Tag Archives: Avalon

Last Moments in Avalon

Today I packed up and left Avalon after spending a glorious long weekend there with family. It was a good weekend to listen, talk, and think. After loading up my car to leave I took one last walk on the beach. The path to the beach leads through a buffer forest and sand dunes.

Walking through the dunes.

When the tide went out it left creatures behind on the sand. This weekend was prime horseshoe crab beaching season. I’ve never seen so many of the armored curiosities before. Thankfully they died a rather scentless death (I’ve been at the beach when other creatures washed up and died en mass and the smell was staggering).

A deceased horseshoe crab.

Another departed horseshoe crab.

I saw clusters of aggregated shells that made me curious. They contained many shells stuck on other shells.

The curious shells.

Seagulls on the beach watched me with concern. Their paranoia was unfounded unless they were hesitant to be photographed. I never noticed how well many seagulls blend into marked sand before.

A bird matching the landscape.

I walked to a pier. Near the pier small birds fished in exhausted waves. I watched them for a moment, then suddenly sprinted toward them. I took this picture on the dead run (I had to straighten and crop it).

Birds by the pier at low tide.

During my walk I saw some people in the distance, but I did not pass anyone in close proximity. In the fall Avalon is quiet and beautiful. I love the slight chill in the air, brightness of the sun, crashing of the waves, and feel of the sand. The beach in the fall is calming to me.

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Coast to Coast

October has been crazy. Crazy in a mostly good kind of way. I’ve been very busy.

I spent part of last week on the central coast of California for a job interview. After a few days by the Pacific Ocean I flew east, arriving in Avalon, NJ to spend a long weekend at a beach house with family. It has been a weekend full of great conversations, food, and fun. Here are a few pictures I took recently by the sand dunes and buffer forest beside the ocean.

Grasses on the sand dunes.

Sassafras celebrating the fall.

Euonymus americanus capsules, mixing pink and orange.

Beautiful poison ivy.

More poison ivy, looking exceptional.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. The Jersey Shore is wonderful in the fall.

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Avalon, NJ Revisited

Today marked my first day back to reality after a long weekend vacation (if a Thursday afternoon through Monday afternoon vacation can still be called a weekend). Most of that time I spent in Avalon, NJ at a beach house with family.

The Avalon, NJ beach house.

The house was on the corner of 66th and Dune, a block from the beach. This was the third consecutive year we stayed in this house the last weekend in September, so it felt very familiar. From the second floor of the house the Atlantic Ocean can be seen. On Friday and Saturday night the moon was spectacular sight over the water (I have no idea why I didn’t try to photograph it).

The view from the second floor on Monday morning.

Over the course of the weekend we frolicked on the beach, biked around town, played tennis, kayaked in the bay, ate a large amount of food, held a baptism service, observed communion, watched movies, and enjoyed catching up with each other. It was a good time.

The second floor has a high ceiling and columns. Yes, that was random.

I realized recently that I do not have any pictures with my niece, Lydia. So on Monday I attempted to have a picture taken. Lydia was feeling serious, she refused to crack a smile. This is as close to a smile as I got:

Sometimes smiles are just not in the cards.

My nephew Zander was happy to smile, but he had far too much energy to hold still. We got one picture in which we’re both looking at the camera.

This pose was held for about .3 second.

Just as Monday morning was ending I hit the road bound for State College, a trip that took 5 hours and 12 minutes. I drove through two rain storms of impressive intensity, visibility was very low at times. As the rain was assaulting my car I couldn’t help but be happy that I was getting a free car wash. Any salt water residue that might have wanted to linger on my car from being near the beach was long gone by the time I reached Centre County.

Now that I am back I have a lot of work on my plate. I feel somewhat refreshed and ready to go, here’s to a few very productive days ahead.

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A Weekend in Avalon

I just returned from a weekend in Avalon, NJ with my family. There were 29 of us in a sweet house a block from the beach. I got to meet my niece Lydia for the first time (she’s just over two weeks old) and spend some time with my nephew Zander.


Avalon, NJ

The weather was fairly good on Friday night and Saturday, though the temperature felt pretty low thanks to blustery winds. Saturday involved a couple of walks on the beach, a bison burger for lunch, a few games of paddleball on the beach, a game of hearts, some good conversations, and many other things. Due to scheduling difficulties no tennis was played on Saturday; I hoped Sunday morning would be conducive to playing a few matches (more on that later).


A beach scene.

Saturday afternoon I saw the little white plastic shovel in the picture above on the beach. It was sitting in some debris. My guess is that it came in with the tide. Someone either lost it, forgot it, or just decided to forsake it. As I walked the beach I developed three different stories explaining the presence of the shovel. The actual story will never be known.

On Saturday night rain began to fall. It continued through most of Sunday morning. When things cleared for a few moments Jon and I biked to some nearby tennis courts and managed to hit tennis balls for about 15 minutes before the rain resumed. We biked back to the house in the rain.

My grief over missing out on tennis was magnified by the fact that there were public clay courts available. I’ve never played on clay, so it would have been a great opportunity to try it out. Maybe next year.


Sara, Becca, and Richard.

It was a nice weekend away. I’m almost sure that the clock moved in fast forward most of the time though. Now I’m staring at a busy week, full of all sorts of responsibilities. Life marches on.


Me teaching Zander to write a Z in the carpet with his finger.

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A Weekend Away

I spent the weekend in Avalon, New Jersey with family. It was wonderful. In the process I went 49 hours and 12 minutes without using the Internet.

Here are a few pictures I took on Sunday morning.

Sand dune in Avalon, NJ

Waves reaching their destination

A jellyfish with a vice

I need to hit the ground running tomorrow. Taking a weekend vacation complicated my schedule. But it was worth it.

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