Dancing with the Crabs

Mia D’Angelo’s summer starts with the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach and bikes speeding down streets. Normandy Beach at the Jersey Shore is Mia’s favorite place.

Mia has two summer jobs at Normandy. During the week, she works as a counselor for Bay Beach Camp, where she runs activities for preschoolers. On the weekends, Mia runs The Dancing Crab gift store: managing the register, merchandising, and inventory. Whether it be working in town, or soaking up the sun on the sandy shores, she always feels at home. Mia wants to live close to the ocean when she’s older. “Every time I go to the beach I find myself happy and calm,” she shared. Just the sensation of the waves or the salty smell of the air brightens Mia’s day. 

“I love being at the beach– swimming in the ocean or just picking up the garbage,” Mia explains. The negligence of some beach visitors doesn’t deter her. “If I get bored, I’ll pick up trash with a doggy bag my Mom brought,” this junior says. Spending all of her summers in Normandy, she can even identify its unique details: “On the west wind days it is extra buggy because the wind is coming from the bay side.”

The people of Normandy welcome Mia with big smiles each time she goes down the shore. “Normandy Beach is my second home. It’s a really nice community,” says Mia. As it is for many of us, the beach is a welcoming and warm place where she can relax when life becomes too much.