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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Topsail Island, Part 2 (Mommy, What's Wrong with Frank?")

It's just too short.  And the quest/goal is to make a one week vacation two weeks.  Even another 3 days is better than this nonsense.  And no, this is not the 11 1/2 hour drive talking.  We all felt this way sometime around Thursday.  Where did the week go??  You finally have the peace and serenity you fight for and next thing you know you are packing up all your gear and headed North again.  Hardly seems right.  And we were the fortunate ones that made it onto the Island last Saturday.

All the naysayers thought we were crazy driving into Hurricane Irene.  You will excuse us if we wanted to get the full week in.  Not really in a position to pay for a week away and not use it for every possible second.  It did not look like New Jersey fared much better.  Our warehouse in Fairfield was flooded all week so we could not even do work if we wanted to.  Not like that stopped the endless calls and emails during my week off.  Would have been nice if I could ignore them for a few days, but if you refer to the previous sentence you understand how that is impossible.  Funny how shelving and lockers are maybe the most important thing in the World.

With that all said the main point is 1 week hardly seems right.  I mean look at this place!!  :  http://www.flipflopinntopsail.com/   5 families, (all absolutely terrific) laughing, eating, drinking, and in a total relaxation state.  Some folks did a day of sailing.  Some, like mine, spent an hour on the Inter Coastal kayaking.  There was a round of golf.  There was fishing.  There was beach.  There was too little time.

Now we have a goal though.  Get through the year and make some bank.  Two weeks is feasible and actually quite necessary.  If we keep working this hard for little reward I fear a total breakdown.  Europeans do it all the time (and all the parents at my daughter's school.)  Why not us?  Why not now?

Well, several reasons.  But I will ignore that all for now.  Goals are good, right?  Now I have one (in addition to several others that have gone unfulfilled to date.)  "Decide what to be and go be it."

I may have been a bit harsh on Topsail Island during my first post.  Truth is, it is a wonderful place.  I almost hate writing about it, or Holden Beach, or Ocean Isle.  They are all so quaint, quiet and peaceful I dare not let out the secret.   I do love the Jersey Shore, but it is not the same.  Why would I want to deal with the crowds when I don't have to?  I feel no guilt in driving for a day to achieve this.  I am certain I would not have had this calm North of Ocean City, MD.  No offense to those who swear by these spots...  just not for me.  I need the desolation.  I was actually ok with waiting for service.  And damn it if it wasn't pleasant to hear meaningful "Thank You's" and "Have a good day."  I even had some head nod hello's both on the beach and off.  I can't tell you how many times folks have walked right by me on my block, or downtown, and certainly NYC, without ANY eye contact, let alone a "Hello."  Manners have gone the way of the Astros wins.

We learned that from now on the house HAS to be on the beach.  It reminds me a lot of why I hate my new Mazda.  It is a nice little car which performed quite well during the big week.  But our VW had just enough features that it will never compare favorably.  Same with last year's house on Ocean Isle.  It had size, it had plenty of features, and overall it was great.  But it was blocks away from the beach.  Consequently we would go in the morning and once we gave up for the day we NEVER went back.  Since we were literally on the beach this time we could do an hour or three in the morning.  We could head home for lunch (hooray I did not have to make 20 sandwiches and pack them) and get back for afternoon beach time.  Several days saw us make it back at nightfall for moonlight walks.  Never have I appreciated the Google Sky Map more or for the speed crabs can run.  Those little guys were all over the beach one night and they can motor!!!  Put it this way, on the beach is worth double the cost.

The extended beach time probably explained our lack of partying at night.  Last year there was far more debauchery and utter drunkenness.  The party broke up by midnight most nights.  And I am pretty sure there were limited, if any hangovers.  I am ruling out maturity and/or adulthood kicking in.  The sun has to be to blame.  I am also blaming Irene and the fact that families were rolling in as late as Monday.  WE were hampered by the stresses of just making it happen.  One time is a fluke.  Next year is sure to be different...  two weeks will help.

Funny how each member was posting photos within about an hour of one another today.  Everyone agreed we name the vacation "What is wrong with Frank?"  So, now Facebook has photo albums from all over the Country with that description.  The fact we debated on whether that title was too offensive shows we are all still very much immature.  

"It suggests Frank is challenged"

"No, just handy-capable"

"I am not sure."

Finally I had to rationalize it.  "Frank is metaphor for all of us.  Even though it was said from 3 year old to 2 year old I think it could be any one of our friends, colleagues, relatives talking to a third person about each of us.  We each have issues that have folks scratching their heads.  In a way we are all Frank.  And in a way society is asking what is wrong with us?"

By my scorecard we are winning.  And I am missing deck time right about now.  I am missing my friends.  I am wanting more questions to be asked.

I like not having the answers.  Especially when it does not pertain to lockers and shelving.  If I am still doing that next year at this time we may have issues.


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