My condo is a five-minute drive from a summer paradise. Look:
Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada. Home of the world’s longest freshwater beach, seven glorious miles of sand and spectacular sunsets over the bay.
I get four weeks of vacation. I spend three of them here in Wasaga in June, July and August and when people ask me if I’m going anywhere for my holidays, I always reply with, “I live in a town that people come to for their vacations, why would I go anywhere else?”
To quote that old song by Mac Davis, you’ve got to stop and smell the roses.
I’m allowed to do a radio show where I pick the songs. Most deejays have to follow computer-generated playlists and substitutions are made based on timing out to the end of the hour, not on the announcer’s preference. Don’t want to play Bad Blood again? Too bad.
And if you’re my age and thinking of the Neil Sedaka/Elton John “Bad Blood,” nope, I mean the super-annoying Taylor Swift hit. I like her earlier country tunes but that is far and away her worst, never-want-to-hear-it-again, cookie-cutter pop single.
So, being in control of my radio program is definitely a rose.
Being five minutes from a beautiful waterfront setting is another. Thankfully new Mayor Brian Smith and the town council voted back in the spring to purchase most of the baechfront properties from developers…and I use that term loosely with regard to the previous owners…and gain control of the town’s jewel.
That meant a summer downing many beers at the beachfront bars, and getting to know the many wonderful people that served me.
At The Dardanella: Chelsey, Mo, Kelsiee, Brooke, Nicole, Jessika, Kirsten, Kyle, Mike and the rest of the staff.
That’s the lovely Chelsey, taking a selfie with yours truly.
At Bananas: Emilie, Jenna, Tricia and Sean.
At the Copa: Tracy, Megan S. and Megan W. and Aurora.
At The Sandbar: Jessica, Melissa, Taylor, Amandaa (yes, two A’s on the end), Brian, Jordon and Danny.
If I’ve forgotten anyone blame the red wine I’ve been drinking during the composition of this blog.
Many locals avoid the main beach, and they’re missing out. I always say I’m the local that lives like a tourist, so if it’s 50 cents more for a beer, so what? It’s worth it for the view alone.
I have all winter to look out at parking lots. Snow-filled parking lots, when the temperature is below freezing. Yuck.
I don’t doubt the staffers at those beach bars saw me and thought, “The old guy’s back again!”
To be fair, and I have to salute Enzo and his managers for choosing a great group of servers, they treated me very well. You can tell they enjoyed working at the beach, and that cheerful attitude made the world of difference in the way they performed their jobs. Sure, they had to deal with a few assholes and poor tippers…I’ve heard stories of $200 tables and no tip. Or a bill of $19.50 when the customer only left $20. Gee, thanks.
But the good outweighed the bad.
It’s not clear whether the Dard and Bananas will be open for the rest of the month, when the leases expire. Danny has usually kept The Sandbar open on weekends as long as the weather has stayed relatively summer-ish.
But it’s been an awesome summer. I’ve had many, many stop-and-smell-the-roses moments and I feel blessed to be living here.