I’ve already written about a perfect day, but I have to say that yesterday was even better.
For whatever reason, almost every morning when I wake up I check my phone and scan Facebook. When I saw that one of my good friends had a beach day with her close friends planned, it immediately popped into my head that I should go to the beach. If you know me, you obviously know that I don’t need much to talk me into a beach trip. I hopped out of bed and did my usual morning routine before calling my mom; we had originally planned on going for a walk in the morning. Since the weather was not walk-worthy, we decided against it and when my mom asked what I was going to do instead, I blurted out, “I think I’m gonna go to the beach!” I have a hard time keeping things in when I’m excited, and this cost me a couple hours of beach time!
My mom thought it wouldn’t be a good idea for me to drive “all the way” to LBI for the day, and of course my dad had to put his two cents in as well – they thought it would be better for me to start getting things ready for the beginning of school next week. Needless to say, they got their way while I fumed for an hour, rushing around as I went through my school things that I’m storing in my grandfather’s basement. When I returned my dad’s car to my parents’ house, I told my mom I was going to the beach anyway; the weather was supposed to be great, and why not take advantage of having the summer off? I grabbed a beach chair and towel, headed back home to put my suit on and pack my beach bag and cooler, and I was on my way!
I can’t explain how it feels to drive myself to the beach – to go by myself. I did it for the first time in June, and it was one of the best experiences. It’s so freeing to know that I am relying on myself and I am doing everything for myself, and that I can make it on my own. Of course, I know all these things about a single day trip to the beach, but I wouldn’t have felt so confident yesterday if I hadn’t taken a weekend at the beach by myself. Luckily, I was leaving late enough in the morning yesterday that there was hardly any traffic and I got to the beach by 1:00. I have a feeling it would have been sooner, but because I’m an idiot and forgot to bring my license, I made sure to follow the speed limit. As happy as I was to be there, I couldn’t help but feel sad that it was only for the day. The worst part was parking on the same street where our rental house is (not OUR rental house, but the house that we rent), and not being able to walk into the house because there were other people there. And they were sitting on the porch! I know it sounds silly, but it breaks my heart a little bit to see someone else at the house we stay in, because even though we only rent it, I always think of it as “our house”. If only…
The beach was surprisingly less crowded than I expected, and I got a spot up front, plopped myself down and opened up my book…yes, I’ve read it 5 times already, but I had to throw The Bronze Horseman into my bag, and I’m so glad I brought it; it made the day even better! The weather was perfect…sunny and a good ocean breeze which kept me from getting too hot. Every so often I took a break from reading and just enjoyed the view, or took a short walk to find some shells and sea glass. By the time 6:30 rolled around, I figured it was time I start heading home. I packed up, took one last look at the ocean (it’s going to have to last me till next year), and held back my tears as I walked off the beach, down the street that feels like home, and packed up my car. A trip to Beach Haven is not complete without cream-filled doughnuts, so I stopped and bought a half dozen for my sister and I, plus one for the road. I’m good at procrastinating, so I took my extra doughnut to the park on the bay, sat at a picnic table and enjoyed the best dinner I’ve had in awhile. 🙂
Again I made sure to drive the speed limit on the way home, and once I got near the New Jersey Turnpike, I kept thinking I was seeing lightning. The clouds didn’t look very stormy so I assumed it was just heat lightning. It became more and more frequent as I got closer to PA and Philadelphia, and I began to get scared. Some bolts left me with my mouth open in shock, and I was just glad they didn’t hit the road I was on. I know that a car is the safest place to be when there’s lightning, but I would rather not be anywhere near it, period. I kept thinking to myself, please don’t let this be a tornado. I am deathly afraid of tornadoes, and I wouldn’t have known what to do if I seemed to be driving into one. I didn’t notice any funnel clouds, but it’s hard to notice a funnel cloud when it’s dark out and the only light in the sky lasts half of a second while lightning flashes. Driving into a sudden wind blast so strong that my car, my little close-to-the-ground Jetta, blew sideways, didn’t help with my tornado fear. The wind died down, but now all of a sudden I found myself in a downpour, so bad that I had my wipers on full speed and still couldn’t see very well. I, with everyone around me, slowed down to 40 miles/hour and gripped the wheel, as if holding it tighter would really keep me safe. Luckily, the storm wasn’t huge and I was out of it within ten minutes. Those ten minutes were pretty nerve-wracking, and I found myself wondering if I was going to get into an accident when I don’t have my license. Because that would be something that would happen to me.
All in all, it was a good day. Spending the day at the beach just reaffirms for me, how much I need to live there at some point in my life. If it can’t be LBI, then somewhere like it. I just have to find a way of making it happen…