I wish I studied science and inventing in school. Then I’d have the skills and know-how to build a short term cryogenics machine. I’d lay in said machine and freeze myself from mid-June to September every year, maybe thaw for a few days in early July to play in the ocean and eat my weight in blueberries.
Pointless to whine about the weather, but it’s doing things to me. Yesterday I handed MoonPie a block of fudge he brought back from the boardwalk and asked him to “fridge this”. If “fridge” were actually a verb I’d a champ. Everything goes in the fridge or freezer these days. I spritz my running hat with water and put that in the freezer just for those few seconds of running coolness before it melts down my face.
Summer decided to show us what it’s made of at a relatively good time. On Tuesday morning, when radio voices announced the beginning of a heat wave, my sister, MoonPie and I were riding south down the Parkway to join our sister and her family by the ocean for a few days. It felt like Monday when we walked into our apartment late last night, but the weekend is indeed here. Ha ha, boss of me (me). We got away with something, working last weekend and sneaking away during the week.
Having grown up near the Jersey shore, it doesn’t feel like summer until I’ve swam in the ocean, dodged surreys and let my little nieces con me into buying them frozen custard two nights in a row. I was hardly in a position to enlighten them on the wonders of healthy eating. I basically ate hash browns and french fries the entire time. I can explain. Boardwalk food is from hell. It’s crazy expensive, battered, fried or smeared on pizza crust.
Our plan was to stop at the grocery store on the way and get some supplies, but heat brain threw those plans out the window. We didn’t remember to stock up until we’d already paid for parking and it was way too hot (105 degrees) to walk. So I ate bad stuff. French fries. Curly fries. Polish water ice. Vegan and gluten free, but junk all the same.
Someday some angel will open a tasty fresh taco stand on the Ocean City boardwalk with papusas, cortido, nacho bowls loaded with fresh guac and Jersey tomato salsa. Or salad bowls. Asian noodles. Indian food. Anything but stand after stand of pizza, burgers and fries. Or people like me will just go ahead and remember to take 10 minutes to go the to store.
We had a good time despite the bad food. The ocean was so murky we couldn’t see our toes and the beach was so crowded I nearly sat on a woman who parked her chair on top of my blanket.
You just have to make do when you only have a few days, which is easy with happy little kids around. The trick is to get there early. Crowds are less annoying when they emerge around you and you have a pool to escape to.
My favorite moments of the trip include stepping out of the car and smelling that warm salty air, not getting a sunburn, falling asleep in a 65 degree room, waking up in a 65 degree room, definitely qualifying for Olympic team body surfing with my 7-year-old guppy niece (in our minds) and watching my 4-year-old niece ride a boogie board into a pile of broken shells then rise with a smile and gleefully wipe little beads of blood on her mamma.
We have beach days, pool days, and the drive-in checked off our making-it-up-as-we-go summer bingo board. Since I can’t freeze my way through August, we’re hoping to squeeze in a camping and canoe trip. Also I have yet to eat a perfect peach or a juicy tomato.
The Perseid Meteor Shower peaks around August 11th-14th this year. The 13th will be dark and moonless, perfect for seeing about 50 meteors/debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet an hour if you can get to an open sky area free of light pollution. No need to dust off the telescope. These you can see with your bare eyeballs!