So, here I am, writing on the last day of my vacation. Although, that raises an interesting question -- is this actually the official last day of my vacation, since I'd be off on Sunday anyway? Did "vacation" actually end around 4:00 pm on Friday afternoon, which is roughly when my work week usually ends? Hmmmmm. (I once worked with a guy who actually tried arguing with management that since vacation weeks included days he normally didn't work -- that particular company required vacation time to be used one entire week at a time -- that he was somehow getting screwed out of paid time. I found his argument unconvincing, as did management.)
Anyhow, some random notes are below the fold.
There really is something to be said for staying in a place where you walk out on the deck and see this view:
There's also something to be said for watching your kid step into the ocean for the first time in her life:
I tried waving to Portugal, but I don't think they saw me. Too far away and stuff.
A trip to any seaside vacation destination isn't complete without things like minigolf at places that look like this:
Nor is it complete without eating food like this....
...at places that look like this:
Seriously, I refuse to take seriously any seafood restaurant that doesn't decorate with things like big metal lobsters:
(Well, I give the Legal Seafoods people in Boston a pass because they're classy and their food is of such high quality that I mostly forgive the lack of nautical bric-a-brac. Everybody else though? I don't care how good your food is. Make me feel like I'm walking onto a set from Jaws or Moby Dick or Pirates of the Caribbean.)
Lighthouses are awesome. Lighthouses in the mist are particularly awesome.
Schlepping around pedestrian malls filled with stores selling stuff at tourist-trap prices is still kind of fun.
Didn't buy much -- saltwater taffy, a dress for The Wife, a stuffed doll for The Daughter, and that's about it. It's fun to drop into little shops in a town that has long-since figured out how to get nice, walkable retail onto its waterfront.
Other things that are fun include kites on the beach...
...and standing in the sand as the waters rush in around them.
Let's see, what else? I tried scrapple. This is a food item, served mostly as a side at breakfast, that is basically pork sausage mixed into cornmeal mush, formed into a loaf, sliced, and pan-fried. I liked it. The Wife did not. The Daughter did, until I told her what it was. It's always fun to travel to different areas and sample their local dishes, the ones that for one reason or another are almost never seen on menus outside a fifty-mile radius.
I don't know if it's just a Jersey Shore thing, or all of New Jersey in general, but Ye Gods, the road signs in Jersey suck. They are terrible at marking things -- especially so in a tourist area, where you have to assume a large percentage of the people on the roads don't even live there. Come on, Jersey, make it easier to figure out where you're going.
Although I did like this one:
Dirty jokes write themselves!
The drives down and back were largely uneventful, although the drive back was on one of the hottest days that I can remember. We didn't stop anywhere, outside of a few bathroom and/or food stops.
And now, real life resumes. Yay rah.
(The photos in this post are taken from this Flickr photoset. You can see more of 'em there!)