Saturday evening we took in the fireworks in Barnegat Bay, literally in the Bay. My dad took us out on his boat, as close to the barge from where they were launching the fireworks as the police would allow. Happy place #1 for me.
Late Sunday afternoon we hung in the Bee-Hive, the cottage in Waretown, NJ where my parents have spent most of every summer since well before I was even born. Happy place #2.
Happy place #3 is Long Beach Island where I grew up vacationing every summer with my family. Rob and the kids and I hung in LBI, on the beach in Surf City, all day Sunday.
There's something about the first beach day of summer. The dreaded moment when you realize you've got to put a bathing suit on again. The assessment of available sunscreen from last season. The packing for a few hours on the beach that appears to be the equivalent of leaving home for several days. And then there's the actual beach time.
- Being packed like sardines, hundreds of beach goers all angling for a bit of a cool ocean breeze that's in frustratingly short supply given the heat
- The traditional ankle-numbing cold for your first taste of the ocean this season
- The miserable dad chasing the terrible-two-year-old who refuses to stay within arm's reach
- The snack-stealing seagulls
- The tweens (i.e. Ian) who aren't of the age to appreciate the "sights," but are too old for sand toys and thus whine about being bored every 15 minutes
- Finding sand in crevices you didn't even know you had
- The ice cream man's bell and the Pavlov's dog reaction it elicits from kids of all ages
- The tall, shapely girl hanging with the not-tall, nor shapely girl who secretly despises her friend
- The posers with their body art
- The meaty, muscle-bound studs strutting their stuff, willing to brave the cold water just for the attention
- The perennially-tanned teens and twenty-somethings in their barely-there bikinis
- The alligator-skinned old-timers who've spent every day of every summer living on the beach and have earned the right to wear that scary thong or "banana hammock" (an expression Rob just introduced me to)