Which do you prefer in the summer?
Me, I’m torn. I love them both.
As someone who grew up on the Jersey Shore (which was not like the TV show of the same name. Heck, those creatures aren’t even from New Jersey. I wonder if they’re even from this planet), I have an almost visceral attachment to the beach. When I was a kid, I spent my entire summer there. My high school years were reminiscent of Beach Blanket Bingo. All my friends hung out on the beach, so I did, too. I even waitressed nights on the boardwalk so I could spend my days on the sand. The smell of sunscreen (we used to call it suntan lotion) still takes me back. And there’s no food I enjoy more than good seafood.
But the mountains… ah, the mountains. What can compare to the smell of pine trees, the view from a mountain top, the fun of kayaking a mountain lake or river? Even though I moved to the mountains later in life, I feel at peace here. It’s my home, and I love it deeply.
It’s true that every summer I feel the pull of the ocean. I yearn to sit on the beach, sun-sotted and salt soaked, dashing into the waves when I get too hot, stuffing myself with steamers and crab. All the same, I hate to leave my Green Mountain State. Summer in Vermont is glorious, and as much as I love it in the winter, it’s amazing here now, too.
So truly, I’m conflicted. Does it have to be an either/or situation? Can’t we embrace them both?
This year, I’m solving my dilemma with a trip to Acadia National Park in Maine. If you’ve never been, you should go. It’s the perfect combination of mountains and ocean, with lots of lobster on the side. And though the water is bone chilling cold, that’s okay. There’s enough other stuff to make up for it. I know I’ll have a great time.
So which do you prefer in the summer? The mountains? The beach? Or are you like me and love them both?