I’m not a typical beachgoer. Too much sunlight tends to make me lightheaded and cranky. I don’t go to the beach in pursuit of a perfect tan. In fact I’m usually the palest person on the sand. It wouldn’t take more than a tiny bit of glitter for me to make a convincing Cullen. I don’t swim in the ocean because whenever I try I lose a contact lens and without my contacts I can’t see well enough to determine which way is sandy shore and which way is out to sea. I don’t dream of exotic island locales or plan winter vacations in tropical lands. Yet, in spite of all that, my favorite vacation spot is, in fact, a beach.
For the past fifteen years I’ve spent one week each summer at the same sleepy little beach town on the southern coast of the New Jersey shore. Not the Jersey shore you see on the TV show. This is a tiny town with a cozy old-fashioned main street, miles of boardwalk safe enough to walk any time of day or night, and some of my favorite foods in the world.
Fifty-one weeks a year I look forward to my peaceful seven days of morning bike rides on the boardwalk. I crave the local flavors. The creamy homemade chocolate fudge and the luscious Italian ices. The freshly pulled salt water taffy. The thin-crusted pizza and hand cut cheese fries. The evening strolls watching the moonlight dance on the water. The late night performers who set up on the boardwalk to entertain with Beatles cover songs, yo-yo tricks and juggling displays. Those are my ideas of a beach vacation. I love the soothing sound of the surf rolling in and out. I love the feel of the wooden boards creaking under my feet as I stroll for hours. I’ve lived in five states in my lifetime, traveled to over a dozen countries and I currently reside hundreds of miles from the Jersey shore, but for that one week a year it feels as if I’ve come home.
The fifteen summers have seen me through a major move, a career change, the birth of a child, the death of a parent, the anxiety of being on submission with agents and publishers and finally, this summer, the anticipation of my first full-length novel being released. Two summers ago I finished writing my novel, the night before we drove to the beach. I spent that evening printing out all four hundred pages while I packed so I could hold it in my hands for the first time. I read it sitting under a beach umbrella with my toes dug into the soft white sand.
I’ve only been back from vacation for three weeks and I’m already looking forward to next summer. Atypical beachgoer that I am, the beach is still my favorite place on earth. My annual summer reprieve. A place where I can remember the past and dream of the future.
Do you have a vacation spot that’s like a touch stone? Someplace you want to return over and over? Or is your ideal vacation all about the adventure? Leave me a comment and share your favorite vacation destination.
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About the Author:
Karen has always been fascinated by the way people relate to one another so she favors books and movies that feature richly detailed characters and their relationships. In her own writing she likes to explore the dynamics between characters and has a tendency to craft romantic love stories filled with sarcasm and sexy details.