Saturday, September 12, 2009

Weekend haunt

Saturday, September 12, 2009

For the past three weekends, my SH and I have stuffed our trunk with piles of brightly colored towels and backpacks stocked with books and sunscreen and driven along the winding road into the mountains which lead the way to Santa Cruz. Our beach of choice is not in Santa Cruz, and because of its perfection for our purposes, shall remain an undisclosed location. We stumbled upon it one cool spring weekend, on a trip to Monterey. A wide expanse of plush sand, set against towering sea cliffs, facing perfectly formed waves that toss and foam onto the shore...unimaginably beautiful.

While we managed to get away to the beach once or twice during the summer, the past month has seen a steady addiction to its stunning shores begin to grow and develop. We found a shorter, even more scenic route, which shaves off some time on sunny, more popular weekend days. I've worn the same thing for three consecutive weekends, tossing my favorite long Old Navy tank tops and lightweight roll-up cargo pants over my swimsuit, and my beauty routine (already pathetically short to begin with) has consisted of a tiny smattering of mascara and Benetint to go along with a heavy smearing of sunscreen. We're now used to packing our picnics, varying the menu from peanut butter sandwiches to delicious corn and black bean salad. We always stick with the same side of the beach, and have learned how far back to place our towels to avoid getting soaked by an aggressive high tide.

We were thrilled to discover that while our newly discovered beach wasn't deserted, it could hardly be called crowded. Even over Labor Day weekend, we had a perfectly manageably and roomy section of sand to ourselves. We cavorted in the waves, and while I will admit that the water is fairly icy, I cannot deny the exhilarating feeling that ensues from frolicking in it. Not only does the water feel remarkably fresh and clean, but you feel a sense of accomplishment upon realizing that you can actually remain in frigid Pacific waters more than ten seconds. My mother-in-law and I were amazed at the wealth of sea creatures to be encountered: live sand dollars swept to shore along with hundreds of tiny crabs and shellfish burrowing frantically in the sand with every crashing wave.

We've usually left the house fairly early for our weekend beach jaunts, but last Saturday, after I spent the morning complaining needlessly to my SH about my desperate desire to relax and not have to leave the house, I decided that we should just try a late afternoon beach trip. We were a bit anxious, knowing we wouldn't arrive on the beach until after five, but our worries were completely unfounded. An utterly quiet beach awaited us, soaking in the warmth of an unseasonably warm day. We had a romantic picnic, and stayed through the sunset. I wish that I could describe how wonderful it was, but there really aren't proper words for it. All I can do is profess how unbelievably lucky we are, that such a place lies so easily within our reach.

And the name of our new haunt? Wouldn't you like to know!

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