When was the first time you saw the ocean? Do you remember? I am sitting here staring out the window searching for my very first memory of the beach. I spent all of my growing up years in either California or Washington. I feel like the beach has always been a part of my life....whether it was a rocky Washington beach or a golden, warm, Southern California beach. My parents have a picture of me on the beach sitting in a baby pram they had so that must be why no matter how hard I try I can not find a memory of the first time I saw the ocean i was to little to properly remember the first time.
I love the beach. Notice I did not say I love the ocean. I respect the ocean. Love it, um no. It tossed me around once when I was about thirteen and I still have the scars from the encounter with that old wave I met in San Clemente, California. And sea creatures fascinate me when I am at an aquarium but I have no desire to swim alongside them or touch them with my feet on accident. So I guess what I am saying is I am very good at sitting on the sand, wading in the water all the way up to my waist, and appreciating the abundant beauty but ever since that encounter with the wave I have not been a get all the way in and surf the waves kind of girl.
I have been on rocky beaches where I delightedly gathered perfectly shaped M&M rocks..... which I still have and guard with my life.
I have been on beaches and attempted to chase clams down their little mud holes.
I have been on beaches and built fires and watched fourth of July fireworks.....best fourth ever!!
I have been on beaches with my high school friends and thrown cans of soda into fires and ran as they exploded.
I have taken silly pictures with friends with seaweed on beaches.
I have hung out on the beach in the pouring rain.
I have climbed on big rocks on beaches.
I have walked on my heels in the sand.
I have taken countless pictures on the beach.
I have marveled at waves in Hawaii, American Samoa, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, California, Oregon, New Jersey and Maine.
I have found perfect whole sand dollars on the beach....highlight of my life :)
I have chased seagulls away from my food on beaches.
I have taken car loads of kids to the beach for birthday parties.
I have climbed sand dunes on the beach.
I have sat on the shore and figured out life on the beach.
I have been in my dads old cadillac driving on the beach when I was a kid.
When I was kid we lost our car keys on a rocky beach when we were camping.
I have to tell you that the minute we got out of the car in the parking lot at this overlook on the Oregon coast I could hear the sea lions.....barking....so many of them. There were several rocks out in the ocean and they were full of hundreds of sea lions... all barking. Did I mention the barking? :) It was pretty cool. Sea Lion conference. We stood there for awhile and watched and exclaimed and a nice man loaned us his super nice binoculars so we could see them up close.
When we were done we drove a little ways down he road from this overlook, found a trail, and decided to follow it. First it lead to an overlook and down below the overlook there were big rocks that were up against the shore the more we looked we eventually noticed that there were two sea lions on these rocks and then we could see there were a few others swimming around....off in the distance we could still hear and see the hundreds of other sea lions barking.
We watched the sea lions on the rocks for awhile and mused about what they were doing and why they were away from the others and talked about what they must be feeling...even though we know they can not feel. Then we decided to go back and try a trail that looked like it actually went down to a beach. It did go to the beach. It was a rough beach with rocks and tons of driftwood and no people. Once we got down there we walked across the rocks around a corner and there were those sea lions right at eye level. So close. We took pictures and stared at them for awhile and then decided to go look for driftwood.
And I have to tell you I won in the driftwood hunting department I found a piece shaped exactly like a gun....with a little handle and everything. I may or may not of had way too much fun with that piece of driftwood and then I left it on the beach for others to find and have the same amount of fun with it.
I have to tell you that I still have some beach dreams that need to come true:
I have yet to find a piece of sea glass and I long for that moment in a most unhealthy and obsessive way :)
I need to attend a sand building contest on a beach.
And I definitely need to spend the night on a beach.