Running Adventures in Stone Harbor, NJ

Hey gang! I have been MIA from the blog for a bit enjoying my time with my boyfriend and his family in Stone Harbor, New Jersey. It was my first time on the Jersey Shore but it won’t be my last! I love to travel and generally explore, but there is something to be said for not having an itinerary and just relaxing with your toes in the sand.

I still woke up every morning between 6 am and 7 am, and was out the door ready to run by 7:30 am. The first few days, I kept it simple by running along the main drags; First Avenue, Second Avenue, and Third Avenue. Second Avenue has a great bike lane that is also runner friendly. The speed limit for vehicles is 25 MPH. If you have been on Coastal Highway in Ocean City, Maryland, you know that’s pretty darn safe.  Coastal Highway is basically the ocean version of Frogger.

Also, fun fact: Stone Harbor is a part of Seven Mile Island. I had no clue until I got there.  It made estimating my running route a whole lot easier 😛

I absolutely loved running down the main drags and checking out all the mini-mansions and adorable vintage shore homes. My last morning in Stone Harbor, I felt really exhausted. Music trivia the night before was intense! 😛 I planned on just doing an easy 3 miler. That was the plan, at least, until curiosity got the best of me.  I have mentioned before that summer is the perfect time to change up your running routine and explore new routes. I ran past our rental and straight toward the southern most point of the island to grab some cool pictures of the beach. I paused my GPS watch, not caring about the fact I wasn’t “training hard” or “running seriously.” I stopped for a few minutes and took in the beautiful view right in front of me.

Beach

After taking a moment to be grateful for the trip, I started to head back to the house when a hidden trail off the side of the beach caught my eye. I saw some other walkers and runners head down the path. My curiosity got the best of me and decided to see what was on the trail.  It was a short trail, maybe a quarter of a mile? And the extra effort was so worth it because there was so much untouched shoreline with wildlife and more stunning views.

I am so glad I listened to my gut and continue to break out of that same running route rut!

So tell me, how have you gotten out of that same running route rut this summer?

Keep checking in this weekend for an exciting announcement!!!! Be sure to follow me on instagram @seehollyrun and on Facebook.

Girls Trip to Santa Barbara, CA: Day 3

Happy Monday everyone! Time to talk about our last day in Santa Barbara, CA! My cousin and I were deeply upset that our vacation was coming to an end so soon. So what better way to cope with our sorrow by hitting up a wine tasting room….for three hours 😛

But first, I enjoyed one final run in Santa Barbara.  This time I ran to the Andree Clark Bird Refuge at the end of East Cabrillo Street.  Even though it’s still on the main drag, it’s at the opposite end of Stearn’s Wharf and State Street. I wouldn’t say it was the most beautiful spot, but it was definitely peaceful. Basically, if I were a bird, I’d live there. 🙂

Since this was our last morning, my cousin and I kept it low key and went to breakfast at our hotel at 10 am, then walked to Kunin Wine Tasting Room in the Funk Zone!

Kunin Wines in Santa Barbara, CA

Photo Credit: Kunin Wines

Well, to say we had a great time here would be an understatement. The person walking us through our flight was fun and helpful! We may or may not have received some “bonus rounds” during our visit. 😉  After three hours of heavy-handed pours.  My cousin and I needed food. Stat!  And not a wimpy salad either.  Luckily, right next door was Santa Barbara FisHouse. You guys…I had the BEST fried fish sandwich of my life!! Yeah, the alcohol factors into my decision but seriously, it was really fresh!

Since we had a late lunch and some time to kill, once again we headed back to the beach for some final hours of California Sunshine and relaxation.

Image may contain: one or more people, sky, beach, tree, outdoor and nature

Photo Credit: My cousin haha

Alright friends! That ends the recap of our Girls Trip to Santa Barbara, CA! I would return there in a heartbeat.  So to that, I’ll say ta-ta for now Santa Barbara!

Girls Trip to Santa Barbara, CA: Day 2

Hey gang! Happy hump day! Maryland is currently (and feels like forever will be…) in a heat wave this week.  I hope everyone is practicing safe running 😉 Typically, I hate to carry anything while I run.  But I’ve stopped fighting it and decided to carry a small water bottle on my runs.  What a lifesaver! If I can do it, you can do it.

So onto the long awaited day 2 recap of the girls trip to Santa Barbara! I already miss it 🙁

That morning I woke up early and decided to go for a run along the coastline. Generally when I am running on vacation, I am not worried about my pace.  I take it slow and enjoy my surroundings.  I couldn’t help but notice all the beautiful landscaping on the side of the roads. In Maryland, we typically have free furniture on the side of the road 😛

I mean, who wouldn’t want to run by this every morning?!

flowers

After my run, my cousin and I headed to the breakfast at the hotel restaurant and fueled up for our first paddleboarding lessons! This has been on our bucket list for years and it is nice to have it finally crossed off.  I would HIGHLY recommend Cal Coast Adventures as the tour company.  Conner, our guide, was very encouraging and fun.  We paddled all around the harbor and saw some tiny sting rays.  Then we got brave and paddled under the pier, which I definitely ran into a few times before I made it through. We ventured out to some of the boats that were anchored off the shore and we found a sea lion just chilling on the back of a boat like he owned it haha.  After we returned to shore, my cousin and I definitely agreed we would do it again.  Yay for accomplishing some life goals!

After out paddleboarding adventure, we worked up quite the appetite and headed back to the Funk Zone to a pizza place called Lucky Penny.  If you find yourself in Santa Barbara, you NEED to go here. Immediately. We ordered the house market salad, The Parker pizza, frosè, and watermelon beer. We were in heaven!!!

After indulging, we needed to walk off all that food. We decided to walk around and just explore.  We came upon an arts and crafts fair right along the shoreline that had some beautiful jewelry. After some shopping we wandered over to Stearns Wharf to watch everyone catch some fish and enjoy the sunshine. The views from the pier captured the beauty of Santa Barbara perfectly!

After some wandering around, we decided what good is going to a beach town if you don’t sit on the beach?!  We headed back to the hotel, changed into our swimsuits, and off we went to the beach!

We stayed on the beach for a few hours and before we knew it, it was time to get ready for dinner.  We headed to Cadiz on State Street for some yummy tapas, that were apparently so yummy that we forgot to take pictures.  After dinner we just walked around State Street and enjoyed the evening people watching 🙂

That wraps up day 2!  Stay tuned for the day 3 recap with more delicious food!