Ben Franklin always has the perfect adage! I wonder what he would say on Labor Day if he was a full time beach bum?It’s been three months of bad drivers, traffic, litter, lines, and price gouging at the local grocery stores and gas pumps. A local can only take so much. And this summer has been so flipping hot and humid!! Autumn will be welcomed with open arms. I love the tourists because they bring financial support to our locals, state, and country. So thank you, please return.
In the summer, I follow very strategic rules to maintain my sanity. I avoid the roads between 12 and 4 on Saturday and Sunday, abandon my favorite restaurants, and grocery shop in the early or late hours of the day.
Since I have to sacrifice some of my favorite places in the summer and alter my routines, I think it’s only fair that I share a list of sarcastic, serious, and somewhat surly advice for those that want to share my island. My intentions are to keep you safe, savvy, and stop you from driving the locals mad. If I get too testy, I’m sorry, but it’s the end of summer and my patience is low and ‘common sense is not that common.’TO DO and NOT TO DO’s at the beach:
- HAVE FUN, respectfully. Nothing is more disgusting than a tourist with a feeling of entitlement. Your vacation budget doesn’t mean you can use and abuse wait staff, customer service workers, etc.
- USE THE BIKE PATH! Taxpayers are spending good money to make our town more green with an extensive two-way bike path but yet there is always some Lance Armstrong wanna-be that wants to risk his life and ride with traffic down curvy dangerous roads with lots of deer and no shoulder, over the steep two-lane bridge, and cross major intersections. I CRINGE! There are just too many bad drivers out there for me to believe that this is a healthy habit.
- CLEAN UP! Bring back what you bring to the beach, and make full use of the trash cans! The coastal animals eat your trash and die. Teach your kids about littering.
- BE SAFE! If you have never swam in the ocean before, stay in shallow water and never swim alone! Pay attention to the ocean and always pay attention to the waves and warnings. Rip currents are very serious. Check out this video about rip current safety before your next visit to the beach, it could save your life.
- DON’T FEED THE BIRDS! Cheetos, chips, and junk food is bad enough for humans. When you feed the wild life people food, it can make them sick. Seagulls can lose their feathers from the chemical laden food and they can also can become quite aggressive once you run out of food! If you’re on a crowded beach and your child is luring the birds with food then running after them there is a very good chance that everyone around you is secretly hoping you are picked up by a flock of seagulls and whisked away over the ocean.
- NO socks with sandals! Just don’t. Go for a pair of boat shoes, Sidewalk Surfers, or Toms. Why do people do this? Is it to hide ugly feet? News flash. Still ugly.
- Absolutely NO jeans, jorts, cargo shorts, or sneakers if you are beaching it all day. This is like moving to Vegas to become a nun. When in Rome, right? Buy yourself a swim suit and some cheap flip-flops. You’ll be much more comfortable. Side note- please do not wear an UNLINED white or light-colored bathing suit, especially if you intend on going swimming. *Shudders* You may as well just visit a nude beach.
- Laws exist even when you are on vacation. Don’t drink and drive, don’t pick fights, don’t be a jerk. Put your dog on a leash and clean up their poop. Don’t shoot fireworks off your balcony. Don’t take your golf cart on the bike path while your 10-year-old is driving. Don’t be a Snooki. Etc. Etc. DO research the local laws- visit the town’s website and educate yourself.
Every beach resident respects their local environment. We love that we live in paradise. We want to keep it that way. We want you to visit and support the community, but PLEASE, leave the town cleaner and kinder than when you arrived.
Do you live in a town with heavy tourist traffic? What are some of your pet peeves?Much love,