The sun is out and shining. My skin is sun-kissed and my hair is salty from the ocean water. The beach is crowded with my friends. Everyone is smiling and enjoying themselves while relaxing on the beach. Everyone knows each other and loves each other. This is what it is like at my favorite place in Mantoloking, New Jersey.
I have been coming to this place for 14 years and nothing has changed. The people are the same and the scenery is untouched. Everyone is welcoming and happy to be near the beach in the summer. No one is complaining.. All throughout winter I would look forward to finally going to my happy place. I countdown the months, weeks, and days until it comes time to actually go to this place in real life, rather than just in my head. It was always exciting to share with my group of friends what I did in the winter. We all shared our winter and school memories with each other, and knew that we would make even better ones in the summer.
In Mantoloking, there are many things to do. I grew up sailing competitively, playing tennis, going to the beach, and swimming in the ocean and bay. My favorite activity was sailing with my friends. Everyone in the small town sailed, it was a common thing to do. We would all be at the Yacht Club by 8 a.m. and prepare our sailboats for a day of drills and practice to get ready for the race days. We would all launch our boats into the bay and get going out on the water. I was not a bad racer and always paid attention to the wind speed and wind direction to make sure I was navigating my boat properly through the course. It was always exciting to race against my friends with some friendly competition.
After our day of sailing was over at 4 p.m., we would then head to the beach. At the beach we tanned, swam in the ocean, and hungout. This was where we would relax after the hard days of competing on the bay with the sun beating down on us. We would stay at the beach for about an hour until it was time for 5 o’clock tennis. This was a regular routine. Tennis lasted an hour and a half, and afterwards we all went home to take a shower. Once everyone was showered, we’d all ride our bikes to a certain spot behind the Yacht Club to hangout. Every Friday evening we would go back to the Yacht Club for Friday Night Dinner, which was a social event for the club members to unwind from the week. This was something to look forward to and everyone enjoyed getting together at the end of the week to relax from all of the activities they participated in. After the week was over, it was time for the weekend. This was the time for the beach. Everyone in the town went to the beach and stayed there all day long. The ages ranged from small children to old women who had been in Mantoloking since they were young kids.
Mantoloking is a family place and that is what I love so much about it. Generations of families have been there for a very long time and they just keep growing. Hopefully I will raise my future children in such a beautiful place so they can experience everything I did growing up there. This is a place I am extremely grateful to have so many amazing experiences at. I have made lifelong friends and learned important skills which is why Mantoloking has impacted me so much.