Ship’s Log–July 4th


I started the 4th of July super early by getting the family up at 5 and out the door by 6, so we could be on Sandy Hook section of Gateway National Park by 6:30 am, before the crowds arrived. We had a few hours to explore in relative peace, birding up and down the hook and checking out the Fort Hancock Historic District. We hiked more the 5 miles, spotted a bunch of interesting birds, including a few of my favorites, and shot some great photos for Tomboy Photography which we’ll be sharing next week.

After a morning of hiking, the whole family was famished, so we headed to Earth Pizza for lunch. Formerly a Pizza Fusion location, Earth Pizza offers special diet pizzas such as vegan and gluten-free in addition to “regular” thing crust pies, and we have found it serves the best vegan pizza in our area.

We finished off the day with a trip to the township pool, which, if I am being honest, is one of my least favorite things. My town has a great municipal pool complex, and the kids love it…but going there means I have to wear a bathing suit in public. Ugh. It doesn’t matter how much I work out or how well I eat, I will never be comfortable wearing a bathing suit in public. It’s like all bathing suits are infused with a magic that brings to light all the parts of my body I would rather not be known: the tiger stripes (stretch marks), war trophies (scars), misguided leg dimples (cellulite), and my ombre arms and legs (runner’s tan from progressively shorter compression shorts and shirt sleeves as the temperature increases). The dip in the pool did feel wonderful and refreshing after the morning’s exertion, even if I was feeling self conscious on the walks between my cover-up and the water.

Dinner plans had been to eat outside on the patio and have a bonfire in the fire pit. But after showering the pool water off and settling into the air-conditioned house, not one of us wanted to go back outside into the hot, humid, buggy yuck, so we had our BBQ inside, right down to making the S’mores in the microwave, which was perfect.


  • Whole wheat everything bagel with peanut butter
  • Coffee with stevia

Morning snack:

  • 1/2 Vegan Energy Bar from Dean’s Natural Market
  • Water with Nuun Active Hydration tablet

Lunch @ Earth Pizza, Red Bank, NJ:

  • Earth salad with balsamic vinaigrette
  • Pizza with multi-grain crust, Daiya cheese, pineapple, and bell peppers topped with hot sauce
  • Iced Tea

Afternoon Snack:

  • Cold brew New Orleans style coffee with unsweetened soy milk and vanilla stevia
  • Mint chocolate chip coconut milk ice cream cone


  • Amy’s Kitchen veggie burger on whole wheat bun with Daiya cheddar, romaine, sliced tomato, BBQ sauce, mustard, and pickles.
  • 1 ear corn on the cob with guacamole
  • Cole slaw
  • Watermelon
  • Leinenkugel Summer Shandy
  • Microwave S’more (not fully vegan, since I haven’t found a vegan marshmellow that S’mores correctly.)

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