Vacations are stressful, which is the reason why I hate taking them.
My last family vacation was two years ago, and it was a disaster. The first day I fell asleep on the beach and my kids woke me up around 7 p.m. telling me that mom was ready to go to dinner. I awoke with sand in every crevice imaginable and took the family out to eat. I was pulling sand out of my body parts until Christmas.
Last week, I took a few days off and visited some family back in Jersey. The week was filled with traffic circles, drivers beeping their horns and flipping me and everyone else off. It’s apparent that you have to master that to get your license
We wound up “Down the shore.” Anywhere else in the world you go to the beach, but in Jersey, you go down the shore, Asbury Park to be specific.
Asbury Park was at one time a thriving beach community. It is the home of Bruce Springsteen and, at that time if you lived in Jersey, and didn’t like “The Boss,” you might as well be a communist.
Over the years, the town was transformed into a seedy beach town riddled with crime and vagrants. However, more recently, the city was revitalized and has morphed into a mecca of music, art and food.
Last week, I spent a few days on the beach, where you have to pay $10 a day to get on. And the nights were spent walking along the boardwalk.
My daughter got her palm read at Madame Marie’s, a famous place in one of The Boss’ ballads. There was live music in several venues each night and we ate fantastic food with impeccable service.
My last day there, it rained for the most part of the day. That evening the rain stopped and the waves got bigger. At 8 p.m. I decided it was a good idea to take a final dip in the ocean, against the advice of my wife and every other adult near me.
But, after all, I was at the Jersey shore, my hometown, nothing was stopping me. I went body surfing — it’s a Jersey thing — and caught the first wave I could. It slammed me into the shoreline face first. Another wave knocked me down and spun me around. I was like a turtle trying flip over. When I came to, I was a bloody mess.
The ocean floor scraped the skin off the side of my head causing me to bleed. My shoulder was aching like it was separated, and I had an instant headache. I went back into the ocean to clear the blood off my face when I realized that sharks like blood. I got out quickly.
I spent 10 hours the next day driving home, wiping aloe all over my face to avoid scars, and taking Advil like they were candy, only to have my neck stiffen up so bad I couldn’t move my head for two days. Real fun!
I’m gonna hold off on vacations for a while.
Thanks for reading the Floyd Chronicle and Times.