Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Signs of Summer: Planning Beach Vacations

Only three more Signs of Summer before the official start on June 23, and hopefully that magical date will usher in some sunshine and leave the last 48 straight days of rain as nothing but a distant memory. But this isn’t a weather blog, it’s a… fun blog. So lets have some fun.

Today we pay homage to beach vacations.

Because really, for everyone other than the unfortunate ginger kid who can’t repel the sun with even SPF 500 protection, what’s better than a week of R&R in the sun and sand? For my money: nothing. I’ve been to a few beaches in my lifetime, although I’ve yet to reach the Pacific; definitely a goal of mine at some point.

Despite running the risk of sounding cliché or old (of which I’ve been called both), I think the Outer Banks, NC is the perfect beach destination for twenty-somethings. Oh, and let it be known, this idea is tainted by my east coast lean. Sorry to all you left coasters.

When you’re 18-22 or so, it’s all about the touristy hot spots – Myrtle Beach, Ocean City, Jersey Shores, etc. All pretty cheap, lots of flash, crowded beaches, chain restaraunts, many “opportunities.”

After a few years of that though, I think many of us tend to appreciate a beach that isn’t covered with people, sea gulls and feces (be it human or animal). A beach that is quiet enough that you can have your iPod on med-low volume so you can still faintly hear the waves. A beach with some awesome mom & pop eateries with local flare and flavors.

And while it’s not as cheap as the $35 per night beachfront motel room you and four friends split, it’s pretty close. In the past, we have rented four bedroom beach houses a block or two from the beach for under $1000. Split that eight ways (two people per bedroom) and you’ve got $125 per person. Split that for seven nights and you have $17.86 per person, per night. And no roaches, shared walls with strangers or seedy motel managers.

My honeymoon was at Riviera Maya, Mexico, which was pretty awesome in it’s own right, although not really affordable on a year-to-year basis. But dude, All-Inclusive is simply put the way to go for borderline alcoholics such as myself (I kid, I kid). Honest to God, if I didn’t get my money’s worth in Blue Hawaiians, Pina Coladas, Bud Lights and room service pizza, let lightning strike me dead.

Yep, I’m still here.

I truly hope you’re all going to the beach this summer – and that you think of this lonely little blog back home for a minute or two while you’re there.

Come Ride with us at 4 p.m. Hearts.

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