First, a few words of appreciation for those of you out there who read this blog and have stuck by me over what we will now refer to as "the Dark Period."
I won’t bore you with the details, but the number of technical things that went wrong got to be comical. A fine lesson in patience. Time to move on.
But now we’re back and I’m typing this in the early morning fog at Cape Cod. Just me, the chirping birds, and the gurgling coffee maker so far.
(Check that. My nephew Kelly just stumbled into the room, searching for the remote so he can watch some cartoons. Looks like Clifford the Big Red Dog gets the call this AM. The vacation house has cable TV, Kelly’s home in New Hampshire does not. You can see the appeal).
Days go like this. Wake up. Realize where you are. Say a prayer of thanks to sister-in-law Laura who’s kind enough to feed your pets for the week. Return to sleep for another hour or two. Arise. Maybe go for a walk. Maybe not. Eat a hearty breakfast. Farm fresh eggs. Good toast. Dry rubbed bacon. And coffee on the deck.
From there, the day leads to the beach. We’re far enough out on Cape Cod (probably 10 miles or so from Provincetown — the absolute tip of the hook), where we’re only a few minutes from either the bay side or the ocean side beaches.
Soon after breakfast, my sister and her husband begin prepping and packing for the day ahead at the beach. You see, they have four children and my sister is currently pregnant with twins. Getting ready to go anywhere is, um, no day at the beach (I could not resist that one). But they do an admirable job of getting all the supplies together, packing them up, and moving the whole mass forward to the destination. In my admiration of them and all they do for their kids, I appreciate my own parents who used to load up their five kids in a VW bus and make the 9 hour trek to Maine each summer. As a child, my fondest memories come from those summer trips.
So, Karin and I make it to the beach with relative ease. Couple blankets, towels, books, beers. Actually, we packed too light. I’m no sun worshipper, so the majority of my time on the beach is spent sitting and reading under cover. Problem is, like camping, we were lacking the most important piece of equipment for a day at the beach — the beach chair.
After a couple of hours, we got wise and headed in the direction of the nearest beach store To our delight, they had the quarry we hunted. The owner was out and about, wrestling with flotation devices shaped like octopii, and he struck me as a knowledgeable fellow despite the new Red Sox cap sitting upon his head.
We asked for beach chairs and he obviously saw me as a man who meant business (I think my Yankees cap telegraphed this message). He took us right to the "backpack chair," the chair he owns, the "best chair" he had on the premises. You see, the sturdy chair folds up like a backpack, has a pouch to store stuff, and keeps your hands free for that trek from the car to the beach.
Sold. We’ll take two. And give us a couple of little umbrellas that attach to the back for good measure.
Back at the beach it became clear that the hundred bucks was money well spent for a week at the beach. We could sit comfortably for hours. Just reading, relaxing, and listening to the surf. A simple beach chair will turn a I-should-be-having-a-good-time-but-I’m-rather-uncomfortable experience into an isn’t-this-lovely experience.
So, a couple points. First, gear is everything. If you do any sort of outdoor activity, you already know this, but this is a just another reminder. Don’t skimp on the gear.
Second, my favorite part of the experience at the shop was walking in there, thrilled to invest in the best chair the store had to offer. The best chair makes a good time a great time. It also further aligns me with my desire to experience the best of everything in life. I desire and deserve the best of everything. And I am happy to invest in surrounding myself with the very best.
Okay, I’ve had too much coffee, the colors and sounds of SpongeBob now fill the room, and it’s time to see if I can still fly a kite on the beach.
Some cool pix to follow (I forgot the little cordy-thingy to upload from my camera…)