For many years we've had a summer tradition of packing up a cooler on Friday afternoons and heading to the beach. We rarely arrive before 5 p.m. and we always meet my friend Nike and her husband. We've been doing this for years. We don't go every Friday but we go as many Fridays as we can.
Nike and I take turns bringing Vodka Tonics. I don't know why, but we always bring them and never any other type of drink. We both pack lots of fresh fruit, crackers and cheeses and we often bring sandwiches for later in the evening. It is, perhaps, my favorite summer tradition. The evenings are (to me) the best part of the day at the beach. Once we arrive, the world stops and there is no problem Nike and I can't resolve between the two of us.
At least for as long as our toes remain in the sand.
The waves were big and there was a strong riptide last Friday. The lifeguards were asking everyone to stay out of the water.
The water looks inviting, but when there's a strong riptide it's dangerous. The current will suck you right out (and under) in no time. For those of you who aren't around beaches much, that's what a riptide is. A strong current with an undertow.
All of a sudden Nike said, "Quick 24, turn around and take a picture."
This Orange County lifeguard is brought to you courtesy of my friend, Nike.
Soon the whole process of sunset began. The change in lighting never ceases to be magical for me. It begins in such a subtle way.
Nike and my son, PR, have an ongoing game of beach paddle ball. They play every time we are at the beach together and they've been doing this since PR was a toddler. Each time they play they try to make a new "world record" of how many times they can hit the ball back and forth without it dropping.
They play until it becomes hard to see the ball due to the dimming light of sunset.
The sunset was absolutely spectacular last Friday. I came home with over one hundred pictures. I couldn't stop taking them in my feeble effort to capture the beauty.
The colors were so vivid!
The sun turned into a fireball as it dropped below the horizon.
Evenings like this take my breath away.
In a matter of moments, the sun was gone. We stayed for awhile longer because we like to enjoy every last drop of color the sky has to offer.
If I ever become a proficient nighttime photographer I'll share with you how beautiful the stars and moon are as they reflect off the ocean. It's absolutely breathtaking.
© Twenty Four At Heart