I stumbled upon the Albatross Hotel about ten years ago after leaving Stone Harbor in a torrential rain. I didn’t know what to do, so I turned right on the coastal road and went north. I stopped in a quaint town called Ocean Grove and looked for a place to stay. My criteria was cheap, friendly, and close to the sea. Albatross met all of these. It is a big, bulky hotel with plain rooms, excellent service, and breakfast served in a big dining room.
Last Sunday, I arrived as usual, for a couple days of reading and walking. This time, I focused on recapturing the Russian knowledge I used to have. I was lucky on my last trip to Myanmar to be involved in a project in the Delta where I met a very charming Russian couple. We both stammered between English and Russian, and we exchanged emails. On my return from Myanmar, I saw that they invited me to come and visit them in Rostov on Don near lake Nero. I accepted of course being that I had never been to Southern Russia. In preparation for my trip, I always carry with me various grammar books, textbooks, and cds of the Russian language. There is nothing like lying on the beach and listening to the sea, while practicing your Russian pronounciation.
For dining, I recommend visiting Asbury Park, an area that has gone through an extreme revitalization with many art galleries, coffee shops – Americas Cup Coffee being my favorite, and restaurants. I recommend Stella Marina on the boardwalk of Asbury Park and Moonstruck by the causeway.