With temperatures reaching season highs these past few weeks, I think it might be safe to say many of us found ourselves by the water, whether that’d be the pool, lake, beach or a simple bucket and hose in the backyard.
Most days I take a walk after work, and evening dips and a few laps in the pool have helped me cool off and served as my active time of the day. This weekend, however, I wanted to go to the beach, but, alas, the triple-digit heat didn’t really call for a Jersey beach day.
On Sunday morning, torn between spending all day in bed and enjoying the peak weekend of the summer outdoors, my boyfriend suggested tubing on the Delaware; and although I immediately wanted to say no — I’ll explain shortly — I responded with a curious “tell me more.” A few Google searches later, we landed on the Bucks County River Country website and chose to book a deluxe snuggle tube for the last slot of the day. Talk about an adventurous date, right?
Now, I must admit although I’m always in awe of the beauty and sometimes stillness of the Delaware River on a hot summer day or mid-fall afternoon, I once proclaimed to Nathan I would never swim in a river or lake. My first experience with the latter in the United States was not so pleasant, and a deep core memory of rivers for me is how slippery and unexpected they are in the Dominican Republic. Definitely beautiful but … mysterious. I digress, and while I didn’t technically swim, I did eat my words and relaxingly floated on the river for nearly three hours and would definitely do it again.
We headed out early enough to catch the next bus dropping people off up river. Our reservation included a lockbox for our car keys to keep them safe during tubing. We grabbed our float and got in line to get on the bus. The ride reminded me of school trips, the joy of the kids peeking their heads out the school bus window and yelling, “I can see the water!” took me back to the one I took for my first summer camp away from home. That drive put us about three miles from the site’s shore, which took us a bit more than 2.5 hours to get to.
The water temperature was lovely, low to mid-80s, I’d like to guess. The wind picked up a bit as we got in the water, so we had a bit of a challenge to float in the right direction; it sure served as a good laugh when we realized we had been slowly drifting right to the shore and rocks and not the center where we thought. The water was clear and the current varied in different parts. At some point we hand-paddled ourselves to the left to make sure we caught the rapids for a thrill (keep reading for a quick laugh), but, overall, we just took in the nature and romanticized the feeling of floating in a large body of water under the sun while making up stories and characters for the houses along the way. We enjoyed ice-cold strawberry-passionfruit-infused water and occasionally sang along to the music the various large groups passing us brought along.
Once on shore, we quickly realized we were famished and a tad bit lightheaded, so we grabbed our towels and were drawn to the food cart by the smell of French fries. At this point it was almost 7 p.m., which is when the site closes, so we didn’t think we’d be able to order any food but maybe a soda for a pick-me-up. To our luck, orders were still being taken, so we were able to close the day with the perfect summer combo after a day in the water: cheeseburgers and fries which, by the way, were delicious and satisfied the craving! After dinner, we changed into our dry clothes and got back on the road, looking forward to a gorgeous sunset. And just when I thought we’d had the perfect day and it couldn’t get any better, my boyfriend made a stop at OWowCow for ice cream, and, I mean, that was the cherry on top. And that, my friends, is how we tackle some fears and stay cool in the summer on this side.
What have you been up to this summer?
— Yasser Ogando, advertising & production manager
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