Saturday, August 21, 2004

Sand Blasted Not At The Spa

The ocean pulls you in, you can't resist. At lunch, a young waiter with a sweet smile and probably a few days before leaving for college, tells us the best beach in town so we head there -- even on this first day of vacation, despite my mommish desires to get the new place organized, beds made, house in order, fresh iced tea brewed, the ocean is calling us and we are not able to fight the pull.

The beach is at the end of Bank Street and we pass a ladies day spa to get there, it's not far at all. We pull the car over, I'm supposed to have some sticker or something but the girl waves us on. The ocean is raging in fact, as this is a slightly stormy, slightly sunny day with a monstrous wind blowing.

It can not be resisted ... almost ... because in fact as we get out of the car, the wind is sandblasting us with sand, it stings like a million little misquito bites.

My son is infuriated by this rude sand storm, but still the very choppy, white-cappy ocean is pulling us like a magnet.

The path from the car to the beach feels like a walking exfoliating treatment -- the ladies at the day spa didn't need to spend the money to get their skin roughed up -- they could have joined us on our Lawrence of Arabia trek to Acaba and Bank Street Beach.

Ouch, it really stings and still we march on, the waves look hellishly fun.

I did not bring a bathsuit for some idiotic reason. We had been out to lunch and I didn't expect to swim right afterwards. My kid is sporting his red flowered swim trunks, very Maui, together with a cool black "swim shirt" that looks like a wet suit top but made of something soft and flexible. It keeps him warm and keeps him from getting a blistering sunburn.

I'm in a white teeshirt and coffee colored cotton shorts. My kid plunges in and is getting the full washing machine treatment as the waves toss him, crash him, bully him and adore him.

It looks so great. I really want to go in. Four lifeguards are watching very carefully because this is way wild surf for this beach you can tell. Beach day of a lifetime.

A good half hour of wave dipping and diving clicks away and I'm more and more eager to tear into the splashy mess with him. Besides, at 9, he really hasn't encountered much surf like this and needs some wave dodging lessons. I want to be in there with him.

He needs his swimming goggles back in the car, so I talk him into getting out to rest a bit and waiting by the shore while I get the goggles.

There's next to nothing in the car that would qualify as a bathing suit, not even some workout clothes with a tank top or anything.

The white tee shirt I'm wearing will not be a good thing when I get it wet -- I mean, it shows everything. In Europe I wouldn't hesitate, hell, I'll take everything off, but this IS America. Plymouth is not far away -- we're talking Puritanical.

Then I see it -- YES -- the navy Blogger teeshirt (thanks Ev and Jason) with the orange logo. It's been stolen by my 9-year-old and I never get to wear it anymore, but he left it in the car I guess, so it's my lucky day. I change into that, dump the bra, and keep the shorts as is, they will just have to do. I grab the goggles and chase back to the edge of the sea to join my kid.

The water is warm and wild and pummelling and up and down and hilarious as it tosses the two of us around. I guess I needed to be in there -- it feels so good and the wet navy teeshirt isn't TOO clingy or revealing. My kid needed wave-jumping and wave-diving lessons since he's never swam in such a wild sea, so I spend a long time showing him how to do it.

It's a wonderful afternoon and we come back to the house, happy to find there's an outside shower since we are covered in seaweed and salt and sand.

"Oh yeah," I think, "this is vacation. Where you forget everything and are jumping waves and laughing and screaming and trying to survive and leaving worries far away. I love it."