Well, here it is Thursday of our long-anticipated beach week! When I posted on Tuesday I was fairly “revved up” with the irritation of particularly rude and insensitive neighbors (and their unruly children), but I’ve since managed to tune them out– four full days of sand and surf have slowed me down and I’ve suitably mellowed. Mixed in with games of Old Maid, long walks to the pier and regular evening sunsets, we’ve enjoyed beachy playtime, but I’m not quite ready to let go. So today we’re headed back to the same Balboa Island Ferry crossing that used to delight me as a child, and some heavy-duty nostalgia will kick in.
For the past fifteen years we have rented the same house on the Newport Beach strand, but when I was a very small child my family always preferred staying at Balboa. I have so many wonderful memories of those summers. Even though the particular little yellow cottages we rented have been gone for a long, long time, I can easily picture them, particularly recalling how independent I felt with their close proximity to the narrow strips of sand. The bay, calm and not too deep, offered hours of very safe sand play and swimming without too much parental interference. I don’t wonder where my early love for the beach came from!
Although many of the original stores have long been replaced or at least significantly updated to reflect a more polished appearance, some have hardly changed at all. When I was no more than five years old I would take an early morning walk to the doughnut shop with my grandfather. It still exists and looks much the way I remember it. And no summer at Balboa is quite complete without taking in a bit of the historic charm of the fun zone’s Ferris Wheel, where the view of Newport Harbor and the Pacific Ocean are both visible from the top– still fun for me, but doubly so now that the girls share the ride!
Although it’s really not quite mid-August, for many of us this week shifts out of summer mode and launches a whole new energy. Now students, elementary through college-aged, are in the launching pad for fall semester and despite the lingering summer weather, many of us significantly shift gears! I have enjoyed the absence of rushing from one commitment to the next, and although it may be kind of hard to move back into the work routine next week, I’m thinking that since I’ve taken so many pictures I might be able to extend the benefits of vacation relaxation by pulling them out from time to time. I should be able to bring back some mindful, quiet beach time even from home in San Gabriel. Now there’s a nice thought!
- Miscellany from the beach (breathelighter.wordpress.com)