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Beach Bummed

I miss the beach.  This is a fact that I cannot ignore.  For over a year now I have been living in a landlocked state, for the first time in my life.  I grew up near or on the water, and I miss the smell of salt in the air, the heat that is so close it's like a hug, and the soft powdery feel of sand beneath my toes. Unfortunately with the way the summer is looking, I don't think Speed Racer and I will be able to make a beach trip this year.  We have always gone to the beach at least once in the summer, it's a ritual, it's a need, it's a raw animal desire...see? I start to get a little dramatic when I don't get some beach time.

The day the above picture was taken of me, was a day that my parents will never forget.  At that time we only lived about 30 min away from the beach, and on the weekends in the summer, it was a fairly common ritual to hit the sand.  This day in particular the beach was packed.  When I was that age, I never really went farther than the water front without my parents, and after some lounging in the tidal pools I decided it was sand castle makin' time.  One of my favorite parts of sand castle makin' time was collecting beach items to decorate my sand castle with.  My Mom started getting the buckets together and asked me to collect a few shells to put on the castle.

I started collecting and I guess got a little farther away than planned.  But what really did me in was that I lost our blanket in the sea of blankets and passed it on my way back.  I have no idea how long I walked.  But it was long enough that eventually I started to get scared, very scared.  Finally in frustration I just sat where I was and started to cry.  Luckily I was right in front of a lifeguard station.  The lifeguard came down and asked me if I was lost.  Being told so many times to not talk to strangers, it took me  a while to warm up to him.  But he showed me all his official uniform items, and his radio, and said that he was a good stranger and that he was going to help me.  He took me up on the lifeguard stand, gave me some crackers and some water, and radioed down the beach for my parents.

I can't explain the relief I felt when I saw my parents (or now that I'm older, the relief I'm sure they felt when they saw me!).  They took me back to our blanket, where my two brothers explained they thought I had drowned...and may have been a tad happy about it (no annoying little sister, yay!).  All kidding aside, they hugged me and explained how worried they were and how hard they had searched the beach.  It was a great reunion, and that's where that picture was taken.

With such a traumatic experience you would think I would be afraid of the beach or the water, but no.  If anything it strengthened my love for the beach.  For me it is a place to be alone, a place to get lost in the roar of the waves, and a place where the ever changing scenery is all I need.  It is a love that Speed Racer and I have always shared.

Here are some of my favorite beaches and watering holes.  Some of the pictures are not mine but hopefully the people who took them won't mind sharing.  They are all family and friends.  Hopefully this will give you a taste of the beach, even if like me, you can't get there this year.