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Feel Good Friday, May 24, 2013

South Florida, Memorial Day weekend, beautiful weather forecast. Life is good today.

Dr. Beach just released his list of the Best Beaches in in America for 2013. He does this every year, and as I was looking through them, I was amazed by how many I know and how many I don’t know, but have immediate family connections that do.

I don’t know number ten, Beachwalker Park in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, but I certainly know number nine. It’s Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod. Some of the best friends I ever had encouraged me to join them for a summer on the Cape to celebrate the bicentennial in 1976. The Dunes on Nauset beach are beautiful and even get mentioned in the Pina Colada song by Rupert Holmes. “Do you like making love at midnight, in the dunes on the Cape?” Been there done that. The water’s a little cold, even in July and August, but it’s still one of the best places for a picnic I’ve ever known.

I’m not so familiar with number eight, the Outer Banks of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, but number seven is just down the road; Cape Florida State Park on Key Biscayne. It’s a beautiful beach, has a great lighthouse and a gentle surf. One of the first dates with my Mrs., with whom I will celebrate a 30th wedding anniversary in a couple weeks, was at this park and beach, and I will always have a soft spot in my head and heart for this little spit of land.

Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park, Bonita Springs, Florida is number six and I also know this beach pretty well. My family lived in Lee County, over on the Gulf, for about five years and we visited many of the beaches stretching all the way from Fort Myers Beach, south to Marco Island. Barefoot Beach, and the park there, is a treat with fine, soft sand and a gentle surf.

Five, four and two are all in Hawaii. I haven’t been there, but my older daughter and her soldier husband have been stationed on Oahu for the last three years. My wife has visited twice. Can’t keep her away from our granddaughters for too long, ya’know. The beaches are Waimanalo Bay Beach Park, Oahu, Hamoa Beach, Maui, and Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki, also on Oahu. I’ll never forget telling my daughter when she moved out there to ask the flight attendant if the pronunciation is Hawaii or Havaii. The young lady replied “Havaii”, and when my kid said “Thank you”, she said “You’re velcome. ” (rim shot!!!)

I have no excuse for not being familiar with number three, St. George Island State Park. It’s up in the Florida Panhandle and even though I don’t know this particular beach, I am familiar with the area around Panama City and Mexico Beach. The water is crystal clear and the sand may be the best I know on any beach, anywhere.

Number one? This one deserves all the respect we can garner. Recovering from last year’s Hurricane Sandy beat down, the best beach in America for 2013 is… (wait for it)… Main Beach, East Hampton, New York. Haven’t been there but hey… it’s the Hamptons. It’s New York. It’s mahvelous. It’s wonderful. It’s lucky to still be there and we are blessed to have such a treasure.

So, it’s a long weekend. Don’t forget why we celebrate Memorial Day, but feel good. It’s Friday.

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