Everyone knows that a vacation at the beach is bound to bring sunburns, memories, and sand in places where it shouldn’t be. My family and I recently visited California where we stayed at a small coastal town called Avila Beach. Avila Beach is known for its small, safe environment along with its family owned shops where you can buy anything from hand-made bracelets to surfboards.
It’s hard to capture the peaceful essence of Avila Beach in just writing. The mornings are foggy and the small town is almost completely desolate of people. I would wake up as early as I could manage every day just so I could grab a coffee and sit on the beach before the crowds came in.
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I would sit in the cold grainy sand watching the waves crash into the legs of the pier and then wash along to the shore. Why, I wondered, is it so entertaining to simply sit here for hours watching a vast open pool of water? The answer is obvious. Being at a place where I’m not usually at is one of the most eye opening experiences. Because not only do I live in the complete desert, but the closest thing I have to an ocean is an almost dried up pond where cows take a bath. So when I’m taken to a beach, where water is everywhere and seagulls become your new friends, I’d be happy to say that I am really truly living.
When the new morning sun burns off the fog and the shops start to open, the beach goers trickle in onto the quiet beach. With their towels, sunscreen, umbrellas and books, it’d be hard to say that they look different from one another. The college kids come with their rowdy games, their volleyball, their football, and their soccer ball kicking activities. The newlyweds come with their fancy new toys- iPods and Kindles; anything that can be destroyed by sand. The forlorn and tired families come with their screamin’ mimi children, and yes, the bags and buckets of plastic colored toys. And the tourists come with, of course, their fancy cameras, out of place clothing, and money bills bulging in their pockets to be spent on worthless memorabilia.
The day thrives on as the beach people enjoy their morning. The surfboards start popping up in the water. The kids on body-boards are washed up to the shore, then are seen back into the water to do it all again. The sun tanners flip and flop on their towels to get their perfect tan. And then lunchtime rolls around. It’s time for the delis and cafes to pull out their specials and get out the experienced workers because lunchtime is, well, the busiest part of the day.
Avila Beach basically has a single line of shops directly facing the beach and the ocean. With a single street separating the different sides, this means there’s two lines of travel on each side of the street. As I’d walk from the beach to the deli to go buy my extremely overpriced sandwich, I’d always notice how many people would be doing the same thing.
So as the day winds down and the sun starts to set, the beach people start packing up. The photographers come with their equipment to capture the perfect picture of the ending day at a beach. The tide rises higher and the crowds drop lower. And once the sun is almost completely gone and the few seldom people have finally left, I’d sit back on the beach and watch the waves crash on.
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