Old Bridge Waterfront Park
We headed down south to visit my mom today for Christmas, so we walked along the Old Bridge Waterfront, something that's been on my list for a few months. It was freezing cold, so we saw only one person, which was what most likely allowed us to experience the coolest encounter since we literally bumped into a seal on Long Island. As an aside, Laura picked, as the Christmas card that we sent out to friends and family this year, a card with a drawing of a snowy owl on the cover. So it was indeed an extraordinary coincidence that today, Christmas Day 2013, we encountered our very first snowy owl in the wild! She was right down there on the shore of Raritan Bay, facing us gawking at her from the boardwalk. She seemed to be guarding what appeared to be her nest on the beach. What a gift!

But even without a snowy owl, this relatively short walk is wonderful, with views of the tops of the Empire State Building and Freedom Tower, the Verrazano Narrows bridge and lots of seabirds. We parked in the lot for the Old Bridge Police, headed along the paved path, then shore (in the parts where the boardwalk is being rebuilt), then paved path east until it seemed like it didn't go much further, at which point we turned around and headed back to the car.

Total distance hiked today was 2.9 miles in an hour and 20 minutes.

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