“Joe, come on, let’s go or the parking lot will be full!”
“Yes dear, I’m waiting on you ... (then under my breath) ... as always.”
“Joe, I heard that!”
I had only a few hours sleep because I worked late and I was looking forward to snoozing at the beach. The beach is my favorite place to go and relax. I love the ocean. All my life the ocean has always been just a few minutes away from home. Today, the wife and I are going to swim, sun and relax the day away.
“Joe, do we have everything packed? Please make sure we don’t forget anything.”
“Okay dear, I’ll recheck everything ... (then under my breath) ... this will take another hour.”
“Joe, I heard that!!”
My work schedule often has me working the later shifts, so during the summer I’ll get up early, throw some snack foods, water and a towel into my backpack and off to the beach I go. When the wife comes along it’s like packing for a safari.
Bag #1: Towels ... check. Suntan lotion … check. Magazines, newspapers (the last four days worth ... she likes to catch up) and books ... check. Extra shorts and tee-shirts (WTF?) ... check. Sun hat ... check. Camera ... check. Kitchen sink ... check.
“Joe, I heard that!”
… Huh??? I didn’t say it ... I was only thinking it!!!
Bag #2: Ice packs ... check. Bread ... check. Tuna salad ... check. Chopped onions ... check. Sliced tomatoes ... check. Mayo ... check. (Why not just make a freak’n sandwich???) Tossed salad ... check. Chips ... check. Assorted fruits ... check. Two bottles of water ... check. Soda ... check. Paper plates, napkins, and silverware ... check. Large garbage bag ... check. Hummus, olives and pita chips ... che ... OMG! Way too much food! Is she look’n? I’m sneaking this back in the fridge ... she’s fn crazy!
“Joe, we all set? Did you pack the car?”
“Yes dear, both bags, two beach chairs, the big umbrella not the small umbrella, just like you said ... (then under my breath) ... and one pack mule.”
“Joe, I heard that!!!”
So, off to the beach we go ... with the back of the car scraping along because of all the stuff packed in the trunk. We managed to find a spot in the parking lot and after we unloaded everything from the trunk we strategically adorned ourselves with bags wrapped around our necks and shoulders, an umbrella strapped to my back and chairs in our arms. We made our way through the parking lot, over the boardwalk and onto the sandy beach, all the while my imaginary mule hee-hawed hysterically. We stopped for a moment (before either one of us had a stroke) ... We took a deep breath ... Ahhh ... the ocean air.
Examining the beach in front of us packed with families (and what looked like all their loved ones as well) we were faced with the usual decision ...
“Joe, which way do you want to go to set up?”
Looking left to right, determining the closest distance to the least populated area I opted for the right side. So we trudged through the hot, soft sand flipping shovelfuls into the back of my shorts as my flip-flops, well, flipped and flopped.
Ten minutes later we reached the edge of the crowd and just collapsed into a mound of bags, bodies and beach accessories. We untangled ourselves and after a few minutes recuperating we moved a bit further away from the population giving ourselves a little buffer room to stretch out.
We set up, stripped to our suits, went for a dip, and plopped into our chairs overlooking the ocean. Finally able to relax, I shut my eyes and immediately began to doze under the hot sun ... Ahhh ... this is the life.
“Oh-oh, Joe, don’t look now, but our space is about to be invaded (then under her breath) ... crap!”
“What? What do you mean dear, and did you say crap?”
I lifted my head, squinted my eyes and focused in on a group of traveling nomads determined to be the “new” edge of the crowd. There were about a dozen adults, complete with toddlers, teenagers, a bunch of those annoying nine and ten-year olds and what looked like maybe a high school marching band. They moved single filed creating a path in the sand, which I’m sure looked like a giant sandworm to any aircraft flying overhead. These people were prepared. They had big-wheeled strollers, wagons and carts filled with coolers, bags, blankets and wait!!! ... Is that a volleyball net? Someone was carrying a football. There were already two kites in the air (probably reconnaissance). And, is that music I hear?
“Joe, don’t panic, this will be fine. No need to worry. What’s important is that you go back to sleep.”
“Yes dear, if you say so, but I don’t know how I’m ever going to sleep now.”
The procession passed us and planted themselves closely to our right; setting up like an army bivouac and all I can wonder was how this will change our day of rest and relaxation. Strangely though, my wife didn’t seem very concerned. What’s up wi’dat???
Being so, so tired, I did manage to fall back to sleep.
A couple of hours later I awoke and was surprised to see there was hardly a person around us. How could this be?
“Joe, you’re up, did you have a nice snooze?”
“Yes honey, I have to admit, I did. And all those people ... they moved?”
“Joe, I told you not to worry about it ... (then under her breath) … your snoring does the trick every time.”
“Hey!!! ... I heard that!!!”
“So did they Joe ... So did they.”
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Posted by Practically Joe at 11:42 AM