VACATION!!!!!!! Day The First


We’ve been on one since Tuesday night.  Perfection, thy name is Family.  Or somethin’. 

Wednesday we went to the beach.  Seaside Heights, the location of many an odd Scullion experience, but still hands over fist over Wildwood.  We get up, print the directions–

Why the directions?  Oh, okay.  I’ll tell you.  Twice now when trying to reach a beach other than the aforementioned Wildwood, be it Seaside or Beach Haven or whatever, either Stace and I or Brian and I have ended up in Asbury Park.  A perfectly nice beach, really, but not much in the way of a boardwalk, at least where we were.

Back to the Adventure—!  So, we print the directions.  Stace notes that we should really print the ones to get BACK, since she never thinks to do that.  So, she does.  Okay!  Directions printed, snacks and drinks bought, enough video games in the car to keep Boo and Stace happy, and we’re on the road!!  Now, the directions said to get on the Turnpike, which would lead to the Jersey Turnpike, which would lead to 95.  I figure, well, why go all out of our way to get to 95 when we can just go to 95 directly! We go to 95.  This is the route that I’ve been taking to this beach since I was knee-high to a knee, so I know we’re in good shape.  The Pretty One is…less certain.  Especially since she’s looking for the exit to get off the Turnpike, which I told her several times she wasn’t going to see, but the directions said it.  I keep driving, occasionally being a smart ass when I see something that the directions say we’ll see.  After some small consternation on her part because I wasn’t watching the exact miles on these roads because I was, you know, watching the roads, we get there.  We pass a Stewart’s Root Beer stand, and I was REALLY tempted to stop.  We go across the bridge to get into Seaside, see all the boats, sail and otherwise, and I’m relaxed.  We find a parking spot, the guy directs us to the back corner, everything’s good.  We’re out of the car, I load us up with sunscreen since the three of us make Dracula look dark, and we head toward the beach.  We get on, stake out a place for the blankets and Brian’s sand toys, and then head down to the water. 

Quick aside–we left the wallets and most of the keys locked in the car.  We had an orange cylinder that goes around your neck to keep money and keys in.  You know what?  Those things AREN’T waterproof.  Ooops.  Wet cash for everyone!

We go down to the water.  I’m in heaven, being part fish.  That’s me, Irish, Scottish, and Aquan.  Bunch of the kids there have boogie boards, which I’d suggested that we get for Brian at home.  I’d thought we’d pay WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more at the beach.  Not the first time I’ve been wrong, won’t be the last, either.  So, we buy him a board with dolphins on it.  He’s been swimming with his camp all summer.  Of course, the pool they use doesn’t have, what are those things called?  Oh, WAVES!!  He won’t go out very far at all, even with his new prized dolphin board. 

Now, just to fill you in, I used to teach little kids how to swim in school.  Stace can’t swim, since she can’t wear her glasses while doing it.  I’ve been trying to teach her for years.  Brian, on the other hand, I’ve gotten pretty good.  Didn’t think there’d be a problem. 

He had a problem.  Knocked down twice by waves, didn’t wanna go out any farther.  Stace then realized she should’ve left her glasses in the car.  Me being me, and also wanting to get a disposable camera, I take her glasses back to the car.   I go into one of the boardwalk shops, wearing my orange I’ve Gone To Find Myself So Keep Me Here Until I Get Back shirt, which all the people in the shop find hysterical.  But they didn’t have a camera.  Crap.  I wander back down to the water.  Swim swim swim, carry Stace around in the water, swim swim swim.  Discovered that if you go swimming with a tin of Altoids in your pocket, they dissolve.  And it makes the empty tin very hard to open.    We decided we needed drinks, so up the beach we went.  Stace went to get assorted beverage like substances whilst Brian and I played in the sand.  It’s hard, I should note, to bury yourself in the sand without digging a hole first.  We swam some more, then—

THE BOARDWALK.  Worth every penny of the $350 I paid for it.  Stace likes thrill rides.  That’s why she married me.  AHEM.  Anyway, they have this one ride that looks like nothing so much as one slice of a Ferris wheel.  Stace rides that thing while Brian and I go to the bumper cars.  Why didn’t I go on it?  Well, partly because someone had to stay with Cloneboy but mostly because I don’t like rides where I have to be strapped down as though I was about to be dissected.  It’s not even the height, since I’m not afraid of heights.  Well, whatever.   More rides, small roller coasters, 334.7 rides on the log flume, my all time favorite, then there’s something designated the Centrifuge.  I thought, THOUGHT it was one of the things that spins around and glues you to the wall.  BIG disappointment.  A bunch of seats connected to a spindle in the middle that spins around while they blast metal music and flash lights.   Yawn.   Right next to THAT, though, is the haunted house ride.  Brian, being Brian, wants to go on.  After waiting in the line, we get into the cart.  Brian pulls the safety bar down so the crossbar is right between my legs–EXTREME comfort.  Lame buzzing noises, occasional blasts of air, more flashing lights, Brian, veteran of more scary stories and Martin Mystery episodes than anyone in history is scared out of his mind.  More roller coasters, several pictures taken on a pirate coaster that was ridden several dozen times.  THEN–DUM DUM DUMMM–the tilt a whirl.  AH, the tilt a whirl.  Perfectly fun.  We had it spinning at 78 rpm before the ride even started.  Then we went faster.  Then I decided it would be bad to go that fast when I wanted to throw up.  I DIDN’T, mind you, but the desire was there.  I had visions of fake puke dancing before me.  Go on, it seemed to say, let us out and splatter all over the freakin’ ride.  We got off, me feeling a little shaky.  Suddenly, for some reason me wanting to vomit made Stace think we should eat.  “Huh?”  Yeah, don’t ask.  Right then, though, Stace says to me those six words that made me determined to muscle through the “It’s not easy being queasy” feeling.  “You could get a sausage sandwich!”

