"Wait, there's a beach in New York?"

The title of this blog post is a question I asked, naively, when arriving here in New York. Geography, although I'm a relatively well-traveled individual, is not my strong suit. And my naivety lead me to believe that New York was nothing more than Manhattan and its surrounding boroughs. WRONG!  Okay, I wasn't THAT naive but I had no idea we had white sandy beaches on our doorstep! It's kind of crazy to think that really, having lived by the coast most of my life (being born in Portsmouth, living in the North East of England and now the North East of America), I am not much of a "beach baby". Don't get me wrong, the beaches back at home are great but I had never even thought twice about sunbathing on them or spending the day there, I suppose that would change now that I'm able to drive back in the UK etc. But here, it seems to be the done thing in summer to spend the day or weekend at the beach, whether it be out in the Hamptons, Jersey Shore or a quite beach off of the coast or Coney Island/Brighton Beach. 

After weeks and weeks of nagging Gino for us to spend a day at the beach we each finally had a corresponding day off! So it was off to Coney Island for us. Now we had been told that Coney Island was not the best beach that NY had to offer but its iconic so we thought lets start here and then check out the rest throughout the summer! 

(Sidenote: there is a lot of photos for this blog post!) 

Now the nearest station to me is Classon Avenue, it takes about a 5 minute walk to get to it, and from there we were to take the G train all the way to the end of the line in Brooklyn (Church Avenue) and then swap to the F train and take it all the way to Coney Island, which is in fact the last stop. The whole journey took about 40 minutes, and I was just completely baffled that the beach was in Brooklyn. After spending the past 10 months in bustling city, it was just crazy to me that a white sandy beach and lovely boardwalk was just a hop, skip and a jump. To Gino's dismay this meant 40 minutes of me being loud and annoying on the Subway, and after having next to no breakfast and the time approaching 3PM, we were soooooo so hungry and dreaming of crappy greasy burgers and hot dogs. 

The weather was GORGEOUS! We opted for a wander through "LunaPark" the theme park here in Coney Island, whilst on the look out for food. Right near the station we spotted a Wahlburgers which Gino told me was quite popular back in Boston. A burger joint owned my yep, you guessed it, Mark Wahlberg and his family. I have to say it was daaaaamn good. I got the "Melt" which was basically a grilled cheese with beef and bacon. I struggled to eat it all in one sitting but holy f*ck it was so so good. Whilst Gino went for the Chicken Burger which looked a damn lot more healthy than mine did. I can't tell you how nice it was to just sit on the beach munching away and chatting. The sounds of the waves, which I love beaches for was somewhat drowned out by the music blaring from the theme park. We were told only a short wander along the beach there is many a quieter spot. #rookieerror. However even while it was loud I managed to fall asleep for a while. 

As you can see, Gino seizes any opportunity to bring out his cheer leading past. WHAT TEAM! WILDCATS. Although I'm repeatedly told his high school days resembled nothing of "High School Musical 1, 2 or 3. Dammit. Dreams = CRUSHED.
We spent around 3 and a half hours on the beach, perfect for our day off of work. I managed to squeeze in some reading and have a wander down to the water which was freezing! I couldn't help but wonder how people could bring themselves to take a dip in the water as all I could picture was the murky water that runs through the Hudson and East river a mere 5 miles away. *gags slightly*. But it honestly felt like I was on holiday somewhere abroad, no wonder people never leave New York. Life recently has been going a mile a minute since I got back from England and I have loved it but it's so nice to stop once in a while, especially somewhere like the beach, and especially with G.

HAHAHA that first photo of this bunch cracks me up. We look like absolute tourists. A short walk down the beach is a pier that jets out quite far into the ocean. A pier that I was told is relatively new, after having been built post-Hurrican Sandy. Gino was telling me that Coney Island took a massive hit from Hurrican Sandy and a lot of what we were seeing was refurbishments in the recent years. The pier is massive and was host to fishermen, sunbathers and tourists having a late afternoon stroll! It was hard to look out into the distance and picture the bustling cities where we both live!

Of course no beach trip is complete without ice cream! It seemed the diet Gino and I had discussed going on from Monday had long gone out the window. But hey YOLO! Exhausted from a day in the sun doing absolutely nothing we headed home for a night in front of the A.C. a cheeky Gin or 4.

Apologies for a lack of blog this week! Work has been crazy crazy busy but I wanted this next blog to be something cool and very different! And finally I have a summery blog post up! haha

HAPPY FRIDAY FEELING EVERYBODY!

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