Get those running shoes on!


The Jersey Shore is a great place to see, especially when you have time to take in the view. There are plenty of marathons happening in our area that may be of interest to the serious runner as well as the novice runner.

The New Jersey Marathon will be taking place on Sunday May 6, 2012. They offer a relay, a half marathon and a full marathon. The even better news is that the marathon is a qualifier for the 2013 New York Marathon and if you ran in the NJ Marathon last year (2011) your running time may qualify you for the 2012 New York Marathon being held on November 4 and this year it will be televised.

This is a well attended marathon with both locals and non-locals participating for the best time in their class or even just a personal best. Visit their site at http://www.njmarathon.org. You can register, check out the course map, find a hotel – it truly is a good website to view.

The next large “marathon” is actually a triathlon. The Danskin Triathlon is held on Sunday September 9, 2012. It starts at Sandy Hook and encompasses a ½ mile swim, a 12 mile bike ride and a 3 mile run.

There are many more running opportunities here at the Jersey Shore to experience. So pack your bags, your sneakers and your determination. Are you up for the challenge?

Go Green and Be Seen at the Belmar St. Patrick Day Parade


It’s that time of year again for Belmar’s Annual St. Patrick Day Parade. This year it is set for Sunday, March 4. Start time for the parade is 12:30 on Main Street, but it is highly suggested to arrive prior so you can secure an excellent viewing spot as well as a parking spot for your car.
Since 1974 this parade has been hitting the streets and each year the spectators increase. Join the locals and the not-so-locals at the parade of the year! This year the parade’s Grand Marshal is John Carr and the Grand Deputy Marshal is Jane Catherine Guild. Wonderful bios about both of these honored folks can be found on the Belmar Parade Website.
Firetrucks, Marching Bands, Cheerleaders, Bag Pipers and more. You will see it all! Grab your green and be seen, but only at the Belmar St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Not Irish? Not a problem…. Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!
Make it a Family Sunday Funday! After the parade’s conclusion, visit the wonderful eateries in Belmar, then take a trip to Point Pleasant and visit Jenkinson’s Aquarium.

Ka-Boom went Ker-Splat in 2012


Well it’s a shame that this happened and I am sure there are people who are still lingering in disappointment since hearing that KaBoom Fireworks will not be displayed along the Navesink River in Red Bank this year.

It broke my heart when I saw it come across the wire.  For 50 continuous years, a fun family time of food, entertainment, catching up with friends, and most importantly fireworks was celebrated in the 2.2 square miles of Central New Jersey called Red Bank.  It was the party of all parties, a display of lights flashing across the night sky bedazzling spectators while synchronized to music played on Q104.3, but this year the night sky will be only illuminated from the light of the stars swirling around our universe.

I will need to rethink my plans for this year.  After all, there is still Long Branch.  They have Oceanfest along the boardwalk and promenade on Ocean Avenue.  Oceanfest lasts all day long and will tire out even the most energetic child.

Farewell KaBoom, maybe next year or possibly the year after, but I truly hope to see you again.  

Great News for Foodies!


Jersey Shore Restaurant Week is coming back April 13-22, 2012! 

Participating restaurants are gearing up to dish out the deliciousness you are craving.  The participating restaurants will offer a three course menu for $20.12 or $30.12 per meal.  You will be able to choose from three appetizers, three entrees and three desserts.   There is “shore” to be something for everyone.

So far some great restaurants are on board to serve up their dinner specialties.  In Red Bank, which is right around the corner from the Middletown Comfort Inn; Basil T’s, Pazzo and Temple Gourmet Chinese will be available for your dining pleasure.  If you go a bit to the east of us in Rumson, you can enjoy the scrumptious meals served at David Burke Fromagerie, Salt Creek Grille, and Undici Taverna Rustica.  There are plenty more restaurants to choose from along the shore.  I dare you to not cook all that week!

