One of the perks of having a dorm-like living situation for the summer in NYC is that many touristy activities are planned for me. I’m a terrible planner when it comes to social activities, so I was more than happy to tag along when our RAs planned a fabulous excursion to Long Beach.
Disclaimer: The lack of photos in this post is due to the fact that I just synced my new iPhone 4 with my laptop. I managed to lose the seven or eight photos that I’d taken on my new phone, which included beach pics. Apologies.
Anyway, as I mentioned, I went to the beach. Beaches are not typically huge sources of enjoyment for me. If I want a tan, I can lay in my backyard at home, where I am within ten feet of a refrigerator, Wi-Fi network and a toilet that is not encrusted with sand and used by hundreds of people each day. If I want to swim…well, I don’t have easy access to a pool, but I’d rather get a tan than swim.
However, the negatives were outweighed by one huge positive: we escaped the city. As amazing and exhilarating as NYC is, there is definitely something to be said for getting away. The hustle and bustle of the city can wear on you after awhile (and if I feel this way after seven weeks, imagine how full-time New Yorkers feel) and it’s nice to be in a place where you can see the top of every building in sight without having to crane your neck.
It wasn’t oppressively hot, but it wasn’t super sunny, either. I was perfectly content to sit on my towel with various reading materials and the Mariners game streaming on my phone (they lost their 15th straight, for everyone scoring at home), but my friend Katrina and I eventually decided to head for the water. “Just as long as our hair doesn’t get wet,” we said. Two seconds later, a wave came crashing over us and we were submerged.
What was a rather pleasant afternoon went sour, though, just a few minutes before we started packing up. It started pouring. I had never before experienced such a powerful rain shower. My newspaper was soaked (as were the magazines my roommate let me borrow; sorry, Julia) and I’m not sure my beach bag will ever dry.
Despite the rain, the surprise “best part” of the day was the train ride to and from Long Beach. We took the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road), and it’s limo-quality compared to the subway. It has seats that face each other, so some of the passengers appear to be riding backwards. I still think this is the most awesome phenomenon in the world of transportation.
On the ride home, we were soaking wet from the downpour and smelled of a strange sand + saltwater + rainwater combo. On one hand, all we wanted was to get back home and take a shower. But on the other, we could have sat on that train for hours, reading and chatting. When our stop was called as the next, Katrina turned to me and said, “Ahh, bummer. I wish we had more time on this train.”
Regardless of the rain, it was a nice escape. But I’m happy to be back in a place where there’s no sand on the bathroom floor.