Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Virginia Beach, Virginia. Nags Head, North Carolina. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Every summer of my baby boomer childhood, my family took a two-week vacation to Some Atlantic Beach City, USA. Most often, I grumbled as I took my place in the backseat of my dad’s Chevy, for I knew it would mean spending hours and hours sticking to hot, vinyl car seats, fighting carsickness and vying for bits of space not already occupied by my older brother’s ever-growing long legs.
My mother would disregard the grumbling, offer salty snacks to quiet our angry stomachs, suggest word games to play or license plates to look for — anything to keep us from distracting my father from his driving tasks. I admit that my grumbles more than once grew into full-blown sobbing fits. I was certainly missing everything happening at home while I was gone. My summer would be ruined!
“Nonsense,” my mother assured me. “It will be good for what ails you.”