Did you miss Restaurant Week in the past because you couldn’t make it out for dinner?  Great News, this year select restaurants will offer Lunch Menus during this special week!  So mark your calendars, or iPhones or Blackberries – don’t miss out!

Girlfriends’ Valentine Luncheon


Are you looking for a great reason to have lunch with your BFF? The Monmouth County Historical Association is hosting RED, A Girlfriends’ Valentine Luncheon. This event is occurring on Thursday, February 9th at the Rumson Country Club. I did call ahead to double check everything and this is what I found out.

• You do not have to be a member of the Historical Association to attend this luncheon

• You also don’t have to bring a friend (although that is much more fun)

• Men are welcome to attend (it is not just about the ladies)

• You will definitely have to find a sitter if you have children

I checked out the menu and it looks delicious! In fact, my belly starting rumbling thinking about the Butternut Squash Soup and the Chocolate Mousse Cake with Berries. Isn’t it about how you start and end your meal?

The MCHA has kindly posted all information including an RSVP card on their website. For more information you can call 732-462-1466. All proceeds benefit the continuing operation of the Historical Association. We are fortunate to live in an area that is rich with history – help the Historical Association continue their mission of educating us and future generations.

Pet Owners Should Prepare for Emergencies


Okay the winter season is upon us.  So far we have been spared the brutal forces of Mother Nature (insert big smiley face here), but winter is not over yet.  It is always best to have a plan set up in advance, especially when you have four legged family members living with you.  Below is a guide to what you should consider.  The Comfort Inn Middletown is pet friendly all year round.

If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own; and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.

Plan for Pet Disaster Needs

  • Identifying shelter. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets. Find out which motels and hotels in the area you plan to evacuate to allow pets — well in advance of needing them. There are also a number of guides that list hotels/motels that permit pets and could serve as a starting point. Include your local animal shelter’s number in your list of emergency numbers — they might be able to provide information concerning pets during a disaster.
  • Take pet food, bottled water, medications, veterinary records, cat litter/pan, can opener, food dishes, first aid kit and other supplies with you in case they’re not available later. While the sun is still shining, consider packing a “pet survival” kit which could be easily deployed if disaster hits.
  • Make sure identification tags are up to date and securely fastened to your pet’s collar. If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site. If your pet gets lost, his tag is his ticket home. Make sure you have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes.
  • Make sure you have a secure pet carrier, leash or harness for your pet so that if he panics, he can’t escape.

Prepare to Shelter Your Pet

  • Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter, or animal control office to get advice and information.
  • If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located. Be sure to research some outside your local area in case local facilities close.
  • Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet’s medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current. Include copies in your “pet survival” kit along with a photo of your pet.
  • If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger! Confine your pet to a safe area inside — NEVER leave your pet chained outside! Leave them loose inside your home with food and plenty of water.  Remove the toilet tank lid, raise the seat and brace the bathroom door open so they can drink. Place a notice outside in a visible area, advising what pets are in the house and where they are located. Provide a phone number where you or a contact can be reached as well as the name and number of your vet.

During a Disaster

  • Bring your pets inside immediately.
  • Have newspapers on hand for sanitary purposes. Feed the animals moist or canned food so they will need less water to drink.
  • Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will often isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm.
  • Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get along, the anxiety of an emergency situation can cause pets to act irrationally. Keep small pets away from cats and dogs.
  • In an emergency, you may have to take your birds with you. Talk with your veterinarian or local pet store about special food dispensers that regulate the amount of food a bird is given. Make sure that the bird is caged and the cage is covered by a thin cloth or sheet to provide security and filtered light.

After a Disaster

  • If after a disaster you have to leave town, take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own.
  • In the first few days after the disaster, leash your pets when they go outside. Always maintain close contact. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost. Also, snakes and other dangerous animals may be brought into the area with flood areas. Downed power lines are a hazard.
  • The behavior of your pets may change after an emergency. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard with access to shelter and water.