I’m trying something new this year in regards to vacation time.

I’ve always felt that taking a week or so off and not going anywhere is not truly a vacation, even in the summer when it could mean a week at the beach.  Problem with that is if the weather does not cooperate it really feels like a lost week and then when you return to work you’re faced with all that catching up to do.

A Morning Glory sandwich (Alex Williams)

So instead of taking a week off in July (which I always do) I’m taking Mondays off and simply extending the weekend and the early reviews are very positive. I was off yesterday and spent most of it on the beach and what I missed at work can be made up in just one day,that being today.

The best part was Sunday felt like Saturday and it just changes your entire approach to the weekend.  I like it!

Read John Grisham’s newest novel “Camino Island” over the weekend and while it’s not his best it’s still pretty good.  It is not the typical legal thriller that Grisham fans like me are accustomed to. As a matter of fact it’s quite different but still very good and a quality beach read.

The same family that owns and operates the very popular restaurant Xina in Toms River has opened a second eatery in Seaside Heights that is as different as night and day.  Xina is a Chinese bistro and sushi bar that appears to be always busy with reservations often a must.

Two years ago when owner Rick Lee first made plans to open a restaurant on the boulevard in Seaside Heights it was assumed it would be similar but Free Range is very different.  It’s a breakfast and lunch café that is opened from 7am-3pm and features sandwiches, salads, coffee and more.

We got breakfast sandwiches before heading to the beach over the weekend and I highly recommend the “Morning Glory” which is soft scrambled eggs and chives, American cheese, avocado, caramelized onions and spicy mayo all on a warm brioche bun. Oh man it was as good as it sounds.

Caught most of the Home Run Derby last night on ESPN and all I can say is Yankees rookie Aaron Judge is a freak whose at-bats are simply not to be missed and might be the game’s biggest superstar by the end of this season.