The beauty of sleeping less than 500 meters from the beach is that no matter how many times one wakes up to the sounds of the forest, including raccoons foraging neighboring camp sites, one simply has to concentrate on the distant sound of waves crashing to fall almost immediately back to sleep. The result is not necessarily a sound sleep, but a pleasant one.
The beauty of sleeping less than 500 meters from the beach is also the after-breakfast walk. A short walk through a forest of pine, itself filled with a early-morning enchantment, and we’re at the beach. The sun reflects off the retreating waves and the low tide yields a treasure of shells for the Girl.
The Girl’s mantra changed during our short time at Huntington Beach State Park. Within twenty-four hours, it went from “When are we going to get there?” to “When are we going to the beach?”
The first day showed just how much the Girl has changed.
Her first beach experience, some two years ago, was moderately traumatic for her. The sound of the waves terrified her, and the waves were forever chasing her form the water’s edge when she finally got the nerve to approach.
This year was different.
She played in the surf. She made a mess of Tata.
She made some new friends.
She saw some wildlife.
It was one of a thousand bittersweet moments: she’s growing up faster than we’d have imagined.