happily got to rediscover all the other things Beach Haven has to offer.

Morning bike rides were a lot more fun, and safer, in dedicated bike lanes. And we were in walking or biking distance to many amenities we typically enjoy in Surf City. We tried out a new restaurant or two and visited our favorite snack bar and pizza place. We made friends with our ice cream man, who, after a couple of days, promised my now 12-year-old daughter Jayne, “I’ll stop right in front of your house every night so you won’t have to rush out.”

Several family members, after many years of bravado behind raised wine glasses, finally took surfing lessons arranged by my brother-in-law at a great surf school near Bay Village. Our instructor, Jordan, had every one of us standing up and catching waves. We’re already talking about renting boards next summer.

My youngest daughter, Dorian, 6, capping a year of hard work in swimming classes, displayed remarkable confidence in the ocean and taught herself how to catch waves on the new Boogie Board she earned as a reward. “Dad, I’m great at this Boogie Boarding!” she proclaimed after one especially fun session.

Oh, and we finally visited the LBI Historical Association’s museum one morning, where a friendly and genuinely appreciative volunteer greeted us, “Thank you for coming to visit us today!” The museum is housed in a historic Beach Haven church, which provides the perfect setting for quiet reverence of the Island’s intriguing past. We definitely plan to hit the maritime museum next.

We’ve so enjoyed getting reacquainted with the Queen City this season. And, although the Summer of 2017 is drawing to its inevitable close, there’s still a little time left, thankfully. I’m not quite ready to leave my Beach Haven bubble just yet. 

Ted Ritter of Westfield, N.J., is a long-time visitor to Long Beach Island.

 

 

 

 

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