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5:30 p.m. - 2010-08-23
The Situation and The Predicament

Blessings- mixed and otherwise.

Since we've last spoken Wolf left Yellowstone, went up to Glacier National Park in Montana, then crossed Idaho to eastern Washington state to spend a few days with his great-grandmother and meet some of the ex's other kin who live nearby. Unfortunately not the other Wolf in that branch of the family. That Wolf is with the US Forestry Service and was off dealing with a big fire to the south. After a pleasant time with the extended family and being shown the fully restored 1970 Corvette Stingray which will be his legacy from a childless great-uncle (not that Wolf will be inheriting it anytime soon, the uncle is only 56 and in terrific health), then it was back to Utah and Salt Lake City to fly home. My ex might not be good for much, but at least I can count on him to show our kid a good time every now and then.

Wolf mostly enjoys his travels with his father, aside from some long hours on the road and having to deal with Mike's deafening snoring at night, the trips are pretty cool. Except for a couple of sprees at Disney the venues have been mostly of the rustic/natural wonder variety. At 13 Wolf's been to the majority of the National Parks, he's traveled from coast-to-coast, been as far north as Maine and south to Key West. I think this is incredibly cool, but Wolf is only casually grateful. Not a clue that his old mammy grew up as ingrown as a toenail and with the exception of a trip to Texas in grade school had never been more than 200 miles from home until I left home for good the day after I turned 18. Heck, I was 35 when I first stood astride the Continental Divide and was so thrilled about it I made Mike take pictures.

When Wolf is older and I can't stop him Mike will start taking Wolf to really faraway places. I can imagine the conversations at school. "Hey Wolf. We went to Daytona for spring break, what'd you do?" "Meh, my dad took me to Uzbekistan again."

Gah. Fortunately those days are still a goodish distance into the future.

Mick and I took a trip of our own while my boy was jaunting around out west. We, of course, went to Seaside.

How can I grumble about not going more places when given the opportunity I end up going to the SAME place all the time? Because…because…because…it's Seaside. Because it's exactly 148 miles from door to shore. Because the trip is easy. Because the lure of the known and pleasurable is stronger than the adventure of the unknown and therefore the possibility of a less than wonderful time. Could even be a disaster. Because our trips are limited to how long we can leave the pets before they poo all over the house and claw all the furniture to sheds.

We have a favorite motel in Seaside. The owners know us and like us and will even go out of their way to accommodate us. Like on this trip we showed up without a reservation on a Friday and they gave us a room and let us keep it the next night when we decided to stay over. This during the busiest time of year when every motel from Point Pleasant to Wildwood was booked solid. Sure, yeah, we are very good guests. No noise. No mess. No fussing. But we are also regulars and this counts for a lot. No way could we just bop into a random motel without a reservation in some other vacation hot spot during their high season and expect to be given a room and a smile.

Thanks to my canny wizardry with the SPF products Mick and I spent 6 hours on the beach on Saturday and left just about as white as we were when we arrived. To some this might be heresy, almost a sacrilege, but Mr and Mrs Casper The Friendly Ghosts don't tan, we redden, smolder, crack, blister, and puke when we put our unprotected selves on Satan's BBQ aka: the beach. Old and wise now, we know sunburns are NO FUN WHATSOEVER. And we were in Seaside to have fun and nothing but.

Well, our version of fun, which is mostly lazy beach time, leisurely strolling, and serious eating. Did spend a little time at an arcade. Luck was with me and I won enough token points on the poker machines to get a piggy bank for my collection. We also went on the ferris wheel a couple times, wild things that we are.

Yes, goddammit, I saw Snooki. Not on purpose, mind you. Friday night Mick and I had just finished dinner at Grif's Crab House and had come back downstairs to the boardwalk when I saw this screeching horde of teenagers walking backward. I craned my neck to see over them and suss out what the deal was and saw a path being cleared by a crew of scary muscle-bound security guys. Following them were some grips with lights and a boom mic and a couple guys with huge video cameras on their shoulders also walking backward, their lenses focused downward at some critter as short and orange as an Oompa-loompa with really tall hair and earrings the size of manhole covers. Gads, Snooki.

This is what I mean about mixed blessings. On one hand I wish MTV would leave Seaside alone. Two separate years of the MTV Beach House and now a second season of those ill-mannered twerps in a condo. I'm guessing there's at least one more season of that horrible 'Jersey Shore' show before the fake baked morons implode under their sudden fame and start racking up serious jail time/drug habits/bankruptcies and move over to VH1 to do some has-been rehab show. On the other hand, after some initial reluctance and distancing Seaside has now embraced 'Jersey Shore' and business on the boardwalk is booming. I'm glad. Poor honky-tonk Seaside could use some good years. A deal with the devil for certain though that this sudden up-tick in fortune comes from those whack jobs. At least I'm pretty sure that a goodly percentage of today's screeching teenagers will keep coming back to Seaside for years and years to come, long after J-Wow and the rest of the orange doofuses have gone away. Growing up and bringing their families and giving their kids a Seaside legacy closer to my own. Happy memories of beach and surf, boardwalk and games, Kohr's orange/vanilla cones and, of course, Alfred E Newman inviting us up to play Wacky Golf on the roof of Casino Pier.

Blessed be. ~LA

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