Listening to the late, great “Doors” this afternoon trying to get through another winter day along the Southern New Jersey coast reminded me of the rather ironic situation I find myself in. It’s a pleasant enough day in NJ, sun’s out, temperatures’ are in the mid 30’s, the ocean is still beautiful, even if she’s kicking up some North Atlantic style surf and the beach is a bit wind and sea shorn but elegant in it’s mid winter glaze. From the window gazing out it looks to be what we call a Down Beach or Down the Shore Day though I’ve never been quite sure where we’re going “down” to in the local parlance. In essence, here in NJ, we’re waiting on the sun, just not the one peaking out here and there between the winter storms and Nor’easters of late Fall or Winter. But, the sun’s anvil, the body drenching, heat searing star that can turn the mercury past 100 in late June so that we can strip down to next to nothing, pound beers, and boat drinks, surf, suntan, and breathe in air conditioning like it was life giving oxygen itself before heading out on to a humid night, on the resurgent carnival boardwalks, from Asbury Park to Cape May, made famous in Springsteen songs.
In short, we’re waiting on the sun….
In any case, that’s the good thing about Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean, us Northeast shore dwellers see and feel that big blue water, beach and sun, and take to it like a beaver takes to water and in the old Piney discourse get as happy as a clam at high tide. In the non winter months we’re sort of nonchalant, not that we don’t like the Caribbean, just that we sneer at tourist stories of rough surf, dwindling beaches, and pesky Mexican salesmen in a been there, done that attitude, because we have, just in a South Jersey frame of mind.
You see, for almost six months a year, here at the South Jersey shore we’re tourism central, a primary haven for the beach, sun and surf set. Picture Cancun to Tulum collaged with beach towns from the gambling palaces in Atlantic City to the quaint Victorian villages in Cape May with the high party towns, boardwalks and marina ports strewn like unorganized furniture in between across a dozen or so barrier islands, some so slim the ocean meets the bay during storm high tides.
We’re also not to proud to kick up our feet in a beach shack or spill wine on Donald Trump’s toupee.
And, we’re not above lounging about a five star hotel and ordering room service while watching the sun rise on our beautiful Atlantic view.
You see, long before Cancun, and Jimmy Buffett’s Gulf honkytonks…
…we already had, a license to chill…
Signing off from the undisclosed location,