You go the the beach here in NJ if you want to 1) pay money ($8/person, not including parking and tolls to get there), 2) drive forever to get there, 3) sit on rocky sand, 4) swim in 50-degree water, 5) get hurt feet from the small sharp rocks in the waves, and 6) be pummeled into the shore by random giant waves that crash on the shoreline...trust me, not fun as a pregnant lady.
I won't go on, as you can tell, I was severely disappointed. I guess since everything is so different here in the East that I was expecting to go one place that reminded me of home, and this did not do that.
We did enjoy some time with friends while hanging out on the shoreline tanning, and we did end up tanner than we came (although you cannot tell from Ryan's picture), so I was happy with that. There is also a fun board walk with lots of music, people, shops, places to eat, and carnival attractions. I think I could enjoy this now that my expectations are super low.
... In conclusion, Mom and Dad... we have found one more reason to move to California. Nothing yet seems to measure up.