Saturday was the beach day I'd requested. It was supposed to be the hottest day of the week - upper 80s at the beach. L rousted me out of bed early. The night before I'd gone to yoga. An hour and a half of Sleeping Tiger pose and Monkey pose left me feeling like I'd been run over by all the animals. (Sleeping Tiger is when you lie on your back with legs and arms up in the air. You hold that for a couple of minutes and then you hear the dreaded words: 'For an EXTRA challenge, hold your head up'... Monkey pose is balancing on your tail bone with legs up and arms extended. Hold for 1 minute. You are shaking at the end of that minute.) The beach wasn't sounding that good with an aching neck, but I downed some Excedrin and became a new girl. A beach girl.
We reached the Balboa Pier parking lot and found a parking place. Unloaded our stuff. Looked for a fire ring. All taken. ALL TAKEN. At 10:00. One family said they'd gotten the last one 10 minutes before. L gave me a lot of stinkeye after that, and grumbled under his breath about him telling me when needed to be down there by 9:30. Whatever. We found a spot closer to the water and set up camp. L had bought us a canopy and it was so nice to have that as we were there all day.
But what to do about cooking dinner? L set off to find a little store, and came back with a little hibachi type BBQ. Perfect! We'd brought chicken-pineapple quesadillas to grill, as well as hot dogs, chips and hummus, strawberries, drinks and Trader Joe's JoJos (the best store bought cookie EVER). We also had the makings for s'mores. Scott and Ashley were coming around dinner time with a macaroni salad.
Until then we just sat back and enjoyed the sound of the waves. There were even some dolphins out in the water playing - a happy harbinger of the day to come. Just watching them dive and swim parallel to the beach made me insanely happy.
I was listening to some children play in front of us. One of the little boys was bantering back and forth with a little girl about his age. He said "I'm going to say horrible words to you every day!" The little girl said "Good!" Apparently the words were so unspeakably horrible he couldn't even mention what they were. For some reason that was hilarious to me. L sat next to me listening to the BYU game on his i-Phone.
At half time he reached over, grabbed my arm, and said "Let me hold your wing." Ahhh... the romance is just crazy good with us. Up until about 1:00 it was still foggy. And then, the clouds parted, the sun burst forth, and the glorious day at the beach began. The sky was blue, the sun sparkled on the water which, in turn, reflected the blue sky. The beach started to fill up. I took a little nap in the warm sun. Woke up and had a few JoJos. Walked up to the pier, stood in line in the ladies' restroom (why is there always a line?!?) walked down the pier a bit, and then made my way back to camp. Absolutely beautiful day.
Around 4:00 the wind kicked up. It was a little bit cold as the temperature hadn't gotten as hot during the day as promised. I put my jacket on. Around 5:00 I went to the car and switched my shorts out for sweat pants. It was tempting to stay in the car out of the wind, but that wouldn't have been fun either. Around 6:30 we fired up the old hibachi as Scott and Ashley were on their way. The site of the flames cheered me up as I buried myself under layers of towels.
I had to take out my contact lenses as the cold wind was giving me ice cream eyeballs (which will lead to a good headache if you don't do something like take out the lenses). I put my hood up.
Finally - dinner. Does anything taste as good as food grilled outside? Crispy hot and melty quesadillas, grilled hotdogs, creamy macaroni salad - so delicious. It was hard to stop eating, but I had to save a little corner of tummy for a s'more. Sticky and chocolately ooey-gooey-ness enclosed by crunchy graham cracker. I especially love the charred edges of marshmallow crunchiness. I used to be able to eat a few of them. 1 is enough now. But YUM!!
We talked and laughed and ate with the kids until we were all so frozen we couldn't take it anymore. In the distance behind us, bonfires were blazing, but we were out in the cold. It was 9:00 and time to go home to showers and warm beds. We loaded everything up and as we were driving towards home I reached up and touched my salty, sticky hair. It smelled like salt air and smoke, and was impossibly tangled. Perfect. Goodbye summer. It was a really good one that I'll remember for a long time, bringing our family together, and giving me a new daughter.