The blue sky was nearly cloudless, a light breeze was blowing and the temperature was warm, so it seemed like a perfect day for a picnic. What if we decided to eat at the beach instead of the park? This seemed like a wonderful idea, so we packed a cooler with sandwiches, fresh vegetables, drinks and plenty of ice, put on our bathing suits and were on our way.
The drive from our house to the beach lasted less than half an hour. Once there, we spread out the blanket we had brought and let it fall on the ground. We placed the cooler and our sandals on the blanket and headed to the water.
Spending time at the ocean has been a favorite pastime for me since moving here from the landlocked Midwest. The vastness of the water, warmth of the sun, screeching of the seagulls flying overhead, and roar of the waves are sights and sounds I love. The ebb and flow of the water has always held a slightly hypnotic effect and helps relax and soothe my frazzled nerves.
My first experience with an ocean actually happened in California. Our family had traveled there to visit some relatives when I was quite young, about 6 or 7. The day I first stepped into the Pacific Ocean left a lasting impression on me.
I’ll always remember feeling the soft, yet gritty, sand shifting underfoot as the cool water swirled around my feet. Watching the water recede and rush back out to the sea made me feel as if I was moving and about to fall down!
After we arrived at the beach along the Atlantic Ocean that day for our picnic, I realized the light breeze was stronger than what we had experienced at our home. The wind was blowing hard enough that we had to protect our eyes to keep from getting sand in them.
You can probably imagine what it was like eating our picnic lunch with sand blowing around. I had brought tap water along so we could rinse our hands before handling the food, which helped get rid of most of the sand. However, we still ended up with bits of the gritty stuff in our mouths. This added an unwelcome crunch to our meal.
I have tried taking light snacks to the beach since then, but have found that even on calm days, it’s very difficult to keep sand out of the food. A much better idea is to eat at a restaurant during a beach trip, that way you can wash hands thoroughly before eating and avoid getting any sand in your food