By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – If you picked this week to take off on vacation, good choice, it looks like a beauty.

Last week wasn’t so bad either, and having the week off gave me a chance to reflect on some of the pros and cons of summer vacation, Massachusetts-style.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

First of all, those of you heading down the Cape or up to New Hampshire or Maine in search of beach time, don’t let the seasonal beach news bother you.

Here’s what I read in the Globe a few days before we took off:

“An aggressive red seaweed that hails from Japan has invaded the Massachusetts shoreline, threatening native wildlife, jeopardizing tourism, and causing a stink for beachfront residents. From Cape Ann to Cape Cod, beaches have been blanketed in recent weeks with the thickly packed red fibers resembling matted hair, and the odor can at times be overpowering.”


I was ready to leave my boogie board with the likeness of John Kerry on it behind, but I’m glad I brought it.

There was no sign of aggressive red seaweed on the National Seashore beaches I visited. And as for the Great White Sharks reportedly prowling the coastline, sizing up kayakers for hors d’ouevres, let’s put it this way: I saw a seal swimming offshore. I stayed away from the seal. No sharks, no problem.

Other than the great beach weather, the best thing about the Cape this week was the seafood. You didn’t need butter with the steamers I had. And judging from the long lines at every stand I passed, this ice cream fad that’s sweeping the nation may be here to stay.

But speaking of long lines, the traffic on the Cape has become intolerable.

It’s not just the parking lot on Route 6 waiting to get over the bridge anymore. It’s bumper-to-bumper on Suicide Alley in the middle of a weekday, beach parking lots with long lines of idling cars waiting to get in, and worse.

Obviously, the Cape is popular, but I find it hard to believe that the gridlock experience won’t start to cut into repeat tourism in time.

But you know what the best part of vacation was?

For a full week, I didn’t have to give an opinion on anything more important than frappe or soft-serve.

Then again, this time of year, what could possibly be MORE important than that?

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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