I really like this photo. I feel like if it were sunny it would have been more photogenic, but the clouds make it more picturesque.
The beds in our room were so comfortable I think both of us could have slept until noon. I think we ended up finally dragging our butts downstairs at around 10 though, where we found Nikki waiting patiently, having just told Phyllis that she would give us 20 more minutes and was going to the beach alone. It was actually sunny outside! It was the first (and the last) time it was sunny on our trip. We all walked to the beach and down to what Nikki and Phyllis called the creek. The creek leads into the ocean and looks a lot like rapids. Depending on the tide it can be a couple feet high, or it can be deep enough to dive off the rocks and swim. I don't know what kind of crazy ass parent would let their kid dive into it though. The water moves so fast and is so strong, even an adult would have to be a strong swimmer if they got caught in it.
The water in the creek was much warmer than the water in the ocean. At this time the tide was pretty low so we basically just milled around and looked for shells. None of us was really dressed for anything more than that, and it was starting to get cloudy again! Boo.
Nikki and Phyllis took us to Freeport, which Nikki said was the nation's first strip mall. She said that the Ben & Jerry's there is the most expensive Ben & Jerry's in the world. The main part of the city is essentially a strip mall, although a more fancy one than I am accustomed to. The stores are different shapes and sizes, but most of them are outlets. Our first stop was the LL Bean outlet store. I couldn't stay in there very long, it was making me sick - there was so much cool stuff.
I really try not to spend money shopping when I'm on a trip. I seriously work my butt off all winter and spring to save all my money just to take trips, so throwing it out the window on material objects pretty much defeats the purpose of that. The LL bean outlet though, arrrgh, it was rough knowing I wouldn't buy anything, but looking at it all. It was right up my alley. There were a lot of thoughts about what I would do if I won the lottery. There was this one backpack in particular, I probably should have just bought it... that would be a travel purchase after all. But my old backpack is just fine, in fact I traveled with nothing more than that for four days this past week and it was perfect. I'm not really a shopper, so I basically just wandered around.
I did go to a Starbucks because I was getting a headache that I suspected was from a lack of caffeine. There was a store there called the Horny Toad. Phyllis told me at first they weren't going to allow that store to open there, because the neighbors didn't like the name and tried to protest it, thinking it would drive business away, ha. My reaction to that is that people probably only go in the store because of the name. I mean, here I am a month later and the only store I even remember from the entire six block area is the Horny Toad and the Children's Place outlet, which I went inside just to figure out if it was really an outlet. I had bought a lot of clothes there in Milwaukee the week before. The prices were about the same, which means it's not an outlet!
After that, we headed back to the beach of course! The sun was out again by this time.
We had no intention at the time of getting in the water, but we had brought along all our supplies. Boogie boards, towels, lawn chairs, beach towels, and backpacks. Trinity and I were basically walking on the edges, but we saw Nikki and Phyllis walking so we decided to join them. Once again we were back at the creek, where the water was much deeper. We slowly started challenging each other to cross it. As I said earlier the water is much warmer in the creek, so it was easier to walk right in. It was about two feet deep at the highest point where we were trying to cross. Trinity and I made it to the other side (which was probably about 25 yards), but not without getting knocked over completely several times. We were all cracking up. It was so strong I could barely get back up when I would get knocked down.
After that, the ladies went back to the house, but Trinity and I stayed behind to frolic in the ocean for a while. It was freezing, but that didn't seem to matter. Originally I had seen other people swimming in the frozen water and thought they were insane. But we tried jumping over waves and running away from waves, and eventually we were in water that was over our heads. It didn't even feel cold after a while. It was great! It was one of those moments when you can really appreciate where you are and what you are doing. I guess I have a lot of those moments. It is easy to get caught up in things and situations and how/why they suck, but when you have moments where you are standing in the ocean laughing with your daughter, surrounded by a beautiful blue sky and sandy beaches for miles and miles, it's easy to forget all that.
I got back to the house and ran upstairs to change into some dry clothes, when I grabbed my phone and realized it had an obscene amount of missed calls and text messages. I looked at the list and was bewildered to see none of them were from my family. My mom calls me a lot while I'm away from home (because she thinks I'm going to be murdered or drown or...I don't know wtf she thinks actually), but no one else. I mean... who calls someone when they are on vacation. I clicked through to the first text from Allyn and quickly understand why: "Michael Jackson died!" WHAT! It was too surreal. I don't think I had another thought in my head for 10 minutes, aside from "WHAT!" This could only happen while I was on vacation. That kind of craziness simply does not happen in reality.
So I took a shower, and sure enough, after I got out Michael Jackson had still died. Even after we had dinner, Michael Jackson had still
died. I really didn't feel like it was real until after I got back to Milwaukee a week later.
In the evening Trinity and I ventured out to the beach. Trinity wanted to walk to the boardwalk, so I called Nikki and asked if she wanted to come. She didn't want to, so we made our way there alone. It was about a half mile away. We got there and part of the beach was closed for fireworks, so we got some ice cream and made our way back to watch them. One reason why I am jealous of places like this: ice cream! I hate that in Milwaukee, there are hardly any ice cream shoppes. I don't even really like ice cream.
..I just like eating it. I like the idea of going out for ice cream, choosing a flavor, sitting down with whoever you are with and enjoying it. Ice cream is so readily available on the east coast, in Milwaukee you have to drive to go out for ice cream. The fireworks were okay, as fireworks go. We were sitting downwind of them, though. Everyone was, because they closed the other side of the beach! A lot of them were landing on us and the smoke was blowing right in our eyes. But whatever man, we saw fireworks on the oceanfront!
After the fireworks ended, it was too dark to walk back the way we came. I had a pretty good mental image of the street because we drove down it the night before, but I wasn't putting too much stock into that because it was dark now, and you couldn't see a whole heck of a lot.
On our way to the beach
It was also getting foggy out again. At first there were others walking along the sidewalks with us, eventually we lost all of them because we walked pretty far. I was starting to wonder if I was walking on an angle, and if this was really the street we had driven on yesterday. I have no sense of direction. This is why I generally find my way around by using landmarks. Everywhere I go, I'm looking around and grabbing mental images. My Stephen King comparison in this town was becoming all too true. There was no one on the streets here! Suddenly we were next to a big cornfield and we could hear an owl. Of course, the creepy fog was starting to surround us again. It seemed like we were walking for hours, but I was determined to find my way back home without calling.
We did eventually, and I was going the right way all along, just like I knew! I actually found the way because of the flashing orange light that had guided us the night before.
Oh, and when we got back to the house... Micheal Jackson had still