Summer in January??

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!

12 thoughts on “Summer in January??

  1. Ooh…how wonderful your day sounds.
    I closed my eyes and pretended to be there!
    We’ve had all we can do to struggle out of temps in the low 20’s…on a good day!
    Enjoy!! I’m looking forward to beaches in the future. Can’t come soon enough.

  2. I love the pictures! Thanks for sharing the day…I’m sitting here feeling guilty that I schedule my sub to take my kids outside for PE and…it’s raining! I hope he figured it out!

  3. What a Heavenly Winter Day!
    We are experiencing the same warm Winter here in Az…but without the glorious and ocean and beach!
    I love Cali and Stinton Beach looks like a gorgeous place to appreciate such an incredible sunset.

  4. Visiting your blogs is always like a mini vacation. I love the beauty and the variety of photos that you include with your words.Stinson is crowded for a January.
    Sometime you’re there, for a shock, go to the south end and walk around the big rocks to the neighboring beach. Yeow!

  5. Brother – Truly a day never to be forgotten! Thanks for including Scott, Jodie and I in your great idea!

    I wanted to add one thing about the outside dining area we we ate at…… dogs were allowed providing they stayed under the table & were behaved, which they all were!

    LY

  6. What a wonderful blog. I so enjoyed reading it. I wish you had the follow app I am sure to lose you now ha ha!! kind regards Rita. xxx

  7. Stinson Beach is one of my favorite places too- and I love the Parkside Cafe. Seeing your pictures makes me want to be there.

  8. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  9. I miss California for exactly what you just experienced. I lived in Ventura California for 10 years but had to go home (NJ) due to separating from my now ex-husband with my 6 week old baby girl. I have always said that I would go back. I hate living in NJ and now that my daughter is 20 years old and goes to San Diego State University. My dream of going back is coming. I know it. The only reason I stayed in NJ is my mother who like your mother has alzhiemers and I want to be here for her. I have 2 brothers who live in Mill Valley. I never got up to see them but I hopefully will someday and I will check out Maria Maria. Thank you for sharing those sunsets. I needed that today.

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