|English: Wildwoods sign on the boardwalk in Wildwood, New Jersey, taken on Memorial Day 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Most of the things that make me happy are quiet, intimate, contemplative, controlled.
But I love a good boardwalk.
When I was kid, we'd go to Wildwood, or to a lesser extent, Ocean City. I haven't been to either in ages, but I've been to Atlantic City and Santa Monica Pier, both of which capture some of the feeling in different ways. You can even get a taste of it -- but just a taste -- at Disney's Boardwalk or the Midway at Six Flags.
It shouldn't make me happy, I freely admit that. It's crowded and loud, I feel extremely self-conscious, I'm very susceptible to sunburn, I don't trust the coasters not to break down, the food isn't that good, the stores are tacky sometimes to the point of offensiveness, and I wasn't into the party culture even when I was young enough to fit in with it.
But I love it. The boards and the sand and the ocean, the fudge and the $2 slices, the carnival barkers, the way the rides light up at night, the tram cars...
That's just summer.