I met my best friend Jessica in preschool and we've been friends ever since. We've stayed close throughout every milestone we've each had, and been there for each other in good times and in bad. She was in my wedding and she's my son's Godmother. We are incredibly close and we have one of those friendships that I know will last forever. Yesterday was her birthday and she wanted to go to Island Beach State Park to have some beach fun, so I took the day off and joined her and a few other people.

I got there around 9:30 and set up my chair and knowing we had a bunch of people, spaced my things out, so people wouldn't sit on top of us. I was pleasantly surprised to see that no one did sit close to use and there was a family to the right of us that brought like 10 people with them. They kept their distance and as I looked around, I saw other people doing the same on the sand. Down by the water was a different story, but people were not on top of each other. The bathrooms were clean, and you were required to wear masks and people were wearing them, which I give a huge thumbs up to!

If you are planning on visiting the beach this weekend, here are my tips to put yourself at ease and have a good time.

  • When you find a spot on the beach, please make sure you are giving people space. Social distance is key even on the beach and in the water.
  • Bring masks for everyone and if you're leaving your sitting area at any time, wear it.
  • Bring Lysol or Clorox wipes in case you want to use the bathroom. You can wipe the toilets and faucets down before you touch them. I avoided touching the bathroom door handles and used my elbow where I could.
  • Bring your own food and drinks. Food courts were open, but I wasn't comfortable eating there.
  • When choosing an actual beach, try to stay away from the ones that always crawling with people. I found that Island Beach State Park was not overly crowded and plus, they stop letting people in after they've reached their capacity. Do some research and ask your friends for a less popular beach.

I hope this helps some of you who are nervous about going to the beach this weekend and the rest of the summer. I don't think anyone wants to go back into lockdown, so we can still enjoy our summer as long as we're smart. Trust me, I intend to!