Cape Gazette

Beach Beat

Welcome to the shoulder season

By Billie Criswell | Sep 04, 2014

These days, I have the seasons mixed up. I know it was just Labor Day weekend, and so the influx of vacationers is ebbing. Back to school time has officially started.

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It seems like fall, but technically it’s not. It’s still summer for a few more weeks, despite the fact that I bought pumpkin spice creamer last week, and Dogfish Head Punkin Ale is again available in stores.

Yet besides pumpkin-flavored beverages and mums at roadside stands, the calendar still says it's summer. The weather is warm, beaches are nearly empty and parking spaces are abundant. A calm feeling settles over the area.  

It’s the perfect time of year to reconnect with friends at local happy hour spots.  It's also the perfect time to hit the sandy shores of your favorite beach, and to sneak in a little fun without all the hustle and bustle.

I look forward to this time of season every year.  This year I anticipated the arrival of Labor Day for a different reason. My daughter, who arrived in May, is nearly four months old. As each month passed this summer, I got excited knowing that the hardest part of becoming a new parent would soon be a memory.  I knew if I could just get through this summer, I would find a rhythm in my parenting (and I have!). I knew once September arrived, my little one would be ready to have her very first beach day. For my family, it’s the beginning of our very own sweet spot.  We can have our beach days and our pumpkin-flavored coffee, too.

Happy shoulder season, everyone!

Beach Paper ColumnistBillie Criswell is a local writer specializing in lifestyle and public relations. Read her blog at or contact her at



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