After a quick stop at the bank and then one at a gas station, we headed up...the lady in the GPS sent us a relatively normal way up the parkway and then told me to get off the highway fairly earlier than I would have expected. At first, I wasn't sure if she was quite sending me to the right place, but then I saw that she had taken me through the back roads way.
When we arrived at the beach, it was 11:45am. We quickly laid out our blanket (after getting past an area of scorching sand...thank God for our respective sandles/flip-flops...more on that in a moment), undressed and put on sunscreen. Jarvis decided that today he'd mostly just want to lay out in the sun and start a tan. I usually like to walk along the shore and at least get my feet wet (I'm not up to actually swimming in the water since it's so COLD generally).
Thoughts/observations: They closed off a whole much bigger chunk of the beach on the southside than they usually have in previous summers to protect the birds. This was good for a number of things:
- the "gay" section was much closer to the "straight" section
- the birds (mostly gulls) tended to stay on the empty area of the beach and weren't in the human side, so I wasn't constantly feeling endangered.
We also noticed: more females on the beach (which worked out nice for Jarvis, I suppose). There also seemed to be more than usual leaving their clothes on. This in itself doesn't bother me if at least one person in a group is naked ('cause that just means that the rest of the people were respectful of that person's choice to come to that beach). What bothers me is a whole group of clothed people being there (considering there's a whole 'nother beach there where they could choose to go). Why does this bother me? 'Cause it feels as if they are only there to look at the REST of us. Hey, I have no problem being seen naked by the rest of the naked people (and I enjoy looking at the other naked people, too, frankly), but I always feel a little perturbed with these types.
About half-way through the afternoon, while I was walking out on the water, some sea spray ended up splashing salt/sand in my eyes. I had sand grit all over my hands (as well as lotion), so rubbing my eyes only made it worse and BURN. I couldn't keep my eyes open for more than a few seconds. They were watering up, but not enough to flush whatever was in my eye. I walked back to the blanket (slowly making my way, taking a step only when I could open my eyes again). I took an ice cube out of our cooler to flush my eye, but I needed a napkin. I asked Jarvis if he could go over to the refreshment stand to get some. He forgot to put on his sandles and by the time he came back, the bottom of his foot was blistered with burns from the hot sand! Ice cooled his feet off some, but he was toast by that point.
We quickly dressed, made our way back to the car and I reset the GPS Lady to find "Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash" in Red Bank (since I knew that we would enjoy eating in Red Bank, since there were many choices in the downtown area). Neither of us had eaten that morning (though I'd had a big spoonful of peanut butter).
The GPS Lady AGAIN took us through some backroads (by some gorgeous homes) and we were quickly in Red Bank, NJ. We parked and walked to the Broadway Grille. We ordered our food and CHOWED DOWN. I got a chicken quesadilla and a cheeseburger (mozzarella cheese and grilled red peppers plus bacon, served with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickle and waffle fries). Jarvis got a crock of onion soup, mozzarella sticks and a cheesesteak with waffle fries.
We then headed into Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, but didn't buy anything...they didn't have any of the recent back issues I'd needed. :( I must say that Walt Flanagan must daily thank GOD that Kevin Smith made the Clerks movies and could afford to buy that comic shop (since it has kept him employed since it opened).
Our next stop was across the street at Funk and Standard which usually is filled to the gills with funky, cool, stuff (generally the type of things carried by Archie McPhee's, but I was disappointed this time to find it mostly filled with women's summer dresses in the front of the store. What's THAT about?
Finally, we stopped into Hobbymasters, where I finally got my hands on Stonehenge. It's an "Anthology" board game, designed by FIVE game designers (each with their own completely different game, each using the same pieces/board for a different experience). I like that the website for the game ALSO has even more variations on the game!
We got home at about 6:30 or so.
I surfed for a LITTLE while and then Paul and I started to watch the new Batman "Gotham Knight" cartoon on DVD ((thanks to Netflix)...we watched about the first three-fifths of this and I was very much enjoying it, but I started to droop (probably due to the sun/heat from earlier in the day). We'll just have to finish it tonight. What I saw already was pretty good, though.