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How I Spent My Summer Vacation – Day Two

August 19, 2007

Day two was, obviously, beach day. You can’t go to the beach and then not, on the first full day, go to the beach. A service on the beach rented out sets of two chairs and an umbrella, so I rented two sets for the next three days. I think we really only needed one set, as the yoots spent most of their time in the water and not on the chairs, but having two umbrellas gave both SWMBO and myself plenty of shade; while I’m willing to go to the beach I’m unwilling to broil.

After renting the chairs, I went back up to the condo and we lotion’ed up for the beach. This took forever; it’s bad enough for the rest of the family, but when you get my size you need a bucket of lotion and a paintbrush. Number One Sun brought up his idea hatched in previous years of beach-going where he was going to install spray-on lotion booths at ocean-side condos. You get in, pick your lotion, put in some coinage, and get sprayed all over with SPF 20/30/40/LP (latex paint) at your preference. I went one better and suggested cabanas set up on the back part of the beach. No need for an “ocean-sound” CD playing as the real thing is right outside. Add a breeze blowing through the cabana, a comfy padded table, a bottle of suntan lotion, and a hot babe massage therapist, and you have the recipe for ending up completely relaxed and ready for the sun. Pay attention here, massage therapist SIL, but I want a cut when you make millions from this idea.

There were a couple of sorties into town, once by just me prior to hitting the beach and once by both SWMBO and I in the afternoon. On the first trip I picked up a shirt – turns out, the shirt I had packed didn’t match my swimsuit and though I didn’t see a problem with this, SWMBO found it an important shortcoming in my attire. But mostly I was willing to go on the shirt run to pick up a TomTom navigation unit that I had eyeballed on the previous night’s visit, a device I far more wanted than needed.  Later SWMBO and I ran out and got four boogie-boards for the yoots and for SWMBO who, when on the beach, is going to hit the water just like the yoots do. We also went, again, to Wal-mart, this time to find some over-the-glasses shades for me. Actually, the shades were a great idea because we decided to stop off at Hooters and get some wings to go for lunch. I learned you can swivel your eyes all you want without turning your neck and avoid SWMBO’s notice altogether – worked great on the beach, too. Oh, and yes, I remember the mention of all the food we had stocked up on for lunch – but those wings sure were good.

Back to the beach, though; the picture here shows the four boogie-boarding folks en route from far, far, far out (okay, about waist deep or so) riding the wave back in to shore. The yoots and SWMBO kept walking into the ocean and the ocean kept throwing ‘em back out, over and over and over. Sort’a like a NASCAR race, where as a viewer it’s a pretty repetitive scene — except, of course, for the crashes. My job on beach day was to guard the umbrella and the cooler full of bottled water, read (Red Light by T. Jefferson Parker) and snooze, with the occasional picture-taking break. SWMBO hung with the yoots pretty much all the way, and I think the ocean was thinking about giving up on throwing ‘em back and just swallow them whole when we stopped all the hard work for lunch. (Hey, snoozing on the beach is hard work! You have to adjust the umbrella sometimes twice in an hour, not to mention digging through ice for another bottled water.)

After the late wings lunch, it was back to the water for the yoots and SWMBO, and another hard couple of hours of snoozing under the umbrella for me — though I spent about half the afternoon in the cool of the condo reading and doing a smidgen of work (I had brought my laptop). I sent an email to my boss regarding a report that I read, and he sent one back that said cut off the laptop and enjoy my vacation. Not a bad piece of advice.

When we finally got around to cleaning up for dinner, we headed out (with TomTom showing the way) to McGuire’s Irish Pub. Now this is a pretty cool place with an interesting decor. Clearly a touristy place, and a bit pricey as such, it was still a lot of fun. One very interesting thing about the decor was the dollar bills, dollar bills, and more dollar bills. Folks would write something on the dollar bill and then staple it to the wall or ceiling. The picture here, clickable for a larger version, was taken with my camera phone and didn’t turn out so well, but all the “furry” stuff on the ceiling is solid in dollar bills hanging down. We didn’t partake in the dollar bill bonanza, but with some paper-napkin figuring we decided there was at least a million bucks hanging in McGuire’s. The cool part was how McGuire’s managed to get a million dollar décor with the cost covered entirely by the customers a buck at a time. While we didn’t leave a buck stapled anywhere, we did leave a few coins in the gift shop, the wine store, the bar, and the restaurant that make up McGuire’s Irish Pub. The wait for a table can be both lengthy and expensive!

After the meal, Number One Son and I were ready to depart, but the rest stayed at McGuire’s for some more music. About an hour and half or so later, they text-messaged for the chauffeur (me) to pick them up and we then all called it a night.

*Either all GPS navigation systems are less than ideal or the TomTom is an under-performer. I’ve nothing to which I can compare with the TomTom, but it has been disappointing. If you are looking for a portable navigation unit, look elsewhere. 

From → Ramblings

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