Now on to what made our big day: Seaside Heights. This is one of the many towns along the Jersey Shore, and I wouldn't have thought much about going there if my father hadn't mentioned it, because it has a pair of amusement piers. Among bunny_hugger's interests are roller coasters and carousels, and while there's the Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park very nearly in my backyard I also had a really lousy summer job with them years ago and would rather prefer to avoid patronizing them, unless she insisted. (I'd like to point out this is not a rare boycott among former Great Adventure employees.)
But Seaside Heights, now, that as far as I know I don't have anything against and so I was happy to drive down there. It's not unreasonably far -- in fact, there's a really good branch of the county library that's just about as far away -- although it is down the part of Route 9 that stops being a multi-lane divided highway and turns into something more like the roads which passed for highways before the days of the Interstate. Also we passed a school which had, for some reason, donkeys outside it. There were also other animals, so we guessed that it was an animal-petting day for summer school.
My father warned that parking was almost certainly going to be a problem, since even though it was midweek it was the Shore and the middle of summer. So I was looking eagerly for someplace, anyplace, to safely park and I leapt at the first one, a nearly vacant lot with a guy selling all-day parking (to 4 am) for $5. There was almost nobody in the parking lot, but he did direct us to park next to a couple of women who'd got there moments ahead of us and were at the far end of the lot. We parked a couple empty spaces over. As we walked eastward, to the boardwalk, we discovered several other parking lots just as empty, and even passed a post office which I figured would make a landmark for finding the lot later on which would be easy to spot and unmistakeable. You might have suspicions about later moments in the day.
It may have been so empty because it was an overcast day and it kept threatening to rain as we were driving down. The day did clear up, and turned out to be beautiful despite the occasional promise to rain sometime soon.
Trivia: ``Yankee Doodle Dandy'' was a British army song of the Seven Years' War. Source: Redcoats and Rebels: The American Revolution Through British Eyes, Christopher Hibbert.
Currently Reading: The Rise And Fall of The Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict From 1500 to 2000, Paul Kennedy.