The other day, hubby thought it would be nice to visit the antique store in Point Pleasant, one of his favorite haunts. It was a lovely spring day and though the pollen count was way up, we headed down the Parkway and were soon wandering around aisles full of bric-a-brac and memorabilia from days gone by.
We didn't buy anything, which is good, but the variety of stuff was amazing. I saw a veritable bucket of knitting needles. Has everyone given up knitting? Just seeing those lonely knitting needles saddened me.
After we left the store, we intended to go home but it was still rather early in the day. Since I was driving, I decided to take a detour and once we passed into Brielle I veered off onto Route 71. The old road passes through all the lovely main streets of all the little seaside towns.
We meandered north along all sixteen miles of Route 71, through Manasquan, Sea Girt, Wall Township, Spring Lake, Belmar, and onward past Vic's in Bradley Beach and the Beach Plum Ice Cream Parlor. Past the grand estates in Deal. Past Monmouth University's stately campus.
Along Route 71, each town passes by quickly. Many of the houses along the main streets are old and it was fun to think about what it must have been like along the shore in the old days with horse drawn carriages.
We had a wonderful time. It was far better than zipping home along the Parkway. Of course, that day we had time--time to appreciate spring--the blossoming trees (despite the pollen) and bushes. It was calming not to rush. It's easier to see details when you're going at a grand speed of twenty-miles miles an hour.
I like detours. I consider them small adventures--and since I've lived in New Jersey all my life, I've never been afraid of getting lost. (Hint: there will always be a Parkway sign or a Turnpike sign somewhere along the way.) As a writer, detours often lead me into new plots.
Where will my next story take place? Hmmm. Maybe somewhere along Route 71.