It’s summertime and my favorite playground is the beach. There’s nothing like the sand between my toes, the ocean washing over me and the sun beaming from up above.

For as long as I can remember, it is a place that I have loved going. I get it from my father who also loved going to the beach. We’d make family outtings of it. We’d pack up a couple of cars with cousins and to the shore we would go.

As a kid, it didn’t matter to me if we went to Seaside Heights, Toms River or Asbury Park. I wasn’t going for the boardwalk or the rides. It was for the water.

I’ve spent the past couple of days at the beach with my lil man. It’s like the universe knew what they were doing when they gave me Shaun. He loves the beach as much as I do. He wants to go as early as I will allow and stay as late as can be.

There was a bigger focus on the water this year. We got body boards and rode the waves. There was no sandcastle building. Forget collecting shells and walking along the shore. Those weren’t as important or as fun as seeing how far we could ride the waves.

That can’t be said for many in my life including my own brother. Mention the ocean and the sand and it’s as if I were speaking Chinese. People wonder what’s the fascination with it. I can’t really say, it’s just a place I enjoy.

I find it fitting that just a couple days after my dad’s birthday, I have come to spend time at a place that we both enjoy. I can almost hear him laughing and imagine how pink his skin would be from the sun kissing it leaving traces of a fun day.

There’s no better way to enjoy the summer than on the playground.

What are your fondest memories of the beach?