Have you ever been to Beach Haven, New Jersey? It is exactly what its name suggests: a skinny strip of summer cottage rentals, local-owned pancake houses, ice-cream parlors and surf shops sandwiched between long strips of beach and bay. I know this because only a few short hours ago I was there, taking it all in.
I went down to Long Beach Island to visit a good friend (who is also a professional dancer and actress), and to see her perform in what ended up being the singularly most enjoyable theatre production I have ever seen. (Truly, my face hurt from smiling so much at the end of the performance.) It was a spectacular show, and wonderful to spend time with her.
What little time I had with her, that is: between performing two shows a day and an additional four or five hours rehearsing and preparing for the upcoming production, my lovely and talented friend was quite the busy bee and did not have a whole lot of time to spend with me. So in the hours I wasn’t eating lunch with her and the rest of the cast between rehearsal blocks, I had plenty of time to myself.
I spent most of my solo hours at the beach, gladly reveling in the hazy ocean breeze, the relentless sunshine, the feel of white-hot sand underfoot and the gasping shock and slap of cold ocean when it all got to be too much to bear.
And let me tell you, there is little better than escaping this sticky cycle of sun-and-sea for an air-conditioned mid-day lunch break… only to go back out there and do it all over again.
Perhaps the only thing better is hanging up your towel at the end of the day, drinking down a few sweating glasses-full of ice-water, and sitting down to seafood for dinner.