Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I Must Go Down to the Seas Again...

My sister's birthday was on Saturday and since her BF is out of town, we had a girls night in. She had been craving KFC of all things, so on her way home from work she bought one of those big buckets of chicken and all the sides, and I stopped on my way home from work at the Carnegie Deli and bought two slices of cheesecake. After dinner we stuck these super-long sparkler candles in the cheesecake and E made her wish and opened her presents. Then we watched a really sad movie about Sudanese refugees. But the thing she really wanted to do was go to the beach.

And so, on Monday she took a sick day from work and we caught the LIRR from Penn Station and headed to Long Beach on Long Island. It was the perfect day for it, too. It was hot, sunny--but not too sunny--and breezy. The train dropped us off a few blocks over from the sand, but it was an easy walk. Being Monday it was not too crowded and we found a nice spot to pitch our blanket (near some attractive guys, of course) on the crunchy sand. There was a nice boardwalk, some not too nice bathrooms, and lifeguards on duty. Volleyball nets, too.

We swam, we sunbathed, people-watched, read magazines, made sure not to sunburn, and ate a ton of junk food. The water was the perfect coldness, but E saw a jellyfish and got scared, so we stayed near the shore. The seagulls were voracious! I had an empty bag from Burger King and when my back was turned, a big fat seagull ran up, snatched the bag and ran away. He must have thought there would be french fries in it or something. I had to chase him a hundred yards before he dropped the thing.

But aside from Hitchcockian birds, there is just something so lovely about the beach. So peaceful and refreshing. I was raised in Oregon where the beaches are vast unpopulated stretches of dreamscape, so it was sort of a shock to me when I came East and found the beaches here to be small carnivals built up closely around short sandy shores. But a beach is a beach, and when I smell that salt air and hear the seagulls, all I can think about is adventure, childlike pleasure, and freedom. I think I must always live near the ocean.

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