Here we are! Enjoying the beach. Of course, sharing vacation with a three-year-old and her two-year-old sister isn’t entirely an escape from reality. Responsible parents and grandparents do not bury their heads in reading material while pre-schoolers run fearlessly into the surf. But these sometimes-chaotic child-centric days are very special to us, and I’m sure one day we’ll miss this season terribly!
We’ve been coming to the same beach house for more than fifteen years. I like to entertain the fantasy of living here, but I imagine that if I REALLY did, business as usual–employment, obligations and every day high-energy activity would totally interfere with a daily walk to Balboa Island followed by several hours of sitting on the beach and concluding with a mandatory end-of-day goodnight send off to Mr. Sun.
But for one week we just enjoy all we can fit into each day. And observing Southern California beach life I have gathered a few things I would offer as suggestions; maybe even warnings, should you have the opportunity to spend some time here at Newport.
- Weekend walking on the boardwalk can be hazardous. Beware of bicyclists who think madly thumbing a little bell and yelling “on your left” means they automatically have the right of way.
- The beach is a great place to practice personal space awareness. When the strand is fairly open, there really is little need to plop your towels, umbrella and boom box two feet from me. It makes me cranky.
- Beware! There are Balboa Bars and frozen bananas on every corner.
- Avoid making eye contact with parents who ignore the child helmet laws. Look the other way from all the young children on bikes, on the back of parents’ bikes, riding motorized scooters and Razors without protective headgear. It’s too upsetting. Sadly assume the parents have never heard of traumatic head injury.
- If you’re visiting a Southern California beach from Nebraska, by all means invest heavily in skin care products. Slather on that 50+ sunscreen. It will save you many days of agony.
- Consider spray tan. It’s available everywhere and a much safer option!
- If you must wear a bikini, please opt for one that actually fits! Size 18 in a size 8 bikini is unseemly.
- Assume that when you’re at the beach and still like to go to bed early…well, it’s the beach. No one else is going to go to bed early. You’ve been warned.
I could offer many other helpful hints, but these are currently at the top of my list. I hope to have a few more for you on Thursday, but our vacation will be almost at an end, and by then I may be too relaxed to contribute much. I still wish I could bring all my friends with me…maybe if I lived here…