When you live somewhere for a long time it’s only natural to take for granted things others find so special.

An example might be the River Lady, the 85 foot authentic replica of a paddle wheel riverboat whose home port is nestled between the Water Street Grill and Huddy Park in downtown Toms River.

(Kevin Williams, Townsquare Media NJ_

Since arriving on Father’s Day in 1989 the River Lady has been a popular attraction for both locals and visitors as it cruises down the Toms River under the direction of Captain Lance Chambeau.  The two-deck, 150 passenger boat regularly hosts lunch, dinner, sightseeing and special occasion cruises from May to October.

I mention this because I had not been aboard the River Lady for a few years but last night joined about 100 co-workers for a special Townsquare Media dinner cruise.  Of course the weather was a bit dicey in the beginning so we stayed in port for a few extra minutes as the last thunderstorms passed over.

Captain Lance then took us on a relaxing cruise up (or is it down) the river during which the weather cleared and we were even rewarded with a stunning sunset.

Dinner was catered by Café Italia which is always delicious, the service was outstanding and our group had a wonderful time even though rain prevented us on the upper deck from getting the full benefits of the outdoor waterside dining.

Once you leave port the River Lady offers a full assortment of beer, wine, champagne and some very tasty looking summer specialty cocktails but getting up early in the morning meant I stuck with ice water. I’m sure some of my co-workers might be moving a bit slow today.

Since our offices and studios are basically located across the street I see the paddleboat just about every day and I’m sure there are many of you who do the same but have never stepped on board. There’s plenty of time and it’s also a great venue for family and group outing, birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions.

The River Lady sails Monday thru Saturday and a complete schedule is available at riverlady.com.  Still going strong after 29 years Captain Lance and his family have made this a true Ocean County landmark. Or do you call it a watermark?