Given Isobel’s excitement at seeing the ocean for the first time I really looked forward to Isobel’s first trip to the beach. She is too young still for the traditional beach activities: wave chasing, sand castle building, etc, but since we were in the area for my cousin’s wedding, I wanted to, at the very least, formally introduce her to the Pacific.
We never intended on getting Isobel going swimming or even getting wet. It wasn’t a warm summer for the Pacific Coast by any means, and due to a deep ocean trench the constant temperature of our sea water is frigid at best. Not that this stops many children from playing in it or adults from surfing in it, but I don’t even like getting my feet wet.
I’ve only ever swam in the ocean once really, and that’s just if you count wading in ice cold water up to my thighs only to be knocked over at the first wave and nearly carried out to sea. I would be long gone if it weren’t for the fact that Stefanie was holding on to one arm and Anthony was holding on to the other. Stef is tall enough to stay upright in the waves and Anthony is strong enough. I, on the other hand, experienced full-body exfoliation from being drug along the sand. I remember a crab hitting Melynda. It was a wonderful yet terrifying experience. The waves at Half Moon Bay, our local coastside haunt, are no joke. They are powerful.
I’ve never liked the beach at the Board Walk. It is always dirty, littered with trash and packed with people. But it was the closest one to the hotel, and we weren’t planning on staying long. We found a small strip of beach next to the Boardwalk that didn’t look too bad and set off for the sea.
For Isobel, the sand itself was the most fascinating and infuriating part of the beach. It tripped her up constantly as she walked along, infuriating her, but she delighted in letting it run through her fingers. She loved it so much she ignored the ocean, no matter how many times we tried to coax her toward it. The crush of the waves could just not compete with the fine, warm sand.
Which is just as well because as we neared the water we saw signs up and down the beach saying that the water is contaminated and people should not come into contact with it. Huh. Good to know. We were doubly sure to keep Isobel on the sand and away from the shore, despite the several dozen children splashing away in the water while their parents sat lazily by, sunning themselves on blankets.
I kept looking for my Santa Cruz friend Laura, just in case she happened to be on the most touristy beach in town, but no luck.
As on other trips we used the trunk to change her diaper, and it proved the perfect spot. It protected her from sun, wind, and the large lip of the trunk kept her safe from rolling out. I wish my trunk was on Yelp so I could give it a glowing review.
Before we left I tried to get a cuddly photo of just Anthony and me being all couple-y, but I didn’t realize it was still zoomed and so our photo was an EXTREME CLOSE UP!
In five years when I tell Isobel about her first trip to the beach I’m going to tell her, “Well at least you didn’t get hit by a crab.”