Where do cruise ship employees go when they take vacation? An office?
Several versions of this question have been posed to me over the years. In truth, I tend to spend my time off of ships in a mundane fashion that usually involves a Slanket and giant mugs of coffee. I associate travel with stimulation, adventure, learning opportunities, troubleshooting, but seldom with relaxation. Silly me!
Old friends of mine recently invited me to visit them in their new home in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Former die-hard New Yorkers, they have forgone the vacillating pleasures of a Manhattan lifestyle in favor of light, space, foliage, close proximity to a thriving and historic boardwalk, pristine beaches, and a lively arts scene. I have visited 84-countries to date, but I had never been to Asbury Park! Again, silly me!
Founded in 1871 by James A. Bradley, Asbury Park was designated as a progressive city at its inception. The innovative vision of its founder included a boardwalk and pavilion, trolley systems, wide, tree-lined streets, manicured parks, and a thriving oceanfront! The city flourished from the later part of the Victorian era to the mid 1960’s.
Concurrently, the city’s musical history chronicles the very evolution of American popular music, from the patriotic work of John Philip Sousa, to Big Band, Jazz, Blues, and, of course, contemporary rock legends like Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi. Asbury Park has undergone phenomenal revitalization in the last 10-years, curtailed only briefly by damage sustained by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
But I wasn’t there for the Cult’cha. Aside from the high-spirited reunion with my friends, I was more than content to shuffle along barefoot at the shoreline, the incoming tide soaking my jeans with an invigorating September chill.
When your work involves the planning and realization of other peoples’ play, it’s easy to lose sight of the simple and necessary pleasures of a spontaneous getaway.
For more information visit: http://www.visitthejerseyshore.com