Some random thoughts and notes following what was a 5-day holiday weekend. 

Seaside Heights boardwalk (Joe Palmer, Townsquare Media NJ)

I don’t really consider it a vacation because I worked Monday & Tuesday of last week but for five days I did not have to set an alarm clock, wear shoes or worry about shaving and I stayed up on 4th of July night until 3 in the morning watching “The Patriot” for the 20th time.

Best of all I spent 3 incredible days on the  North Avenue beach in Seaside Park Thursday, Friday and Saturday when a strong breeze off the ocean made it at least 20 degrees cooler than inland.

Speaking of cool, do not rely on the TV weather personalities when it comes to accurate water temperatures.  It was 59 degrees last Thursday and not much warmer after that but it you believed those delivering weather information on TV you were expecting the water temps to be in the mid and even upper 60’s.  Not even close!

I saw enough violations of my 10 commandments of the beach this holiday weekend to suggest that some of you beach regulars bring copies with you and hand them to violators.  The first and sixth commandments were the ones most often ignored, those,  being “Thou shalt not sit on top of thy neighbor” and “Thou shalt not try and open an umbrella on a windy day.”  Not to be overlooked was the third commandment, “Thou shalt not wear a bathing suit which does not fit your body.”  Someone I was on the beach with put that one in simpler terms: .just because they make a bathing suit in your size doesn’t mean you should wear it.

The hot weather combined with the 4th of July holiday brought a lot of people to the shore this weekend which certainly will help merchants.  But I would not yet declare that the shore is back, not by a long stretch. Prior to these last few days many shore-area towns and businesses were painting a bleak picture about the summer of 2013.  The real key is to see what things will be like on weekdays which are dominated by day-trippers with weather a huge factor.

To be honest towns have done little to address a big issue and that is the cost of coming to the shore for even a day.  $10 daily beach fees in some cases with nothing in return, not even easy access to bathrooms is a surefire way to keep people away.  These next 2-3 weeks will tell you if indeed “we’re stronger than the storm” although my guess is most will blame Sandy when in truth there are other reasons as well for the drop off in visitors.