Epic Adventures: Back to the New-ture (Jersey)

Sorry, that title was a stretch. I apologize. Nonetheless, in the words of Bruce:

Tonight I’m gonna take that ride.
Across the river to the Jersey side.

Except that it’s tomorrow night. Stop pretending like all wordplay, metaphors, and references were made for your sole satisfaction. Regardless, those lyrics manage to get me stoked every damn time.

With my 24th birthday taking place next Monday, Jenny and I are making the trek back to my home state tomorrow evening after work for a bit of celebration. Along with the obligatory dinner out with my dad and grandparents and listening to the Boss on repeat, I plan on celebrating with the following activities:

  1. Going for a run in Double Trouble
  2. Eating steak from the German butcher, grilled veggies, and Jersey corn
  3. Staying up way later than I normally allow myself, solely because I want to sit around in my old room
  4. Eating a proper bagel. Make that a proper bagel with pork roll, egg, and cheese on it.
  5. Kayaking across the bay to IBSP with my stepdad
  6. Lounging on the unguarded beaches, tossing a frisbee, body boarding, and getting battered by waves
  7. Crushing a caramel apple from the boardwalk
  8. Eating quality pizza
  9. Consuming a single beer with my parents
  10. Pounding a cake

And hopefully many more things that I can’t think of at the moment. I hope you all enjoy your weekends as much as I do.

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Stuff That I Like: The Beach

It’s Monday morning and I feel like I’ve been kicked in the back of the skull. My body is aching, I feel too tired to responsibly operate heavy machinery, and my fingers are rebelling as I pipette the 150th DNA sample. I may feel close to death, but all I can really comprehend is my desire to go back to the beach.

It keeps me from being crabby. ZING.

On Saturday, the three best friends took a day trip to Ocean City, MD. The weather ended up being spectacular (read: not 100 degrees and/or raining) and despite some heavy pieces of traffic and the worst parking situation I have ever seen in my life (not kidding), we made it onto the beach by the early afternoon.

I was midway through my first dive through a breaking wave when it occurred to me that the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean are the single place where I’m happiest. As I popped out of the backside of that first wave, only to nearly be clobbered by a second, more powerful wave, I was at my most content.

The beach, in my humble opinion, brings the best of the world to one place. I’m not talking about people of course; many of the people I see at the beach are of my least favorite variety; however, it stands as a mark of the enormity of the beach’s grandeur that I rarely, if ever, notice all the unsavory characters. No, I’m referring to the raw power, vastness, and thrill of the open water merging with the quiet calm of a sandy beach and the rhythmic sounds of the tide. There is simply no better place to frolic, run, sleep, eat, or endanger your life.

As I continued my dominance of the waves, I tried to take it all in. The smell of salt water, the sun-warmed sand, the churning of the ocean. I was reminded fully of why full-time jobs and non-coastal cities suck. I embraced that unique, chilly tingle that courses through your body after each trip through a wave. I thought about all that and vowed to always live by a coast, make regular visits to the beach, and never lose sight of the best bits of life.

As I pounded through the all-you-can eat crabs and corn that night, I was content knowing that I had spent one more day in the good old Atlantic and overwhelmingly excited about getting back to the world’s best beaches next weekend in the good old Garden State. And life was good.

Not so great for the crabs though.

Musings: Sandwich Dreams and Brisk Mornings

This is going to be a quick one. In fact, there’s not much to write after that title. In a very, very sad tribute to what my mind apparently dwells on, I woke up at 4 AM dreaming about a sandwich. I can’t remember exactly what went on the sandwich, but the dream consisted solely of me preparing it, getting ready to eat it, and then waking up. Imagine my disappointment when I remembered how crappy my actual lunch was going to be.

Once I woke up for real, I was met with a very nice morning. If you haven’t been outside yet, you are a bum, but you should run outside immediately. Some of the perfect morning may still be lingering. It was sunny and a perfect balance of warm and brisk. Anytime I can wear shorts and a hoodie comfortably, I’m happy. It’s the type of morning I associate with getting up early in the summer, grabbing some breakfast, and making it to the beach just in time for things to start warming up.

God, I’ve got to get back to Jersey.