The Garden State on Labor Day Weekend

Clockwise from left: Liberty State Park, Point Pleasant Beach, View from Liberty State Park, and Point Pleasant Beach again. Photos by Esha Samajpati © All rights reserved

I know you are looking at the photo on the left, that of Liberty State Park, and thinking how amazing it is. Don’t let the blue-grey skies in the picture fool you. It wasn’t so pretty when we were walking the two-mile promenade with three kids, two of them under four years old. It was noon to boot. The views over the Hudson were stunning, some of them iconic even, but we were busy rummaging our bags for snacks and cold water, and wondering if we would get a picnic table under a big leafy tree. Which we did, eventually. This was the second day of our trip to New Jersey.

It all began with a phone call from our friends who live there. Their younger kid is around the same age as our son and we said yes to this long-overdue-meet-up/family-sleepover. It was the last long weekend of summer. Back-to-school promotions were slowly winding down and too-pretty-to-eat school lunches had taken over the Pinterest-scape. So the prospect of traffic snarl-ups notwithstanding, we made our way to The Garden State. To make most of the last gasp of summer, if you will.

The pictures on the top right and bottom right are from Point Pleasant Beach in Ocean County, NJ, which is where we went on day one. Oh boy, while the boardwalk looked like a whole lot of fun, and the sand looked silky, parking was impossible to find. People were paying upto 50 dollars for a spot and some were schlepping beach gear from far-flung parking lots. After hours of circling blocks and motels and what not, we found a spot.

The beach itself was lovely. More surf than anywhere in Connecticut for sure. And the sand, well, if you ask the kids, they will tell you it was castle-worthy. At the end of the day, that is all that matters, right? Some unscheduled play, waves big enough to knock you down, good food (think deep-fried sugar-dusted funnel cakes), and great company.

Bring it on, Autumn!