Monday, July 23, 2012

Back To The Beach!

I guess the only bad things about vacations are that they end…much too quickly.

In the blink of an eye you’re settling in, unpacking your things, and in the next, you’re packing them back up and heading home.

Still, no matter how you slice it, a week is a week is a week. That doesn’t change, but I guess our perspective does.

The more we want to savor something—like that big pistachio cone I scored at the local ice cream joint—the faster it seems to melt away, even if we do try very hard to live in the moment.

I suppose if I had actually spent more time eating the thing than philosophizing about it, the ice cream would have melted more in my mouth than in the street. But that’s just how vacations go, and besides, how many times can I apologize to one crabby lady about ice cream dripping on her toes?

As has been our wont for a gaggle of years, Z and I headed back to the beach the Saturday before last, for our annual week of fun in the sun at the Jersey Shore. 

This year we were once again able to rent the house we had shared with a group of friends for more than a decade, but had to forgo, last year, because the friends scattered in other directions. We thought about taking it ourselves but it seemed silly to have an entire house for just us…especially since all we mostly do there is sleep, eat and shower…sometimes all at the same time.

Truth is, we actually enjoyed ourselves on our own last year, nestled in our little upstairs door-less apartment—the Ax Murder who rented downstairs was a nice change of pace from our usual crowd— but we’ve always enjoyed this particular beach house for a lot of reasons, so we decided to see if we could get a new group of fun cool people together to join us.

We couldn’t…so we went with some of my in-laws, instead….

No, I’m kidding.

We actually invited them.

It was actually my idea


They’re actually fine, friendly, fun folk and pretty cool in their own right.

I never knew there were so many facets to the Amish culture.

And those hats…by the end of the week my bro-in-law had just about everyone on the beach wearing one, not to mention making their own beach chairs out of drift wood and kelp.

Of course, before we actually got to go on vacation we had to endure the usual trial of ‘Pre-Vacation Day”, the worst of all days, which I outlined in detail last year. Needless to say, I had to do quite a bit of scrambling to find the the list of lists that needed to be made, of the things that need to be prepared, including the lists, so other things could be taken with us.

This year, though, I tried something new; I wore a ring of garlic around my neck to ward of Z’s vampire like incisors that come out every Pre-Vacation Day, which minimized the blood loss…so that worked out.

Plus, I like the musky, macho way garlic makes me feel.

We also have the new car, so that required a whole new packing plan be put into place.  I scanned all of our things into the computer, on Z’s orders, combined it with the new car schematic and came up with about 2 dozen nifty theoretical combinations to achieve maximum density and storage capability.

Of course I still forgot my toothbrush…and my bathing suit…and almost Z, but she called me before I got to the bridge so I was able to go back and get her before I wasted any toll money.

We actually hit the road about 7 AM, which is necessary in order to avoid the hordes of other like-minded beach vacationers. That’s just how it is heading down to the shore; for every hour you delay your departure, you can figure on adding at least another ½ hour on top of that.

And that’s just for the line at the rest rooms on the way.

One needs their morning coffee, even though there are consequences.

All in all, we made pretty good time and reached our destination shortly before 9:30 AM.

By the time Z and I rolled up to the house, my bro-in-law had already parked his buggy and watered the horse.  In fact he had already hung most of the hex proof talismans, which is always a good thing.

The rest of his family had buzzed on ahead in their sporty SUV and was already in town buying donuts, but arrived shortly thereafter, and we all settled in...except for the horse, which was startled by a flock of sea gulls and ran off down to the beach.

But by 11 we were all on the beach, which was somewhat cloudy, with breaks of sun that made the raindrops a little more bearable.

Still, no one complained—except the folks next to us, who had to share their blanket with the horse—because any day at the beach is a good day because the sun always comes out, which it did for just about most of the week…if you don’t count Thursday and Friday.

I’ll have more on that in the next few days. I‘m still unpacking even though Z had all the laundry done before the sun set on Saturday.

The good news is, I finally found my toothbrush, which is fortunate because I had to share the replacement I bought down there with the horse.  The only thing I’ll say about that is…horses are hell on toothbrushes….


  1. I just wrote you a long account about our vacation from hell on Cape Cod when it rained the whole time. I hit "preview" and it disappeared. Sorry about that. It wasn't all that great anyway.

    1. I'm sure it was terrific. Have to watch out for those blogging gremlins....

  2. It really did rain all day every day, while we were holed up listening to Bill Cosby records, and learning all about Fat Albert and Chicken Heart. Denise, my daughter's cousin, who accompanied us to Yarmouth, told us every single day how wonderful her vacation was the year before when she spent a week at Ocean City, NJ, where it never rained, the waves were high, the water warm, the beach beautiful with white sand,etc., etc. We left the place early, as water began seeping under the front door. And we heard even more about Ocean City on the ride back home.

    1. See, it was worth the wait!

      I used to know all the Cosby routines by chicken heart, even without the rain.


Retort to the Retort -

“Is there anybody alive out there…”