As I continue to go through some old photos of my numerous trips to Coney Island and Asbury Park, I can’t help but think this is somehow connected to the fact that I’m doing so while bundled up like someone sitting on an Antarctic iceberg. Being that we’re a couple of days from Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the New Year. I’m hopeful that it won’t be long before I’m taking out the shorts, flip flops, and sun block.
Coming back to Jersey before the closing on our Virginia condo has allowed us to indulge in some of our favorite things we missed while living in Seattle. Though far from our years in Hoboken and Jersey City. Asbury Park was a beloved and often weekend destination. Whether it was on the beach or the boardwalk. Our experience was always a good one. After a nourishing breakfast at Frank’s Diner where we we wisely decided to sit at the counter. We headed to the boardwalk where we spent a fun day relaxing and enjoying the sights, which included but were hardly limited to weddings, an official zombie walk and enough sun and cool breeze to carry away whatever might worry the mind.
As a kid, many of the sleepovers I attended at my friends home had nothing to do with sleep of any kind. If I remember correctly, and I think I do. The goal was to stay up all night in order to get a head start of the next day’s badly mapped out journey into areas and neighborhoods that often resided outside of the borders or imaginary lines our parents often forbid us from wandering past.
Years later I still have a love and admiration for those pre-dawn hours and minutes where much of the world still sleeps. The streets and adjacent pavement have yet to feel the impact of rush hour cars and hustling feet. Aside from the fact that I have to actually go to bed earlier and be aided by the sound of my alarm. Not much has changed. Upon learning that Thanksgiving morning would allow the sun to rise and proudly show itself. I once again set my alarm early enough to join in and watch as the sun peaked over the horizon.
As early as it might have been and as much as I may have waited to enjoy watching the night become day. I was not the first one on the beach. Waiting for me were two separate groups of fishermen, a loving couple, a surfer and someone who found the perfect time and place to reflect and/or mediate. While returning to my everyday responsibilities on the West Coast may not present the same opportunities to watch the sun rise. I’m sure I’ll find similar joys within time.
Today marks two months since we first moved to Seattle and as the days pass, we find ourselves adding things to our checklist faster than we’re able to cross them off. As we’ve gone from changing our address to getting our Washington state drivers licenses and plates, registered to vote and picked up our library cards. We’ve taken time to explore Seattle and take road trips throughout Washington. We’ve found a couple of spots for Vietnamese food and even Pizza. Explored different neighborhoods and brunch spots while attending open houses to look at real estate. In all honestly, the transition has felt effortless.
This past weekend, we skipped the open house schedule to visit a couple of beaches and parks. Being that we currently live a short walking distance from one of the many lakes and waterways. We never find ourselves feeling any sense of being land locked. Still, being at the beach had a good effect on booth my wife and my always unsettled self. Below I posted one image from Alki Beach (I was sure that at least one of those kids was going to fall in.) and Brackett’s Landing. (There was a car ferry just off to the left.)
With plans to walk to the beach. We made a point to leave earlier than usuaL. Then, just as we were finishing breakfast Kayuri’s mom asked if it would be alright to walk there with us. Before long, two became three and with the addition of her Dad Kenichi. Our duo became a quartet. Not to complain, but I was a little bit worried they wouldn’t be able to keep up with us. The walk itself is a long one. One that, much like most of the rural areas we’ve visited, is one climb after another. It’s a steep climb whether you’re going up a hill (Like it almost always seems) or downhill. Yet, before we knew it. They were leading the path and leaving us in their dust.
Now an outsider might view staying in the same rural area for more than a day as “Taking it easy”. I can assure you, the terrain here has helped me rediscover my once lost balance while giving me strong, durable hiker legs.
After a long, twisting walk, we arrived at the beach where we did a lot more walking and climbing. Overall, it was an exhausting day. Making it back up that last hill at the end of the day took all that I had and more. As we head in to the New Year and the last four days of our trip. I begin to think of the people and things I’ll miss the most. We ended our day with another great meal that took up the entire table and more. I had the biggest cuts of sashimi I’ve ever had and got to sit and drink with my Father-in-Law when we were done.
While we had no plans to speak of on this beautiful Sunday. The weather and the need for a little air forced us to make some. So after a busy morning we opted for public transportation to Enoshima. After a bus ride and two trains trains we arrived. I was quickly reminded of what I missed out on during our 2012/2013 trip when we got to spend a hour or two there the evening before we returned to the U.S.
As we neared the beach and the bridge to the nearby island. I began to see the surfers coming off the beach, many still in their body suits. Immediately, I felt that we had made the right choice as to where to spend our day. Once there I got so close to the water that I completely forgot I was still wearing my street clothes and winter jacket. And while the waves weren’t quite up to snuff. There was just enough wind to keep the surfers and para-sailers on their feet.
From there we made it to the bridge that brought us to Enoshima Island, it’s shops, food and ultimately, it’s breathtaking shrine. We covered a lot of ground today. A lot of walking, climbing and stretching. Our muscles are sending us messages from places we never knew existed. This trip has been a great workout.
Some of my earliest and fondest memories are of my trips to the beach. From my trips to Jones Beach with the Leddy’s (My unofficial godparents) in their shark fin Plymouth Fury to my public transit excursions to Rockaway Beach and Coney Island with my Mom. Toes in the Sand the Sun in my Face and my Feet in the Water. Not a bad way to spend the day, weekend or lifetime. As a rule, my camera comes with me everywhere I go. On occasion, I’ve been know to walk the beaches snapping shots of beach and it’s many people. This July 4th was one of those days. Below are a few shots from our sun soaked day at New Jersey’s Asbury Park.