To say Nolan loved the beach is an understatement. We've never been to the Jersey Shore (well, except when I was in middle school) and FOR SURE we'll be going back. The beach was awesome. And Mr. NoNo here loved it.
He loved his new sand toys and we used each one at least once. We raked, dug, sifted and built (well, Nolan mostly did the stepping on the castles we built). We made molds, carried water to and from the ocean and shared with other children nearby. This was the first time I ever saw Nolan walk up to another kid and look at me as though to ask if he can play with them. So he made a few vacation friends which was so fun!
He loved swimming. It was the waves, really. He and Dave spent HOURS in the waves. The first day we got there they spent at least 1 hour getting pummeled by the waves, see below. He was laughing and shrieking the whole time, asking to do it by himself and to go out deeper.
We spent our mornings mostly at the beach and then headed to the house for lunch and naps (for all of us). In the afternoon we'd head to the boardwalk where we rode some rides and did some arcade games. Nolan had a really great time. Dave and I had a really great time too!
But our favorite part was the beach. It was so close, easy to walk to, it was clean, the water felt clean, not too salty or grimy. The sand was nice. There was a nice breeze which made the really hot days feel a lot more pleasant. The temperature of the water was really perfect. Really, it was an awesome trip.
Nolan seemed to REALLY love the post-beach showers he took.