We decided to do something different on the last two days of our trip to the beach. It’s called “going to the beach,” and it’s where you walk to the edge of the world, sit down, and hope you don’t fall off.
We acquired beach chairs, an umbrella, a small folding table and a SHARK KITE. A blue Igloo cooler was filled with fruit and water bottles. Chips and Chex Mix also joined us. All mandatory beach gear. I wore my Handsome Jack shirt because even on vacation at the beach, I want to remember my great times in the maniacal land of Pandora.
There’s not a lot to do at the beach. Apparently you’re just supposed to sit there. I have a hard time with this. Despite the fact I spend almost all of my waking life sitting still, I’m always mentally engaged in something while sitting. I find it very difficult to just sit. And look. At water. And people. While being slowly baked. *sizzle*
Mine are the ones with less toe paint.
Some teenagers were playing a game in the sand behind us that we could only describe as “bounce the ball.” It was sort of like volleyball without a net, but they were all in a circle, and they just kept volleying the ball to each other trying to keep it airborne. It seemed like a tremendously stupid use of time, but the gaggle of humans chortled with outrageous laughter every time one of them failed to keep the ball’s aerial property in tact. I mean, really a lot of laughing happened. As if it were the greatest thing ever.
One fellow who seemed to be “leading” the “game” had a very limited set of moronic meathead comments that he kept shouting to the others. They consisted of “there it is!” and “you got it!” and “alright!” and “nice!” It was like John Madden’s vocal track in a Genesis-era sports video game where you’d get so tired of hearing him say the same couple bullcrap cliches a million times regardless of the situation. This beach game lasted a few hours, eventually continuing longer than we stayed on the sand.
Instead of all that fun, Laura and I made friends with a seagull. We named him Jerry. We threw cheese puffs, pretzels and grapes to him. He did not appreciate the grapes but readily consumed the other snacks. Eventually Jerry flew away and it was sad for several minutes.
I got over it after using my empty Pringles can to make a sandcastle phallus, complete with what I coined the “scrotal moat.” Don’t worry about it.
Our two beach days were rather similar, sitting there for a handful of hours soaking up carcinogens and Vitamin D, watching other people do silly things, looking for sea treasures around the ocean’s edge and repeatedly burying our feet and watching our ankles disappear under the sand. I can’t distinguish the two in my head so I’m running together their events. We saw a family who brought an entire pack & play for their toddler, we avoided the young girls who go around trying to take your picture, and I only accidentally saw the nipples of one overweight middle-aged Swedish woman. It was a super success overall. And I think Laura looked tops in her classy maternity swimsuit.
Each beach day was ended with a few hours at the hotel pool, because the next logical thing to do when you’re at the ocean is bob for a while in a much smaller ocean full of chlorine, children and urine.
I took this TARDIS beach towel with me. Some girls took a photo of it while I was in the pool. That made me happy.
Laura and I just hung on the edge of the pool like adults do, as she enjoyed the weightlessness of her baby sphere and I got hit in the back of the head with a water football. Summertime and the living is easy. The pool had a bar and grill type-thing, but I did not partake, as I haven’t consumed any kind of beer or wine in front of Laura during her pregnant time. Nice guy level 40.
When I was a young fellow, my family often went to Ocean City for family vacations. Even at nine years old I enjoyed putting down full racks of ribs at JR’s, one of the finest BBQ establishments this side of… well, this side of everything. It’s like 1,000 feet from the sea. One of our beach nights ended with dinner there, and I voraciously consumed one of the only meals in the world that actually makes me use a napkin.
Going to JR’s is one of those childhood things that has stuck in my head through time, and I’m so glad that 20+ years later they’re still around. I ruined that rack without looking back, and Laura got pork that she ate with a fork. I don’t know why I made a rhyme there. Sorry. It wasn’t even true. Her pork was a sandwich.
After these days of beaching and pooling, I had a fair share of sunburn but also a fair share of “tan,” in the context of my skin. A tan for me is what an Italian person looks like working in a mine in February, but I was happy to see a little color. It faded about two days later, but hey.
We were a bit sad when the morning after our 5th night in town arrived, signaling the start of our 7.5-hour trek back to the commonwealth of PA, but we were equally excited to get back to our own house, our own bed, see our dogs, and return to normal. There’s that awkward combination of sorrow and bliss when a vacation comes to a close. Fortunately we’re good tourists and bought a coffee mug and some Ocean City clothes made in China, and now little bits of our most recent trip can be with us always. It’s probably going to be a while before we can go anywhere again…