No room at the inn. That was the answer I received from every hotel I called when I tried to book last-minute weekend rooms at the Jersey Shore. I had tickets for a Steely Dan/Elvis Costello concert at the PNC Bank Arts Center for Saturday night and, with American Pharoah running in the Haskell on Sunday at Monmouth Park, I thought a weekend at the Shore was a good idea.
Remember Kathleen Turner in “Body Heat“? Seductive and dangerous. The Pacific Coast Highway is like that. The sweeping ocean views are tremendous and without meaning to, you swerve into the wrong lane while driving because your mind is busy processing the “wow” factor.
Used all of your vacation days by April 1? Forgot to chip in on the weekend beach house rental? Avoiding the lunchroom because you don’t want to hear who’s going where next week? Don’t despair. Here are 10 ways to put a little getaway into every day.
1. Pack a beach towel in your briefcase. Take a 15-minute break from your desk and sit outside in the sun. If anyone asks, explain that your doctor recommended it as therapy for your low Vitamin D levels. If they continue to pry, gently remind them of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
2. Take an outdoor shower. Nothing feels better than showering under an open sky. If you don’t have one, a garden hose will do. Grab a bar of soap (Try “Sea Vegetable” from LUSH – smells like lime and seaweed.), lather up and let the sun dry you off. Then, take a bow for the neighbors.
If you’re planning to rent a house at the shore this summer, now’s the perfect time to book it. Good houses disappear quickly. If you wait any longer, you may end up with a mildewed manse with slugs in the shower. So put down the snow shovel and start browsing online. Or, better yet, hop on a plane and check out the rentals in person. Continue reading →
I recently returned from the land down under – Florida – prompting me to revisit one of my favorite roadside attractions, the Evander Preston Gallery. According to a local news report, Mr. Preston is still up to his unusual shenanigans. My original post from 2012 follows:
When my sister first moved to Pass-a-Grille, Florida, she wondered about the identity of the homeless guy riding his bicycle up and down Gulf Way. One day while speculating out loud, a waitress at The Hurricane finally tipped her off. “Honey. That’s no vagrant. That’s Evander.” Florida has a reputation for producing colorful characters; the state has proudly sheltered pirates, housed Ernest Hemingway and his six-toed cats, and nurtured generations of gator wrestlers. I think it’s fair to say that only Florida could produce Evander Preston, a jewelry craftsman, brewer, art collector, and chef who resembles a refugee from the Hell’s Angels. Continue reading →