Saturday, August 12, 2006

Country's oldest working lighthouse. Complete with oldest working lighthouse tour guide.

Some friends and I took the ferry out to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, to bike along the beach. It was a beautiful day, and a long fun ride. We peddled all the way to the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, the oldest working lighthouse in the U.S.A. The lighthouse is 242 years old. Our tour guide was roughly the same age.

Before the tour started, he warned us we'd be climbing a whopping 95 stairs to the top. He then warned us he'd have to make a few stops along the way to catch his breath, given he was "a bit older" than the tour group. At first, this sounded a bit cute and charming.

If you've ever been caught behind a slow moving elderly person, you know how frustrating it can be. It wasn't like we could breeze past him or anything. It was actually more comical than annoying. That is, until he veered off his "tour script" and started "improvising..."

(pointing towards some buildings lined up in ascending order)

"If you look out this window, you'll see a row of buildings. They kind of look like that Cingular commercial..."


"The one with the signal bars that go up and up..."

(silence) (cough)

"You guys know that Cingular commercial? The one with the bars?..."

(group groans "Yessss.")

"Well, I get a kick out of it."

If Cingular is paying this guy for product placement, that's brilliant. If Cingular's competition is paying this guy to make Cingular appear even more annoying, that's even more brilliant.

On the way down, I thought maybe they could put in one of those motorized chairs that takes folks up and down staircases. Can they put one of those in a lighthouse?

All in all, it really was a wonderful day. Oh, we also stopped and gawked at a nude beach. Again, the Cingular commercial came to mind.

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