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Name something of value: freedom!

Not just value for the physical liberties we’re blessed with in this country, but freedom from the bondages we create for ourselves in the habits we acquire, the patterns of thought we develop and nurse. Varying degrees of this freedom may ebb and flow as life carries onward, sometimes at a higher peak than at others. Much like the waves found at the ocean, and just as with the ocean, it’s certain to remain a constant. Eager to see what the next wave brings. Count me at the water’s edge!

Well, if that’s the heavy, this must be the brother …

Off we went in search of new adventure at the shore. An early morning rise with hours ahead of us, we were fueled with full breakfast tummies and the occasional nap. On the road, I’m always sure to bring any number of items for entertainment only to find myself glued to the blur of the passersby, intent on not missing a thing, even if that means yet another mile of seemingly unchanged terrain.

Hark! A moment of sun broke through on that particularly murky mid morning! Find it rather foolish and futile to try to capture the immensity of the sky and all its glory. Sunset images are a dime a dozen and always better in real time, something best left to the mind’s remembrance. But, to each their own. Still, you’ll find me doing so perhaps once or twice a year. You can almost hear the Simpsons theme playing as the clouds part and roll away, yes?

Sun Rays Breaking Through Clouds

We arrive. Headed out onto the beach via vehicle! Promptly, we were stuck. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Long Beach has one of the more impressive boardwalks around complete with a large sculpture of whale bones, the vertebrae of particular beauty. The curvature and intricacy, lovely! Out on the sand, horseplay ensued with a little coaxing. There! It’s a bird, it’s a plane! Wait, it’s just Shane. Superman, without a tan. Meanwhile, Aaron cowers below.

Shane Leaping Over Aaron

Found a few sturdy sticks and with a large palette of sand, a little self expression followed. Aaron’s renderings of choice? A British flag, for one. As he neared completion, a small troop of five little girls marched by seemingly out of nowhere, following an older gentleman who called out, “What are you doin’?” to which Aaron promptly replied, “Recolonizing.” Having forgotten his belt for pants that fit a size too big, we all received “the plumber” as he continually kneeled and bent in completion of the piece. Five little marching girls included. Oh, the trauma!

In other artistic pursuits, he continued on with a replica to scale (I kid) of the solar system followed with the Sinatrian instruction to “fly me to the moon.” We did not.

I cannot say how thrilled I was to not have trampled on this little guy while frolicking about! Can you imagine? Fish guts, fish guts, roly-poly fish guts! Pass the tartar. On by.

Little Dead Fish On Beach

Once in town, we found ourselves at Marsh’s Free Museum, basically a knick-knackery store with a dual purpose of housing oddities and wonders galore! Rhyming, what timing, a poet, yep, I know it … Someone greets me at the door. It’s a regular flashback, it is! No separating safety glass this time. Thank goodness for stuffing.

Neon Sign Reading Antiques

Polar Paw

Next up, meet the girls. They’ve been waitin’ around a while now, it seems.

Skeleton Dolls

Off in a cramped secluded section of the store, right above my head no less, sat this fella. A blurry photo? Yep, because I rarely use a flash, and because I flat out refused to step even an inch closer in steadying the camera, despite his dapper appearance. Held the camera high above my head, not at all convinced he wouldn’t introduce himself at any moment, and snapped a shot, turning on my heel to beat a hasty retreat back to the player piano (!). Hey, I’d just rewatched Magic, and could still dredge up a creepy memory, or two, from What a Dummy.

Ventriloquist Dummy

On the way outta town, we stopped to worship at the house of Chico’s, where the pizza is heavenly. Sore Thumb! That’s the name of the pizza. Big, floppy and foldable, as it should be, keep that stuffed casserole-esque “pizza” that masqerades as the real deal far and away, thank you, and an extra side of grease, please, while you’re at it.

Chico's Sore Thumb Pizza


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