So, I finally broke down and decided to head over to LBI. Usually, I stay away until after Labor Day weekend. But the day was so nice, the ocean was calling and so was the urge to see if I could hunt down a piece of beach glass.
I went to a familiar area, found that most of the public parking that had been used for beach goers in previous years, now had a two hour time limit. Instead of having 75% of the spaces full of cars, there were a grand total of 5 cars using the 30-50 parking spaces... brilliant! Of course the side streets were loaded with cars and luckily, I squeezed into a small spot.
Now because of this brilliant decision to limit the parking places to 2 hours, the beach was quite empty. And the badge checkers were probably struggling to reach their quotas, so they were all over us as we hit the beach. "Do you need badges today?", "Do you have badges?" The bizarreness of it all fell somewhere between, I was the ice cream person ringing the bell and all the kids (badgecheckers) came running and I was going to a show and these teenagers in the yellow shorts were escorting me to my reserved seats.
So an enforced $15 donation to use a beach in the county I live in and spending several minutes driving up and down streets looking for a parking space because of some brilliantly stupid decision to put a 2 hour limit on parking places, the day didn't start well.
And it didn't get any better... I thought I/we might have a shot at maybe finding something in the surf. The beach was loaded with shells, mostly broken and quite a joy to step on in bare feet. With the tide moving out and a promising shell bed slightly visible, I had hopes. Heck, for the first time ever, I was encouraged when I saw the net-lady nearby...and she had her net with her!
But it wasn't to be. I gave up after 45 minutes. I spotted nothing at all. My DH spent at least another 30 minutes in mid-shin deep water, walking through what I believed was a shell bed and he saw one piece of "heineken green" green glass that needed about a decade more of cooking before it was ready.. Most of the shell bed appeared to be broken shells (no large, whole shells were found) and what looked like washed gravel rocks.
I have plans to go to LBI next weekend for a family get-together and thankfully, it's in another town on the island, because it is highly doubtful that I will ever frequent the town that we went to today. I'm not sure what official had the brainstorm (or was it a brain-fart?) to implement a time limit on parking places, but I guess this person forgot that the reason why people go to LBI is to enjoy the beach and not to go shopping or dining out during the day- besides a large percentage of the stores look like they still have not opened their doors this season.
Sandy really impacted everything I came across on this trip to LBI. The crowds were sparse as they have seemed to be for a lot of the summer. So many stores never opened their doors and many places still look like they need renovations. The things that appeared to have changed, have changed for the worst and one of the most important draws for me, the sea glass, looks like it may be years away from coming back on the beaches that I have visited.
My next trip will be to the northern end of the island and hopefully, very soon, I can head over to the area my DH called "cobalt beach". At least it was a beautiful day....
'til next time...