AHHHHH…Sausage…fried onions…fried peppers…a soft roll around them…AHHHHHH….

Stace was right.  We got into a pizza place on the boardwalk, Brian and I got a table while Stace ordered.  Looking around, I noticed a lovely dark brown glass bottle of malt vinegar.  PLEASE GET FRIES PLEASE GET FRIES PLEASE GET FRIES PLEASE GET FRIES I tried to send into the Pretty One’s head.  I had little faith in this because Stace is about as mindblind as is possible.  Nevertheless, over she came with two large cups of Dew and…and…FRIES!  The Vinegar Angels were singing.  As I was inhaling the heavenly aroma of salt water covered by freshly cut fries, I distantly heard Stace say something about really big pizza.  I was sprinkling vinegar over the fries when the waitress brought over a paper plate with a whole pizza on it.  At least, that’s how it LOOKED.  It was ONE SLICE of pizza that appeared it was representing all the paranormal activity in Manhattan.  (Twinkie, anyone?)  This thing, this single slice, was two feet long.  Brian and Stace each had one.  The three of us looked at each other, all of us thinking “Holy Gods in Heaven, that’s HUGE!!!!!”  Then my sandwich showed up.  The ambrosia of the aforementioned Gods In Heaven.  Ahhhh…..

I never expected either of them to finish the pizza.  However, a day of swimming followed by an evening of boarding makes one(s) hungry.  Amazingly, at the end, all that was left was a slice of crust and some fries.  We got up, wandered around the boardwalk for another hour or so, then I came up with the idea that we should look for a tattoo place.  Stace liked this idea.  Never found it.  A balloon artist made Boo an orange balloon puppy which was promptly named(wait for it…) Puppy.  I saw signs for fireworks at 9:00, but that would’ve meant walking around for another two hours.  None of us had the energy. 

I gave serious consideration to just getting a hotel room.  This way we could crash for a while, then see the fireworks.  It was getting chilly, though, and we hadn’t brought anything warm to wear, so we decided to hit the road.  We slowly walked back to the parking lot, enjoying each other’s company.

Now, remember when we parked?  How we were in the back corner?  WELLLLLLLLL, guess what.  The guy instructing people where to park had later instructed someone ELSE to park pretty much in back of us.  “Oh, you HAVE to be kidding me,” I mumbled.  If we’d had my car, my ’96 LHS, we’d have been really screwed.  We had Stace’s ’96 Corrolla.  We were only half screwed.  It took twenty minutes of coaxing, begging, pleading, turning the wheel, wishing I’d married Kitty Pryde, and Stace telling me to come back, go forward, turn and spin on my head to get the car out.  BUT we did.  We’re on the road.  Not for the first time, I wished we had a van since that’d give us all a little more room.  So, we get accross the bridge, following the route in reverse. 

Jersey’s fun to drive through when you don’t really know where you’re going.  I was driving up the road, seeing all the things that we’d seen on the way in.  Next thing I know, twenty minutes later, we have no idea where the hell we are.  Not again!!  NOT AGAIN!! 

Brief interlude time–one time, coming back from Rhode Island at two in the morning, in Jersey, somehow we got off 95 South and ended up of the Garden State Parkway.  The Parkway runs all down the coastline.  Trouble is, we lived next to Jersey ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STATE!  That was a fun night.  Stace kept telling me to drive faster since there was no one on the road, but I didn’t know where we were, so I wanted to go 60 until I figured out where we were. 

Anyway, we’re following the signs for the Parkway since that’s the only road we recognize.  We follow them.  And follow them.  And, oh, wait a minute, yeah, we follow them.  Thinking the whole time that Wally The Dad Scullion wouldn’t have gotten lost in this situation since he knew Jersey like the back of his Scullion hand.   We get on the Parkway.  Thirty feet later, MIRACLE OF MIRACLES we see a sign for 195, which is what I’d been looking for all along!  THANK YOU GREAT WALLY IN THE SKY THANK YOU GREAT WALLY IN THE SKY ETC. ETC.  So, we’re cruising up 195, turns into 295, then—DUM DUM DUMMMMMM!

Traffic.  Lots of traffic.  For about and hour and a half.  Right after we saw a sign that we’d be back in Pennsylvania after about 20 minutes.  Stace doesn’t like traffic.  She seems to have a deep seeded dislike of traffic.  She was also not happy with all the New York cars and Jersey Cars driving up on the shoulder speeding by all the rest of us sitting in traffic.  Finally, we start moving, then we move faster, then we’re in Pennsylvania, right by where Mom and Dad’s house was.  I think about getting off the first exit since that’ll also get us home.  Mention this, Stace makes it clear that if I wanna see the Dawn or any other dish soap ever again I’ll take the quickest way possible home.  Which I did.  Then we all passed out in our beds. 

NEXT–THE AMUSEMENT PARK!!

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~ by Sean on August 17, 2008.

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