I had five hours until my sister was off work, check in was at three o’ clock and she had to be present to do so anyway, I had to find something to do for those next hours. The Tahoe was roomy and I was exasperated, only running on two hours of sleep, so I climbed to the back and dozed off only to wake up in a cold sweat thirty minutes later; there was no way I was going back to sleep with the bright and early sun beating down on the black truck. I needed to go somewhere I could stay cool and entertained for six hours. But where, I had no idea what there was to do in Orange County let alone how to get anywhere. Then it dawned on me, we drove three hours away from home, I had to be close to some sort of beach. I googled the distance from my destination to the closest beach, only a fifteen minute drive to what I call paradise. I typed New Port beach in the GPS, started the truck, turned up the music, and turned Right onto Mac Arthur Street. After driving for about thirty minutes I heard my GPS robotic voice announce “you have reached your destination.” Pretty disappointing words to hear when the only water you see is filling the gutters. I turned into a gated community and rolled down my windows to ask directions; instantly knew I was close as the humid, hot, salty air hit my face, and ran through my nostrils.
The scent sent a smile from cheek to cheek, enabling me to greet the vale with a pleasant hello. I was directed to take a left at the light and follow the road, “You’ll know when your there, it’s hard to miss.” I followed the road becoming more irritated with every building I passed. Fed up I came to the conclusion at the next light I will just turn around and find something else to do. At the thought of giving up it came into eyesight, there it was unbelievably blue waters with white waves washing up on the shore. I finally made it to my little piece of heaven. After circling those narrow crowded streets for what seemed like forever, I got lucky with a car leaving right in front of the beach. I slipped on my bathing suit, slapped some sunblock on, grabbed my purse, water, and fruit and was on my way. Less then a minute walk to finally feel the warm sand against the bottom of my bare feet. The only thing between my mini vacation and I was a bike lane, I gently kicked off my sandals one by one, smirking as my feet hit the hot concrete and crossed the lanes into the soft, warm, light golden sand. With every step a sense a peace fell over me, taking in every grain of sand between each toe.
Settling for the perfect spot, right next to the hundreds of huge dark brownish red boulders. They provided a walkway about twenty feet into the blue waters. I laughed watching the little kids scream as a wave slammed into the rocks splashing up and over the top of them. I whipped my blanket into place and watched it slowly take form of each crater in the sand, sliding my dress downward, feeling every ray of the sunshine hit every inch of my skin in the most perfect way. I take a seat at the edge of my blanket allowing my feet to explore the roasting sand while my eyes observe every bluish green curl of water spiral over into white splashes, racing up onto the shore line then slip back into the waters just in time to see the next wave fold over into white splashes again. I closed my eyes as I lay back, soaking up the sun taking in every sound, picturing everything going on around me. In the distance I could still hear the joyful screams of the children after the sound of the wave crashing into the rocks.
To the right of me I could hear the group of a few teenage boys trying to impress each giggling giddy girl; whatever they were doing was working. Right above me was the sound of about eight or nine gossiping young ladies, a few chuckling as they hit a volleyball back and forth with no net. To left of my feet was the faint unclear chatter of a younger couple, to the right was a mother with her children and her mother, talking to the family next to them about a wagon that had heavy-duty tires. She got it at Costco on sale for 49.99 it was the best thing she had ever invested in. As a bead of sweat ran in between the roots of my thrown up hair I realized how hot I was and how amazing the water would feel against my toasting skin right then, at that thought I heard the sound of eager excited screams from children in the water and popped up to see what all the commotion was about. I look over to see the kids on the rocks jumping up and down pointing to the water with mouth wide-open smiles, then look straight ahead confused at what they were so happy about. I slide my glasses to the top of my head just in time to see a pale-blue dolphin plunge out of the water and drop back in so smoothly, then another and another.
The sun reflected on their silky blue skin giving them a shine each time they sprung out of the blue swell. My mouth dropped into an amused smile, I sat and watched them as they disappeared into the depths of the waters. Only 3 more hours to enjoy this amazing place, I wiped the sweat off my forehead and sauntered to the shoreline scanning for any more wildlife as the water crept up to my feet. I let out a mild squeal when cold dirty white water rushed up mid calf. I began to walk out further as the waves came crashing down around my waist splashing onto my face and chest, causing goose bumps to cascade from my arms down to my legs. Past the tide, I stood still as the water softly sways me from side to side, enjoying the view of the sun shining down on the calm blue waters. I winced at the small knot forming in the pit of my stomach as the thought of sharks cross my mind. I watched the ocean start to shape and create a cerulean blue wave, curling over into a roaring hefty wave.
I wait until the very last second to dive in as the white waters swallow me up me, feeling the heavy wave rip right over my body from head to toe. I pop out inhaling while I wipe away the water, with a harsh salty taste left in my mouth, I was ready to do that again. The current was strong I was a bit to close to the rocks so I swam opposite direction, either jumping with motion of the ocean or diving under each flood stream. I stayed out there enjoying every wave for a while. I lost track of how long I was out there but I knew I had to be leaving soon so I rode the waves back until the water was running past my thighs, fighting the waters trying to suck me back in. I got back to my blanket and realized I was only in the water for maybe forty-five minutes, two more hours to appreciate this place. I didn’t have a towel so I went to go air dry out on the rocks. I climbed bare foot and chose each rock carefully but quickly. I hope from rock to rock far enough to a silent spot where no one was around.
As it got later in the day the waves got stronger, so I sat on the biggest rock amongst the middle to not get wet. I lay down with my shades guarding my eyes, keeping me from squinting and enjoyed the view of the open waters. I looked down and watched as the clear droplets slowly glide down the notably darker skin tone of my thighs. It was a pretty hot day; I dried up hastily and went back to my blanket. Four o clock, only an hour left to cherish this trip. I went back in the water one last time leaving just to feel the waves cascade over my head and leap over each ripple of water. I walked back to my blanket with thirty minutes left; I taste the variety of cold fruit and every so often the crunch of bits of sand. I watch the sun get lower, bitter sweet that I had to leave soon. Much more bitter then sweet in fact lets just say only bitter; I could have stayed forever. Such a sweet escape, with the sand sticking to every wet portion of skin it comes in contact with, sea creatures popping in and out of water, the exquisite salty blue waters tossing and turning, the sound of children screaming as the tide collides with them.
Everything about it is blissful. It was time to go, I picked up my bag, shook off my blanket and started to walk back towards the car. Started to walk back towards reality and further away from the worlds sweetest escape “At the beach, life is different. A day moves not from hour to hour but leaps from mood to moment. We go with the currents, plan around the tides, follow the sun. We measure happiness by nothing we can hold… nothing we can catch. Everywhere…Life is jumping and elusive and momentously momentary. We want to stretch the day, distill the memories, make them last. At the same time, we know that the beauty is in the evanescence.”(Gingras, 24)
Gingras, Sandy. How to live at the beach. New Jersey: Down Shore