Friday I got it into my head to go to the beach. The weather had been luscious all week long – sunny and in the mid-sixties. My niece is here visiting us from Greece and my husband hasn’t been to the beach in forever, so we decide to just do it. I invite my sister and her husband to join us and they agree. We meet in Mill Valley and traverse over Mount Tamalpias to one of my favorite places in the world — Stinson Beach.
After we get all our stuff settled, we take the obligatory “long walk on the beach” with the dogs, of course. One of the great parts about Stinson Beach is that there’s a dog section and a non-dog section. I’m always amazed by how well all the dogs get along. They seem to be as happy to be there as the people are. Jodie, my sister’s shaggy black lab, runs after balls, birds, and sticks until she drops from exhaustion. Toby, (breed unknown) won’t come to us when we call, so he’s relegated to leash status, and Fritzi, our mini-dachshund, tootles along right next to us, barking at anyone or anything that happens to come near us.
Afterwards, we head to the Parkside Cafe for lunch. The line for the snack shack seems endless, so we go to the dining area and eat a great meal in the warmth of the patio. All day long, we talk about how we can’t believe how warm it is in January. And although we love it, we feel a tad guilty because we know what we really need is rain – and lots of it. Sadly, water rationing looms in our future.
Back to our chairs again, and I lie down for a little nappy. The air is beginning to have a slight chill to it, so I cover up with a towel. That’s my big bootie on the blanket. I listen to the waves booming along the surf line and the call of the crows and gulls as they scavenge for leftovers.
Before you know it, around 5:30 p.m., the sun starts its slow descent into the sea. People line the beach facing the ocean, cuddling with loved ones or watching through the lens of their cameras. How many sunset pictures do I have from this very beach? I feel like I’m part of a California love-fest; here we all are, drawn to this beautiful spot on this beautiful day. I can’t help but think that probably all of us are feeling the awe and mystery of the moment as we watch the sun slip behind the water.
The temperature drops dramatically, and it’s time to go home. But not before stopping at Maria, Maria for some wonderful Mexican appetizers and margaritas. Live music from a guitarist with a lovely voice plays in the background. My lone margarita goes quickly to my head. Soon we’re saying our good-byes.
A perfect day in paradise!