I got an email from a long time friend last week. He had read my anniversary post. That evening he emailed me a few Orange County anecdotes he knew would make me smile. Then he added the comment, “You need to go to the beach.” The next day my friend, Nike, sent me an email saying, “Beach? Friday?” There is a certain comfort in knowing people exist who understand me that well. Absolutely nothing soothes me, rejuvenates my spirit, and restores my soul like a few hours by the ocean.
On Friday evening we arrived at the beach around 5:30 p.m. It is my absolute favorite time of the day during the summer.
The very first thing that happened, of course, was Nike pulled out her cooler.
Do you see Nike’s water bottle? It’s not filled with water! Shhh … don’t tell the lifeguards! I’m quite sure we are fooling them when we squirt “water” into our infamous red cups, add ice, a little tonic water, and then start squeezing in limes. I think, actually, the lifeguards don’t really care what we do. Just as long as we don’t pass out on the beach. I am not a great drinker. If I have two drinks I’m dancing all over the place. Three drinks and I’m sound asleep.
Have I ever passed out on the beach? Well, yes, I admit I have. It was back in my early days of high school so it doesn’t count. My brother’s best friend thought he’d try to get lucky by getting me drunk. He took me to the beach and brought along a huge bottle of rum to pour into a few cans of coke. I thought we were just out for a fun adventure. Yes, I was that naive.
Little did he know, I’d pass out on him instead. Oh, I also puked all over the inside of his jeep on the way home. On top of that, he had to deal with my infuriated brother who understood way better than I did what his friend’s intentions had been. It’s not a pretty memory. Their “lifelong” friendship was over. The poor guy lost his best friend, had to clean puke out of his car, had a horrible hangover himself, and never even got a kiss out of me. Yeah, those were the good ol’ days ….
In California, the trains run right along the coast. On some beaches, the train is practically on the beach. This was the case with our beach choice on Friday.
The rocks you see separate the train tracks from the sand on the beach.
I know it is rude to laugh at tourists, but honestly, you can spot them a mile away. There was a bald man on the beach when we arrived. He was lobster red everywhere, including his shiny bald head. I can’t even imagine how many hours he spent out on the beach that day “tanning”, but I know he was destined for a lot of sunburn pain that night. I wanted to take his picture, but Nike said that it would be obvious, and it would be rude. (I know, I know, it is so unlike me to be obvious and rude, isn’t it?)
A few minutes later, the train came roaring by and startled Lobster Man. He freaked out. He heard the rumbling and got up and ran towards the ocean to escape. A big, bald, bright red, man running away from a train. I thought I was going to pee, I laughed so hard. Did he think the train was going to jump the tracks and chase him?
I tried to find a Hot Guy at the Beach to photograph for all my readers who have been requesting one. I honestly couldn’t find one. I decided, as a result, I’d take a picture titled Not A Hot Guy At The Beach. Here he is.
I really got a kick out of his toupee. He decided to model and give Nike and I a better angle at him too. I wanted you to share in the joy.
Nike and I went for a long walk on the beach. It has become a tradition for us. We walk, and walk, and we pour our hearts out to each other. Then we return in time for a picnic dinner as the sun begins to set.
On this occasion, Nike and her husband returned to our house with us after dark. PR greeted us and challenged the adults to Wii sports competitions. We opened a bottle of wine and laughed until we cried over the Wii games. PR kicked our collective butts.
As I climbed into bed that night I realized how badly I had needed an evening like the one I just had. As I closed my eyes I could still picture, exactly, what the sun had looked like as it set.
I am happy to inform you that I will be hosting another contest sometime in the next 10 days! I’m trying to finalize details, but it should be even more fun than the last one. Keep checking back for details!