I had such a deep desire this past week to run off to the Jersey shore for a day on the boardwalk. The weather has been stellar, and had it not been Memorial Day on Monday, man, I would have wasted no time getting onto the AC Expressway and cruising down to Ocean City.

I’m not a beach bum but I do love spending a day walking the boards and taking in all the sights, sounds, and smells of the seashore. The minute I hear the sound of the steel grid of the causeway bridge under my car tires–followed by the cry of the seagulls swooping over the bay–all of my senses are fired up. There’s the smell of curly fries and chocolate fudge, the taste of Mack and Manco’s pizza, the sight of the majestic Atlantic Ocean, the sound of arcade games, and the feel of slimy sunscreen all over my body, causing my pale skin to glow.

My husband finally convinced me that Memorial Day weekend was not the time for an impromptu drive down the shore, so instead I tried to make note of all the other wonderful, non-beach-related things this past week that tickled my senses. For example:

– The sight of Hidden Mickeys in my Sunday morning breakfast, which also included the glorious smell and taste of toasted cinnamon raisin muffins, something I’ve been craving since someone in my office toasted something cinnamon-raisiny, which is the smell of the gods.

– There was the taste of that first-really-hot-day-of-the-year bottle of beer, so cold in my hand, the condensation chilling my fingers.

– While I was trying to take a picture of the baby geese in the park, I spied something even more intriguing…a snake!

– As Bryan and I climbed the steep stone steps of the park at Red Bank on a super-humid day, I felt my heart pound inside my chest and saw sweat in my eyes.

– The park offered many more sensory pleasures, like the sound of the guy with the headphones singing a severely off-key version of “Kokomo.” Or the sight of planes landing across the river at Philly International. Or the sound of the air traffic controllers and pilots talking about descending and landing, because Bryan found a live feed of the transmissions from the air traffic control tower on his iPhone, and we totally dorked out for the next 30 minutes knowing which airliners would be making their approach. (Did you know the call sign for US Airways is “Cactus”?)

– On Friday, I tasted something new: banana sushi (right). This plate arrived, and I said, “Oh my, I will be taking home leftovers!” And then I ate it all.

– After sushi, it was time to see a half-asleep baby. Even more delightful was hearing her response to her daddy’s “Thundercats!” call. So faint and so sleepy and so cutie-patootie baby-voice, she responded, “Ho!”

– On Tuesday, with its high of 95 degrees, my upstairs felt like a hot yoga studio. So I did hot (Jivamukti) yoga.

– It is very tempting to visit the frozen yogurt joint when it’s 65, 70 degrees out, but waiting until a 90-something degree day makes the taste of soft-serve fro-yo a bajillion times better. And oh, how quickly it melts.

– Random smells: BBQ and charcoal in backyard picnics, funnel cake stands at the May Fair, gasoline from motorboats on the Delaware River, damp wood that reminded me of my childhood summers at Camp Johnsonberg, faded sunscreen, BO.

It’s good to see words on paper, too. Up until a few weeks ago, I couldn’t even remember the last time I was actively engaged in reading and finished a book. Then I started a regular routine of reading while walking and finished The Tipping Point and am nearly done with Realityland.

– On the walk home from the May Fair, I felt the sky open up and pour down onto my body. I was utterly drenched with nowhere to run for cover, but it was nature’s way of giving my stinky, sweaty, sticky body a refreshing bath.

– Going to the gym for my swimming workouts isn’t always easy in the fall and winter, but jumping into the pool on a hot day feels fanTAStic!

Tomorrow morning it’s only supposed to be in the mid- to upper 50s, and I will be swimming…outside. More on that sensory shock to come!