Greetings from the Beach Part II………
So we made it to the beach and Saturday was beautiful. There was sun and sand and two great pools. We ate at the bar across the street which bragged having “the best chicken wings on the key.” Given that it is an 8 mile long island…. I will give them that. I mean it’s hard to mess up chicken wings (unless you’re Hooters) but these weren’t spectacular or extraordinary, just wings – which was OK for a quick easy dinner.
Sunday morning brought a dark sky and rain. Rain is Ok because you’re still at the beach, on vacation and hundreds of miles away from work problems and a house that needs re-painted and two very loving but needy dogs (thanks B for taking on the love puppies). Dave decided several beach goers didn’t have a smartphone with a Weather Channel app as they seemed completely surprised by the rain when it hit. My thought was that they were just that stupid because all you had to do was look due east and see the approaching downpour and dark sky. Thunder and lightning might have been a clue too. Anyway as the storm approached the lights flickered a few times. No big deal. Then the power went off and stayed off. OK, still not a huge deal… I mean this is a place where they prepare for hurricanes surely a small storm wouldn’t keep the power out too long. And there was the excitement of fire trucks as the fire alarm at the condo next to us went off. An hour later, still not power. Three hours later, still no power. Teagan and I decided to venture out to see if the front desk had any information. The elevator worked so we tip toed on it, held our breath and headed down hoping not to get stuck. Several families were in the lobby but the front desk staff had decided to go ahead and take their lunch break so we waited.
This is when I met the family with a bigger black cloud over their vacation than I have luckily ever had. There was a lot of commotion going on around a white minivan parked on the side of the building. A man went out to meet with his family members and then quickly got in the car and gunned it out of the parking space and took it on 2 wheels around the corner to a different parking space out front. I saw the windshield had been shattered. More than likely by the flying chairs and chaise lounges from the condo next door as they were scattered all over the place. The reckless minivan driver stomped into the front lobby to be met by his hysterical wife screaming at him “Can we just go home now?!?! It’s bad enough we were stuck in the elevator for two @#$%^* hours now the &@%^*@ van’s windshield is broken.” All we needed was a camera crew from TLC and we had a reality TV show! Stompy McStomperson ignored his wife and headed to the elevator and got on with her still yelling at him as they got on. An ever helpful/nosey condo guest then whispered to me that they had gotten stuck in the elevator for 2 hours and the emergency button didn’t work and they finally called 911 from their cell phone to get help. I smiled and nodded…. Why tell Mrs. Kravitz that the emergency button in the elevator is hard-wired to dial 911? Either way, supposedly 911 told them they would get to them eventually (LOL…. I am sooooo moving down here). Eventually the generator at the condo kicked on and the elevators worked and they got off to find their broken windshield.
Finally the front desk clerk appeared and told us she had talked to the power company who told them they had no idea when the power would be back on because lightning had struck a substation and it was on fire (PS that’s where the one engine for the island was located thus the delay in elevator rescue). After hearing the elevator story Teagan decided we should take the stairs, at the 4th floor she declared the elevators were now safe again. Feeling pretty good about my intact Blazer and not getting stuck in the elevator we went to the indoor pool until the power came back on several hours later. We haven’t seen Stompy or his wife since then and the van is gone so I’m assuming she won her argument and they went home.
So with power restored we resumed our vacation. As I’m sitting out on the balcony on day five I’ve noticed that vacations kind of have their own little rhythm. Every morning Dave and I watch the beach from the balcony – every morning one family member from a family (usually the dad) drags a cart full of umbrellas, chairs, boogie boards, shovels, buckets and towels out to the beach and stakes out a spot; about 9-10 am the families start straggling out to the designated spot; depending on the age of the kids they volley back and forth between beach and pool until lunchtime; some bring their lunch outside some go inside to eat; they pack up their stuff between 5 and 6 and head in to go out to eat; then come back out at dusk with flashlights to look for sand crabs. The only variation to this daily routine is sometimes at night they come out dressed in khaki shorts and white shirts and attempt to take pictures of squirmy kids before looking for sand crabs.
And the new thing I’ve noticed is the “keeping up the Joneses” going on at the beach. If Family A has an umbrella the next day Family B has a pop up canopy then the next day the Family A has a pop up canopy bearing their favorite college team logo, then the next day the Family B brings a baby pool for the kids to sit in so Family A gets a bigger baby pool. By Friday poor dad has to make 2 trips to the beach to set up this huge 10 x 12 living space complete with chairs, pools, chaise lounges, coolers, and battery operated fans. One day I’m waiting to see a generator powered 60” flat screen TV, but so far no one has thought of it.
Maybe there will be a Part III tomorrow. I haven’t gotten a chance to discuss the guy who runs the beach service here – “Coach.” He’s a character! And I’m having a new issue as a mom; the teenage girls who are gawking at Dawson. Not a fan of bikini clad girls following him around and calling him “hot” when they think were out of earshot!! Of course now we have to get a new door so his head and ego fit through.
(Note: Dave suggested that some elevator emergency buttons call the non-emergency line, and based on the fact the FD has only one engine for the whole island there is more than likely only one dispatcher working and that one person may not have been answering non-emergency lines — he’s so smart!)