Have you ever had a day where a routine errand turned into a mini vacation? After working all day, I knew I needed to fill my gas tank. Knowing that my husband prefers this little out of the way gas station, I headed home to pick him up before getting gas. Since the sun decided to make an appearance today after days of a pervasive, gray marine layer, I had an idea percolating in my head. So I proposed, what if instead of taking our usual neighborhood walk after we get back from the gas station, we stop by the beach near the gas station and walk there? Tides are always a deciding factor at our local beaches. If the tides are not low enough, there isn’t enough beach to actually take a walk–and you never, ever, ever want to find yourself walking too close to cliffs that are known to crumble, showering rocks–some of them quite large–and who knows what else onto the beach below.
I lucked out. The beach just a couple of blocks away from the gas station had a modest amount of beach available. We parked, walked down about a million stairs only to be greeted by a dazzling view of the ocean.
Next we noticed hundreds and hundreds of Velella velella (also known as By-the-wind sailor) washed up on the shore. These brilliant blue relatives of the Portuguese Man of War have been washing up on our shore for the last month or so, although I’ve only seen them a few at a time before today.
As we continued our walk, the sun warmed my back and the sea breeze tickled my nose. The whoosh-whisper of the surf provided a perfect back beat for my breath, letting the work day slip away with each step I took.
There is so much character along this stretch of the beach. The residents of the houses along the shore have created whimsical ladder contraptions to give them access to the beach from their homes perched on the cliffs. And since they want access to the beach, but really don’t want visitors from the beach a ladder sticking straight out over your head doesn’t even make you bat an eye! I decided to play around with my camera. What would it look like to stand under the ladder and look up?
While the beach itself was mostly empty, I did come across a solitary shore bird out for an early dinner. It was pretty unconcerned by me and my camera, at times looking straight into my lens.
So, the trip to the gas station turned into a lovely break from the work week routine, a mini-vacation where I was immersed in sun, sea life, sounds, and a fresh ocean breeze. What a way to spend Tuesday afternoon!