It was my escape. From Silicon Valley, from civilization, from people. The beach in Northern California was unlike what I grew up with. In NorCal, you don’t go to the beach to get in the water, unlike the Gulf beaches where the water is the main attraction. Instead, you go for the beauty of the earth crashing into the ocean, with creeks, rocks, driftwood, mountains and cool moist air creating a wonderland for the senses.
I made it a regular habit to go to the beach with Evie in the winter. It was our Saturday Daddy Adventure Date standard and started when she was only 3 months old.
Rain or shine, we’d go to Miramar Beach near Half Moon Bay, walk down the pathway to Surfers Beach, and just hang out while exploring the beach, the creek, and whatever had washed up the night before.
Build sandcastles. Fight with swords made out of sticks. Find new treasures for her nature box.
Then we’d walk back to the car, stopping by the volunteer-run Ebb Tide Cafe for a warm-me-up drink and a bit of guilty pleasure, usually in the form of homemade coffee cake. We’d make it back to the car and head back over the hill to home, with one of us usually falling asleep on the way!
There were days (usually when it was raining) when we’d have the beach to ourselves. It was amazing, being in the middle of all the natural beauty, feeling the pounding rhythm of the waves, enjoying the antics of shorebirds and forgetting about the cares of the world without having to share the beach with anyone.
And there’s nothing like this here in middle Tennessee. Dammed lakes with bass boats, murky ponds with an occasional turtle, small creeks flowing around the flotsam of inland civilization, muddy rivers lazily rounding the next bend. Beautiful in their own way, but not even close to the ocean.
And I miss it terribly.