Friday, August 5, 2016

Beach Days and Beautiful Memories.

Hello world.  I have a confession to make. I have lived in Utah my whole life until now.  I am and forever will consider myself a Utahn.  Its a real thing, I promise.  I get the mountains.  They are beautiful, they are quiet, they are alive with wonder and exploration.  I get the peace you get when you are on a hike with your family and you can only hear the wind rustling through the aspens.  I get the desert.  Its warm and huge.  You can get on an ATV and go forever.  I understand the magic of the red rocks of southern Utah. I get the magic of the caves, the lakes and the ice cold winter runoff streams.  I get the people.  I had no idea that those from Utah were so unique.  They are and I love it.  Did you know that when you hike in Utah everyone there is your friend?  Say hello to each and every one of them because that's the right thing to do.  If you are on a mountain trail and you feel that rush of joy that only the cool mountain breeze can provide, you share that joy with everyone! Its magical.  In Utah you can experience all four seasons in one day and for the most part you are prepared for it.  We're a different sort but it is such a part of who I am.  I also love a good mud puddle of any kind and splash in them when ever I can.  That was your friendly warning.

I have a home in California and I am 100% dedicated to finding the beauty of this place.  Living in Utah my whole life I learned early on the beauty there.  California is a dream destination for so many people.  They even talked about it one Sunday in church.  They asked why anyone would ever live anywhere else because the weather is perfect.  We were told that we can see 75 degree days in December.  Instead of an ice castle we could be building a sand castle on Christmas day.  Why would anyone not love that?  We're still exploring and learning what this beautiful state has to offer.

Funny story.  I got lost twice in the last two weeks here.  See, when you are driving in California you are on the road with millions of other people.  Most of those other people know where they want to be and so they are there ready to make their move.  Freeway switches come up fast and I miss exits from time to time.  In Utah I just look for a familiar mountain and know which direction I want to go.  I've learned that I need a map system with me at all times if I leave my little city.  I don't have a very strict schedule generally so I just roll with the punches and get home when I get home.  It's just not a super confidence builder to turn a 45 minute drive into a two hour adventure.  This week our adventure took us to a new place so I broke out that map and followed it turn by turn.  The address I had to the beach took me right to the sanitation treatment plant.  The smell was awesome.  There was even a dead fish stuffed in the fence to add to the ambiance of it all.  I've learned to trust the map but check it twice.   The beach was just around the corner from there and we found it with no trouble.

We went to Carpinteria State Beach about an hour and a half north of us.  Even with the sanitation department detour we made it easily in that time.  The drive took us up part of the PCH which was crazy cool.  I would love to be passenger instead of driver one day on that road.  The ocean has so many things to look at.  There is something called a Seal Rookery that we passed on the map that I'd love to go see one day.  I think that a Seal Rookery is a place that seals go and have their babies but it's a new concept to me so it will be a new adventure one day soon.  We could also see oil rigs out in the ocean.  It was my first time seeing one of these outside of a movie.  You know, like the one in that movie Armageddon with Bruce Willis.  Good movie, definitely worth watching.  We were told to get the tar balls off of us with lighter fluid or baby wipes.  TAR BALLS! Lets be honest here, I still have a few small spots of tar on me that I didn't scrub off well enough.  It wasn't noticeable while we were there, just after we got home and cleaned up. I'm easily excited by these little quirks so I left them to show Brandan, who wasn't as impressed.

I guess I thought that every beach was basically the same.  I learned that some have bigger waves than others.  Some are sandy and some are rocky.  Some are warm, some are smelly and some are in a category all on their own.  Disney's private island, Castaway Cay,  spoiled me a little bit.  It is beautiful white sand that is perfectly clear and warm.  Snorkeling there was one of the best memories ever. I'm sure that is a lot of what heaven must be like.  Carpinteria State Beach is alive with animals.  We had a seal playing ten feet away from us.  I was told its a great beach to see dolphins playing in the morning.  There was even a big sign to drag your feet to avoid stepping on sting rays.  The beach is surrounded by camping areas and it was packed solid on a regular old Wednesday afternoon.

We picked up some body boards like we were planning and spent most of our day learning how to use them.  Turns out you don't just float along the waves.  There is a technique to it that I didn't quite get down well.  Our little miss is a natural at anything and had a few good waves take her in.  We also got tossed around pretty good.  The water was the color of a milk shake as it crashed on the beach and we had sand everywhere.  I'm still trying to get sand off.  I showered well but I am still finding it on my skin.  I'm not sure we will ever get it all out of the car.  I am sure we will never get it out of our house.  I think if we started to save it all up we could make a beach of our own one day.

We have a lot to learn about beaches.  We have a lot to learn about what makes a great beach.  We have a lot to learn about what to do at each beach.  People jog there!  I can barely walk there and some people are out there running.  It seems like running the wrong way on an escalator to me but to each his own.  Some people sit on the beach and watch the water for hours. Some people just play on their phones.  I think part of the fun beaches have to offer is that there is something for everyone.  There is an entire shore line full of different kinds of beaches and we are going to do our best to explore a lot of them.

For now we are beach newbies.  We are learning the ways of the waves.  Each trip out we learn a few more little tips and tricks.  For example, baby powder is supposed to be magical for getting sand off.  I have no idea how well it works but I will have some next time I go to the beach.  We would love some tips or even just your favorite beach.  Do you have a favorite beach destination we should check out next?  Hit us with a comment and let us know what our next beach destination should be.

Beauty is where you look for it, everyday is a new blessing, and literally there is sand everywhere.  Until the next memory in the making we will say goodbye for now.  See you soon!


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