..he loves the sea and I needed it in some elemental way
that I cannot even come close to verbalizing. I become
din and shriveled, somehow, at my very core if I am
away from the sea too long. When I return to it I seem
to fill up and overflow with it, soaking in the vast, sighing
wetness of it like a parched vine in along, soft spring rain.
from: The House Next Door
by: Anne Rivers Siddons
Picture this if you will.
Sleeping like a woman embracing a vacation, not next to My Builder, but next to my BFF in the cutest little California bungalow bedroom with the window open and sea breezes wafting through the shutters.
Its my first morning in Cally.
And suddenly Im awake.
And I cant trust my ears…for what Im hearing just cant be right. Clearly there is machine gun fire…just like in the movies. Then, what came next could only have been shells (bombs) going off as well.
Was I dreaming?!!?
Was there some sort of Normandy invasion going on on the beaches of San Clemente?!?! What in the world was happening there?!!? These weren’t far off explosion and gun fire either. It felt eerily close.
While wondering whether I should get up and turn on CNN or alert the household of our impending doom, I remembered that the gates and fences of Camp Pendleton were only a couple of blocks away.
Whew. Crisis averted
What I was hearing only meant that army guys and gals were out in the dark practicing ways to keep themselves and us safe.
GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THOSE WHO FIGHT TO PROTECT US.
I went back to sleep.
But not for long. For I had made plans in my head to get up and watch the sun rise from the knoll behind the Anderson bungalow. Quietly I crawled out of bed and stealthily opened the front door and let myself outside, and hiked to the top of the hill.
Note: Sunrises in California aren’t all that great. Looking east is anti-climactic. Inland smog and rolling hills is what I saw.
But the sunsets….oh my….the sunsets over oceans…oh my
So after I was groped by a overweight, unruly chocolate lab whose owner could not contain its enthusiasm at seeing me on the same trail, I headed back to the sweet bungalow.
It is then that the day began in earnest. Starting with donuts!!!!
Anything that starts with donuts is going to be GREAT!! Donuts are the perfect party food. Jenny knows where the best donuts are made in So Cally. She took us there and introduced us to the cute owner. This was definitely a vacation.
I ate three! YUM!!!
The first day was spent almost entirely at the beach. San Clemente has a picturesque pier. We planted ourselves in the sand and watched dozens and dozens of surfers catching the famous San Clemente waves. Every once in a while a train would go by…with that soothing sound of adventure. The surfers came in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and ages. It seemed as though there were pre-schoolers out there as well as senior citizens and all the ages in-between. Males far out numbers females…but there were plenty of women representing the sport. We sipped Pepsi and drank in the scenery and the sun and warm air completely enjoying the moment.
Later in the day …when the temps really warmed up we went to the locals favorite beach armed with borrowed boogie board and a beach umbrella to lounge some more.
I suppose everyone knows that the Pacific ocean, when it tumbles into the California coast will never be described as warm. Warm is found in Mexico. Almost warm is also found in Hawaii…. and I fully intend to find other warm oceans on this planet to swim in some day. But this day I was in California and I was determined to embrace the moment…for I was on vacation!!! I was going to give it my best and not let cold water deter me. (though I must confess that I did indeed let it deter me for the rest of my days there.)
I braced my whimpy nerves and went in…
And CAUGHT SOME WAVES!!!
It was exhilarating!!
May I just say…We should all do something scary everyday. Granted…my life was never in danger…but I was certainly out of my comfort zone…doing something I hadn’t done in years. Its empowering to be nervous and then to overcome.
Like boogie boarding in cold water with sharks. Te he
Or teaching Sunday School
Or learning new things at school
Or riding a bike without hands
Or exploring a new, and difficult trail.
Or even connecting with someone you don’t know very well.
I recommend getting out of the "zone” whenever one can. New tricks are good things.
The day ended with a warm glow from the sun radiating from my tanning skin and a wonderful meal at a delicious Mexican restaurant.
Holy Guacamole!! Delish!! Shrimp enchiladas!! Yum!!!
The next morning there was no more early warfare in our back yard, nor was there any such disturbances for the rest of our visit.
Or…I suppose its possible that I just slept through all the other practice sessions…
Vacationing is tiring stuff!!!
PS- I neglected to mention one of the coolest aspects of this day!! How could I forget!!?? While Steve and his boys were out surfing and skim boarding...we spotted dolphins!! My very first day at the beach and one of my first wishes was granted!! Dolphins in the waves!! So cool!! Brock says it a weird feeling to be out on your board waiting for the next wave, when you hear them before you see them...the noise they make with their blow holes was a little creepy for him. How cool is that!!!??