For my extended weekend getaway on the New Jersey shore, I packed my laptop and about a half-dozen unread copies of The New Yorker. I had high ambitions: I would check my Behavior email periodically, continue posting to my blog, and catch up on those back-issues. Somehow, it didn’t work out that way.Instead, my girlfriend and I spent our time enjoying the almost eerie quiet of Seaside Park, NJ. As a beach town, it’s normally bustling with life during the summer season, but its pre-Memorial Day state, especially given the overcast weather we had, is gloomy and deserted. Nearly every store in the town was closed for the season; we had to drive three towns north to find a video store that was open at all, and the beaches and boardwalks were only spartanly populated by locals.
All of which was fine by us. We were looking to do next to nothing: we rented a bunch of DVD’s from Blockbuster, ordered take-out food from the few restaurants and cafés that were open, and generally spent our time in a leisurely state. When the weather was nice, we took some bike rides, visited nearby Island Beach State Park, and took advantage of the diminished population to let Mister President run free on the beach — Seaside Park prohibits dogs even on the boardwalk, but it was fairly easy to skirt the law when there’s no one around.
Being away from the keyboard for several days was a nice break — I have to say that I didn’t miss it all that much, though I did have pangs of guilt for not bringing along my digital camera to capture the odd characters in Seaside Park and for not posting to my blog. My only true regret is that I made hardly any headway into that stack of old New Yorkers — if I can’t catch up on them while on vacation, who knows when they’ll get read.