A Day At The Beach

I'm generally not a beach person. Even though I live in sunny Southern California, I rarely go to the beach.


Well, I've never looked that hot in a swimsuit, I'm concerned about skin cancer and I'm scared I'm going to catch something from polluted water. The Pacific Ocean is cold, even in summertime. Plus, I'm not going to ruin the hair I just spent three tedious hours getting done.

My aversion to the beach changes when I drive up the coast to Santa Barbara. There's something about the views of the mountains to my right and crashing waves to my left that makes me want to just jump in the water. I'm here for work for a couple of days, and yesterday I pulled off the freeway at Carpinteria State Beach. The sign at the beach said that parking was $8. I told the attendant I just wanted to put my feet in the water for 15 minutes and she let me through.

Just me and the water. It was a bit chilly, but not the artic freeze you'd be getting in Lake Michigan at this time of year. Something about the waves crashing over me makes me forget about people who steal parking spots and talk on their cell phone too loud. It makes me forget about how Barack Obama is getting the, "Is he black enough?" litmus test. It makes me just think about...higher things. You know, world peace, the meaning of life, what is true love and what does it really mean to pursue happiness.

Fifteen minutes, that's all it took to come down from all the drama and all the worries and all the little things I stress out about. Hmm...Maybe I should come to the beach more often.


* said…
I was shocked at how cold the Pacific Ocean was, the first time I touched it on the California side. Its hard to believe its connected to the tropics on the far other side... Meanwhile, the coast guard remains busy breaking up the ice floes on Lake Michigan.
none said…
I like sticking my feet in the water. It does wonders for the calluses. It's really relaxing as well. I live near the gulf so the water is warmer but much more murky.
Ms Melancholy said…
As a brit, I would just like to remind you how lucky you are! We have the sea, but we don't have the ocean. I spent a couple of weeks last year in Costa Rica, and was totally overwhelmed by the ocean. Huge waves, huge, huge waves... it made me feel so small, so insignificant and I was very thankful for that. You are so right that the enormity of the natural world takes us away from the minor irritations of life, like people talking too loudly on mobile phones. Glad you dipped your feet! I got swept over by a wave in CR and cracked my coxic. Still giving me grief!

You mention the 'is he black enough' debate over Obama. We are not getting much of this over in the UK (we are just extremely excited at the thought of a democrat in office again, let alone the immense excitement of having a black democrat at the helm!) If you feel like providing a public service to those of us outside of the US, a post on this would be most welcome...

I enjoy your blog a lot, by the way.
Anonymous said…
I'll be thinking about this post and shaking my head as I dig my seven year old Hyundai out of six inches of snow on Wednesday. Clearly I need to relocate to a place where I can stand in the ocean in the middle of the winter.
Liz Dwyer said…
Come to think of it, on Baywatch, we never saw Pam Anderson shivering in her red swimsuit. Because of that show, there are probably billions around the world that think the water's nice and warm out here. We should all sue for false advertising!

I remember going to the beach in Galveston and the water was definitely murky and hot. I've heard that's a dirty beach in comparasion to some in the gulf, but it was a whole lot of fun!

Ms Melancholy,
Our waves here aren't too large, nothing like Costa Rica. That must have been a huge wave to sweep you over like that. No, we definitely don't have that here. But our waves are large enough to give me a healthy respect for the ocean's power, especially since I can't swim.

I promise I'll post on Obama when I get back to LA tomorrow. And I'm enjoying your blog as well!

See this is the reason I don't get why folks are still asking, "Girl, why don't you just move back to Chicago?" Um, because it's going to be 80 degrees here on Friday!
West said…
I was born in Florida, raised elsewhere, then moved back over a decade, ago.

At some point, I realized that people from across the U.S. were spending tons of money to spend a little time in places I could easily and spontaneously access.

Since then, I've made a special effort not to take my proximity to the beaches for granted.

I'm close enough for weekend access, yet far enough away to appreciate it.

Great post.
Miz JJ said…
I love the ocean. Love, love, love it. I do not care how I look in the ocean because once we are together. Once we are one it does not matter how I look.
velvet said…
I find that there's something about the ocean that just soothes the soul. I could never be far from the beach and love it even in the dead of winter.

the last noel said…
Of course you don't think twice abut the ocean, you live in LA. Most New Yorkers don't visit the Statue of Liberty.

I do agree, when you get to the beach---mmmmm, peace comes. Maybe it's somehow knowing that we came out of the water and we look back on it with fondness.
I love the ocean. Both the oceans that I'm familiar with, though the Pacific is MUCH colder stateside. (Hawaii has the perfect temperature, w.a.r.m.)

Sunscreen is my friend, though. I never leave home without it, even for winter walks along the beach. And if I'm comfortable in a bathing suit, I don't need to look like Pamela Anderson. (In fact, I'd rather not.)

There is no better way to relax and recharge.
ladieslovetk said…
I love your pictures and description. It's almost as good as being there myself.

Popular Posts