There is no where in the world I would rather not be than in New York City on a snowy, rainy, windy, freezing cold day.
Much like today. Oh, and yesterday. Annnd the day before that.
What was Punxsutawney Phil’s prognosis, anyway? I have a mind to go down to Pennsylvania and drag him out of his cozy little hole in the dark so he doesn’t see his shadow. I want winter to be O-V-E-R. Yes – yes those are capital letters.
I am ready for sunshine and sand (and, fine, SPF) and popsicles and pools and piñas and ice cold brewskies and burgers and bathing suits – eh, OK maybe not that last one (I have a few more months to get ready, right? RIGHT?)...nevertheless, you get the point.
Helloooooo spring fever.
So I thought, what better way to spend a disgustingly soaking wet day than daydreaming about the beach? Boy oh boy do I love the beach. It is without a doubt my most favorite place to be.
I know I talked smack about sand last summer – and I do stand by that. Super fine sand is super sticky, hence super annoying. But truthfully I don’t think anywhere, anyplace, or anything in the world beats the beach.
At the risk of sounding mega-cheesy, I think the ocean is truly magical.
True, the big blue sea does kinda scare the shit out of me. Seaweed and sharks and skeletons and murkiness and monsters.
But when there’s a shore involved, the ocean becomes more controlled, more reasonable (well, kind of...if you can’t swim you’re screwed).
Waves lapping and crashing and roaring and foaming; cooling your sun-soaked body off in the surf; squishing the slurpy, racing sand beneath your toes; catching glimpses of myriad white shells and quietly vibrant sea glass. That incomparable feeling of being on the edge, on the precipice, overlooking something so incomprehensibly vast and mysterious.
The beach is simply sensational. (Michelle agrees – she was so tickled at Nauset, in fact, that she broke into cartwheels!)
I understand that, like everything, the beach is not without its drawbacks – few as they may be. Screaming, crying, shrieking children can grate on the ole nerves. Combat gulls swooping in for the turkey-sandwich-kill, flying away with your lunch in their talons. And of course the seemingly harmless snooze that results in a wicked, streaky sunburn.
And, well, that’s about it. Oh how I love, love, LOVE the beach.
Yet another thing I adore is how, like thumbprints, no two beaches are the same. Fine sand, coarse sand, black sand, rocks instead of sand. It truly is quite amazing.
Here are my five most favorite beaches – all vastly different, but all beloved:
5. South Beach, FL: Only one visit and this beauty made it into my top five! Fake boobs and far too much PDA aside (there was pretty much everything but the deed happening right before my prudish, averted eyes), this truly was a sight to see. I didn’t think it was possible for Florida to have such tealy blue water. Gorg!
4. Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda: While I didn’t find the pink sand quiiite pink enough, I very much enjoyed the warm, seaweed-free, unbelievably clear water. The Treasure Island cove-like landscape added to my delight.
3. Capri, Italy: This small island (pictured) off the coast of Italy is simply breathtaking. I found it hard to believe that such a place exists in this world. And though the “beach” is sans sand and riddled with rocks (I do not tell a lie, it was impossible to get comfortable), the turquoise water was mesmerizing. So mesmerizing, in fact, that while I was floating on my back, enjoying the super salty sea, I didn’t even notice that my top had gone askew. Yep, I flashed friends and strangers alike.
2. Nice, France: Ahhhh, the French Riviera. Such a glamorous scene. What I wouldn’t give to have lived there in the 50s, be wooed by Cary Grant, and don boatloads of diamonds! I visited long after To Catch a Thief hit theaters, but the scene was just as spectacular. The sand, the ocean, the architecture – it’s another package deal.
1. Cape Cod, MA: I debated where to put this on my list. After all, the water isn’t as clear at Bermuda, nor as stunning as Capri, or as warm as Nice. No, no. There are kids and killer gulls. The ocean is ice cold; freezing, actually, even on the warmest of days. And my most abhorred, most feared enemy of the watery world is usually omnipresent: Seaweed. But Cape Cod has held a special place in my heart since I was a kid and I don’t foresee that changing anytime soon.
There’s something so endearing about preppy boat shoes and Vineyard Vines. Drinking beers in line at our favorite byob restaurant, Moby Dick’s. The Three Sisters Lighthouses at Nauset. The peerless New England-esque history and charm that cannot be duplicated anywhere else: Old drive-in movie theaters and candlestick bowling alleys and flea markets.
Coast Guard and Craigville and Sandy Neck and Nauset Light. Four Seas Ice Cream and Cape Cod chips and sour cream donuts from the Hole-in-One Donut Shop.
I suppose it’s memories that make a beach so special, not all the glitz and glamor. I just hope that one day I own a Cape house of my own.
Until then, I am most grateful to the Schopp family, the Whieldon family, and the Chandler family for letting me stay at theirs...sandy feet and all.