Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Change of Plans

I didn't plan on hitting the Sea Isle City boardwalk last night. But after getting in my car to go to The Mirage, I changed my mind and went in the other direction to eat while watching the water lap up onto the water at Deauville Inn (Williard Road at the Bay, Strathmere, 609-263-2080). No offense to The Mirage -- I needed to relax. The stress of getting this book done is starting to get to me, and I knew actually seeing the water for once on my last tour of the shore would do me good. On the way back to the shore house I'm renting in Avalon, I stopped at Yum Yum's (31 JFK Boulevard, Sea Isle City, 609-263-2345) for my favorite shore treat: soft serve vanilla ice cream in a pretzel cone.

If you're not from the Jersey area, you might be scratching your head at the concept of a pretzel cone? Yes, it's a cone made of pretzels. My dad always put pretzels in my ice cream, so when someone came up with the genius idea of wrapping a sheet of pretzel into a cone -- bam! Instant success, at least with me. The contrast of sweet and salt is delicious.

Instead of sulking off into my car with my cone (and I was doing a bit of sulking last nigh), I took a walk up onto the boardwalk, or what Sea Isle City calls a boardwalk -- it's concrete, not wooden boards. There was a band, a woman telling really bad jokes, and the kind of people who make the shore what it is in the summer: parents with kids in strollers, their hands already sticky from their ice cream; older couples enjoying the night and the music; and tons of teenagers dressed in their summer finest hoping to catch the eye of another bored teenager. I could have done without the teenagers, but they're such a spectacle. Does that girl really think it looks cool to wear black Uggs when it's hot, hazy and humid outside?

Walking down the boardwalk with my ice cream was the kind of recharge I needed, and then I did something even more radical: I packed up early and went home so I could play with my dog and sleep in my own bed. As much as I love the shore, I can only take so much solid research time before I start sulking. So today I'm writing at you from my messy Collingswood office, a stack of research notes and brochures and fliers by my side, waiting to be picked apart and turned into what you will (hopefully) be reading this spring as you prepare to get an ice cream cone and watch the show on the boardwalk.

Special thanks to Allison Winn Scotch, Citizen Mom and Phillyist.com for linking to the blog!

What I'm Listening to: The Weight is a Gift by Nada Surf.

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