Down the shore.

thI got home from the two-week East Coast trip at around 1:30 this morning, exhausted and suffering from Weird Pattern Sunburn. The back and front of my neck and about three inches of shoulders were scorched stop-sign red where the sunscreen washed away. I’d been wearing a T-shirt and shorts over my swimsuit for a trip to Ocean City, NJ.

It’s really starting to hurt – it may blister, dammit – and my shoulder and arm muscles are seriously wrenched from holding my younger great-nephew in deeper water so we could jump waves. The heavy backpack cutting into the ache/burn during our long day of travel certainly didn’t help matters.

Wish I could have a professional massage, but nobody’s touching that sunburn. When DF put aloe gel on it last night I shrieked like a smoke alarm.

Totally worth it to have gone to the shore again, after decades away. I’d forgotten how lovely it feels to be cradled by the ocean.

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thSorry to have maintained radio silence for the past week. Getting ready to get out of town, the overnight journey (15 hours door-to-door), doing Philly stuff for a day and a half, taking the Megabus to Manhattan, doing NYC stuff in heat ’n’ humidity with my niece and her kids, getting the bus back to Philly and then the bus to South Jersey, writing for my day job….Well, it took more out of me than I’d expected.

I’m still pretty flattened even though I’ve been at my dad’s place for two days. It didn’t help that the Megabus out of New York was late, which meant extra standing around in the aforementioned H&H. It also meant that I missed the Jersey bus I wanted to get.

Did I mention the sudden high winds that powdered me with Philly grit while I waited near the corner of Broad and Vine? Or the thunderstorm that rolled in immediately afterward? And for extra credit, the NJ Transit bus was late, too.

Why not get a rental car? Two reasons:

I didn’t need wheels for the first two days, because I was too tired and too busy (I’ve had to write two MSN Money columns since I got off the bus) to want to ram around much. Dad let me use his pickup for short visits with my Aunt Dot and my brother.

Also because I’m cutting corners where I can. We’ve had a great time so far but we’ve spent a boatload of bucks. When Alison and her boys arrive tomorrow I’ll pick up the rental car and we’ll divvy up the usage.

Besides, on the bus ride I saw my first real sign that I was back in South Jersey.

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