The alternative, you ask? Belmar, NJ!
I was definitely itching for the beach (sorry, "the shore" as we call it here!) So, I did some research and found the lovely little town of Belmar. It was just an hour away from the city and since we went on a weekday there wasn't much traffic and it wasn't too crowded. There was a great little stretch of sand and playgrounds on the beach every few blocks. It was so perfect.
Jon and I have a track record with these kinds of adventures also -- they usually are a complete bust! But this worked out perfectly! I couldn't have been more pleased (well, maybe I could've -- if we were in Puerto Rico!) But that's beside the point!
hanging out with dad
catching up on some reading
sporting the sun hat
enjoying the sea breeze
and of course, the playground!