If Monday's choice was being in the city or being at the beach, it was no contest.
Yea, yea, I know all about people who prefer mountains to coast, but I'm not one of them. And as the summer eases towards shorter days and cooler temperatures - as a friend put it, "hi summer, bye, summer" - I find myself thrilled with every chance to be waterside.
Today it was a road trip to Sandbridge, listening to the Walkmen's "Bows and Arrows" and the Bo Deans' "Inside Looking Out" at top volume, windows down.
After acknowledging the parking lot attendant's admonishments to stay hydrated, there was the sprint across a wide swath of burning sand (no exaggeration, I could feel the sand searing my flimsy flip-flops and ultimately the soles of my feet) so my fellow beach-lover and I could set up camp not far from the ocean's edge.
An ocean, just so you know, that was ridiculously warm and almost placid, with languid waves too worn out by the heat to bother crashing.
When I feel like that, I usually take a heat nap.
We were just finishing lunch when the lifeguards began blowing their alarm whistles "Jaws"-style for everyone to clear out of the water. As if that wasn't bad enough, then we were all ordered off the beach because of distant thunder. Lifeguards stood at the access points to turn brazen types and newcomers away.
Fortunately for water devotees, the Bay never closes down, so we just relocated our chairs and cooler to a Bay beach to revel in the rest of the afternoon.
When my piece of watermelon tragically dropped in the sand, I didn't hesitate to rinse it off in the Bay, never suspecting that it would taste as salty afterward as if I'd used a salt shaker on it, something my mother does to this day.
A guy came walking by, net and bucket in hand, and pulled out his ear buds to ask how my day was going. When I explained that we'd just moved from the ocean to the Bay, he nodded and smiled knowingly.
"The Bay is always easier," he advised. Well, it was certainly less crowded, really just us and a young couple with two cleverly-named dogs: Boris and Tuna. The wind was just right to send eau de wet dog wafting our way on a regular basis.
Besides salty, the water was also quite warm, although the friendly guy submerged up to his neck in it shared that it was only warm at the top and down lower, it was much more refreshingly cool, a fact I was able to confirm while also lowering my body temperature.
Because, after all, that is why we go to the water on hot days.
A trio walked along the water's edge, pulling crabs out of the bay and depositing them in their mesh baskets. Come to think of it, I'm overdue for a summer crab feast and I know just the person who'd want in on a little man versus crab action with me.
We coastal lovers have to stick together.
Sweaty or not, barely clad and soothed by the constancy of the water's movement, salt life beats city life on a scorcher like today...and mountains any day of the week.
Hang on, Summer, I'm not done with you yet.