Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Surf Side Sonata

Vacations develop a rhythm of their own choosing; much different than the everyday rhythms we're accustomed to. The sooner you discover that rhythm and begin to step in time to it, the sooner you’re able to let yourself go wherever the music wants to take you.

The worst thing you can do is to try and set the beat yourself...especially if you’re spending the week with other folks, whether their family or friends, or in the best case, family who are also friends.

As it turned out, the latter situation happily applied to this particular family excursion, a first for both Z and me.

Z hadn’t spent an appreciable amount of time with her slightly older brother, T, (what can I tell you, it was a monosyllabic household) since they both used to jet set around the Adirondacks with their folks back in the 60’s and early 70’s.  As I’ve mentioned before, Z comes from a large Irish Catholic family of 3 boys and 3 girls, because Irish Catholics don’t like to share a pew at Sunday Mass. In this group, however, there’s quite a spread in ages—about 16 years from the youngest, which is Z, to her oldest brother, who we know only through post cards.

I always tell Z that her parents kept having kids until they were satisfied they got it right and stopped at her.  I do this mostly because Z makes me dinner, and I don’t want to screw that up…and, of course, it’s also true….

Can’t be too careful.

This brother, who came along with us to the beach, the aforementioned T, is the next one closest in age to Z; so being the two youngest, they pretty much grew up together as most siblings that close in age will do, whether they want to or not. 

I’m not saying that they didn’t have their moments—I’m not getting into the whole shoe/potty debacle—but for the most part, as I understand it, as it’s been told to me through the years…they got along okay; better than most…the shoe thing aside.

So, since Z moved out of the house, when she married me, some 33 years ago, her contact with T has been limited to mostly kid events, family gatherings and holidays. 

Nonetheless, we all thought it would work out since the whole group liked the beach and most importantly alcoholic beverages…lots and lots of alcoholic beverages.

Also on the trip was T’s wife, Jody, my partner from the in-law T-shirt and apparel business we started back in the 90’s for the benefit of all the other relations that married into the family called:
“We Share No DNA!”
It’s actually very profitable….

Then there’s Matt, 15, quiet, cool and collected, a star High School Hockey player, who plays all year long, but looked odd sitting on the beach with all those pads on, so we made him take them off in the afternoons.

But you know kids…go figure.

Then…last but not least…there’s always curious Emily, 20  going on 35, who never met a day or a camera she didn’t like…seemingly since she was born.

She’s also the group’s fashion coordinator, music programmer, game advisor and, in general, the Queen of most every situation she’s a part of, which sometimes involves getting lost on a Metro North Train.

Emily has always greeted me with a big hug and a smile ever since I can remember and has never failed to make me feel as if she’s genuinely glad to see me…especially if I’m bringing her bail money.

Okay…I’m kidding…I’ve never brought her bail money…I always use my credit card.

No…she’s a good kid and has a knack of attracting people like bees to honey…or college boys to beer.  So much so that when she showed up on the beach in a teensy weensy bikini we had to cover her up to keep all the bees and college boys at bay, along with all the other beach detritus that frequents the Jersey Shore.

Here she is cozying up to me in a bar, because she said it would be good for my street cred, but what she really wanted was for me to buy her drinks, cuz she left her ID at home.

Next time, I’ll have more details about what exiting events actually transpired throughout the week, but like I said last year, the most exciting thing that can happen on vacation is that nothing exciting happens on least in my book.

But, basically, that’s all the players in this year’s surf side sonata, and I’m happy to say that we all found the rhythm pretty quickly, pretty easily. 

We also found we shared a lot of common ground other than a Thanksgiving Turkey every November and lasagna every December. 

Plus the strawberry daiquiris helped…and the ice cream….and the calamari… and the crab…and the beer….and the wine…and the gin….

Did I mention the strawberry daiquiris…?

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