Thursday, May 23, 2024

The beach

 Wife loves the beach. Just about any time of year, if there is an opportunity, she will go. 

I am OK with it, but with lots of qualifications. The two most important: I don't like being hot. I don't like crowds. So, I don't want to go in summer when it is blazing hot, and the crowds are at peak level. 

About two months ago, a good friend from my law school days called and said his daughter would be getting married Monday, May 20th in Seaside, which is on Florida's Gulf Coast in an area called "30-A," so named because it is, in fact a beachfront road called Highway 30-A. Little communities, e.g. Seaside, Grayton, Blue Mountain, Alys Beach, Seagrove, Seacrest and Rosemary, have sprung up along this stretch of beach highway over the past couple of decades or so. 

We have gone there a number of times over the years, both with our family and just the two of us. 

But even in what used to be the offseason, it has become congested and crowded, so it violates my rules on crowds. 

When my buddy called, he said it would be a small wedding, only close friends and family, maybe 50 people at most. I offered him my congratulations. Then he said he had two questions: 

"First, will you come?" 

"Of course I will," I told him. He is one of my best friends and if he wanted me there, I needed to be here. 

"Second, will you play the piano?"

Different answer to this question. It has been a very long time since I have played for any type of public event, and I told him it would be far too stressful for me to do that. He said he would find someone else. 

Wife and I drove to 30-A last Friday, to Seagrove, a couple of miles from Seaside where the wedding would be, with a stop on the way in Birmingham to see our new grandson. (Who is quite perfect, by the way.)

We drove through horrendous weather to get there, with both of our phones giving us storm warnings. I thought of pulling over a couple of times, but we pretty much outran it and that was not necessary. 

It rained all day Saturday, so we did a lot of reading and watching the rain fall on the ocean from our beachfront condo. 

Sunday was beautiful, so we spent the entire day on the beach under an umbrella. The weather was perfect -- not too hot and a nice breeze -- so it was a good day for me. 

Wife went back to the beach Monday, but I stayed in and worked. (I managed to do this little trip without taking any time off, thanks to the miracle of modern technology. Even in the car, I could log in via hotspot. Because we are about to go on another longer trip that was scheduled before I knew about this wedding, I did not want to take vacation time if I could help it.) 

The wedding was at 4 p.m. Due to the crowds (and lack of parking places) we had already observed, we took an Uber both ways 

It was lovely, and my friend appreciated my being there. It was good to see him and be with him at this important event. 

Best of all for Wife, she got a beach trip out of it. 

I've done my beachgoing for the year, thank you. 


Saturday:  washout


Ed said...

I love the beach... from the easy chair in my beach front accommodations! Sitting in the hot sun, getting all gritty with sand, and yes, dealing with the crowds is not my cup of tea.

Kelly said...

I am not a beach person at all. However, I will soon be eating a lot of words and spending some time there. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm glad this turned out to be a nice trip, despite the weather.

Becki said...

I think I've only experienced the beach twice (1st time in highschool when my girl scout troop took a trip to Savannah Georgia (the birthplace of Juliet Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts). I got a blistering sunburn - like 2nd degree burns, I'm sure. The next trip to the beach I remember was in 1990 when hub and I drove to Gulf Shores, Florida with our almost 1 year old first born - it was on a whim when someone offered us their time in a house on the beach at a discounted price. That was kind of fun, but it was March and too cold to actually swim in the ocean. Truth be told, if I have the opportunity to visit a beach again, I'd prefer a cool cloudy day over a hot sunny one. I love the idea of a beach, but the experience, not so much. Though I do think I'd love seeing the northern coasts of Maine and/or Washington or Oregon.

I'm glad your trip was a success, Bob. I thought the plot might twist with you ending up filling in on the piano at the last minute. :D

Becki said...

Ooops... Gulf Shores, AL, not FL.

Jeff said...

I'm glad you got this year's beach visit off your punch list and also was able to be at a friend's wedding..

I don't mind the beach... but my last trip was ten days when the rest of my family came down after my father was moved into hospice and given just a few days to live. We stayed at the beach the entire time, which was nice diversion with lots of early morning and late evening walks, but mind was in another place and couldn't really enjoy it.