The cold here in New Mexico has gotten me thinking about beaches. Actually, the cold and the fact that i have to go back to work on Monday! Beaches to me represent a more laid back, relaxed way of life. A place to kick off your shoes and laze through life.

I have had plenty of daydreams of packing it up and running away and the journey in my mind usually takes me to a beach. It just seems to be the best place to go in a situation like that.

Being a westerner for the most part, I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to hang out on beaches. I vaguely remember the beach in Biloxi, but I couldn’t have been more than 6 or 7 then. I remember playing in the sand but not the water really. Since I have been an adult I have been working my way around the country. LOL!

About 14 years ago was the first beach I remember. We had gone on a trip to Boston to spend time with my ex’s uncles. One of them had a summer-house on Cape Cod. We spent a couple of days playing in the water, collecting shells and getting sunburned. My daughters were old enough to probably remember (maybe, actually Robin was 6 or 7 so maybe she doesn’t remember) but Anthony was about 10 months old. Somewhere there is a video of him playing in a puddle. I wish I knew where it was because that would be a fun memory to share with him.

A couple of years later, I spent some time in Berkeley and San Francisco. I ate on Fisherman’s Wharf and walked along the beach. But, even in August, Northern California is just a little too cold!

The next beach excursion was about 10 years ago. A coworker and i were sent to a reading conference in Orlando. We had a day at the end of the conference before we came home and after a lot of discussion and comparing prices we decided to skip Disney in favor of Cocoa Beach. (I still have never been to either Disney…maybe someday when the grandkids are older) Anyway, we rented a car and drove to the beach and played in the surf for a couple of hours. I was amazed at how warm the water was! The trip was fun and those hours at the beach are mainly what I still remember.

Galveston was next. It was our first stop on a 3500 mile RV road trip a few years ago. We were there a couple of months before Hurricane Ike blew through. The first night we got there it was thundering and lightning and raining like we never see in New Mexico. The lightning was so cool. It just rolled across the sky. We sat and watched it while eating these pepper cheese stuffed, bacon-wrapped shrimp that were just to die for. One day… if I ever find wonderful huge shrimp in my local market, I am going to make those again:) The next day, we drove over to the other side of the island and got in the water. I could live on a beach like that. Really I could.

Now I backtracked later that same year. In January I went to North Carolina to see my oldest grandson. He was less than a month old. I enjoyed my visit with my daughter and she knows my fascination with the ocean, so we did go walk on the beach near Camp LeJuene. I collected a lot of small shells. It was cooooooold so we didn’t really play in the water at all but I enjoyed it all the same.

This past summer, I had my best beach experience. We decided to take a quick trip to San Diego before school started. The first night there, we got a camping spot on the beach at Encinitas. It was absolutely amazing. We grilled steaks and played in the water and listened to the ocean from out tents. The next two nights we slept at an RV park in Oceanside. One of the most amazing things was walking along the pier in Oceanside and seeing the fishermen. Several had caught fish and they hung them on the railing. And then, when we looked over the railing below we could see the surfers waiting for their next wave.

I really enjoy the ocean and would love to go out on a boat, not a cruise ship but a smaller boat so that I could really experience the water. Although a cruise to the Caribbean with the ability to get down and play in the water would be pretty cool!

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