Arriving at our final campsite, we found a beautiful spot on the beach. We spread our towels to plump ourselves in the sand to soak up the rays. From time to time when it hit too hot I put my feet into the still frigid Pacific Ocean and it was enough to cool off in a heartbeat. I never mustered up more courage to go further into the deep or allow the rushing ashore waters to emerge my feet above my ankles. To me personally the water was freezing, despite seeing several people swimming without any bodysuits. I am a bit of a pansy with cold water and it takes me awhile to adjust to the cold, wading in inch by inch before I’m fully submerged. As if the shock would make my heart stop and I’m sure it could very well do so. And besides, maybe the people swimming were more hardcore and members of the polar bear club. I was not going to be the newest member, not now and most likely, not ever. Brrrrr….. A flock of brown pelicans was nearby, scouring the water surface and diving head first from the sky to catch their meal. It was funny and amusing to watch as one by one would fall to make their splash that was dotting across the water surface. I knew that they were fishing but it looked playful to me as one reversed cannonball (head first) after another appeared in front of my eyes. It was Saturday and the beach was starting to get crowded. Families and couples, children and single people, everybody was out to enjoy a little ocean breeze. We started walking around the shore and decided on a little stroll along the cliffs that looked like a weeping walls. Water was slowly running over the steep face, turning parts of the wall into a lush moss cover. It was neat looking and beautiful. Along the shore was an unusual rock never before seen that consisted of seashells that had collided with the rocks and became fossilized. Fused together and shaped over time into a unique, beautiful treasure of their own. Some left their shapes in the rock, while others became one with the rock. It was strange and beautiful and after renaming it this stretch will be known to us as fossil beach. I had to have one as a keepsake and the search began. I found a few worth keeping, only to leave each behind after finding another one that spoke to me even more. In the end we determined that we had found the best one.
This part of the area was secluded and it was mainly due to the rocks and the little sand that actually offered a beach. The ocean was closer on the narrow stretch and we had it mostly to ourselves while leaving the crowds behind at the main beach. I didn’t know how serene these moments were until we came around one of the cliffs and hit party town Capitola. It was very crowded with some sort of event going on and within a few feet the scenery turned from one extreme to the other. The quiet, peaceful solitude turned into people sitting on top of each other like ants with little space to themselves and definitely no privacy at all. Not that it bothered anybody and the people visiting to join the others on that beach didn’t mind, perhaps even enjoyed the packed atmosphere. It was not my cup of tea. I deal with crowds on a daily basis and to recharge my batteries my adventures usually consist of escaping the crowds. But we were also hungry and it was time to scour the area for something decent to eat. The restaurants were equally packed and we decided on a little corner stand serving hotdogs and polishes, as well as a dog called the “Cheesy Bavarian”. Bavaria is my home, but now, and unable to tell you what a cheese Bavarian was, I was intrigued to order one. Obviously it had to do with cheese but I never did find out how the cheese made the correlation to Bavaria, hahaha.
On the way back to the beach, we spotted the ice cream parlor down the road and what better way to finish off the meal with a little dessert on the side. It was busy and the place was hopping. The employees clearly overwhelmed by the hectic gave a grumpy impression and were quick to shove you out the door. It was business, a job that wasn’t enjoyed and it was clearly felt as such. It almost dampened the whole experience as it made me think of how many people are stuck doing the things they have to do vs. being able to do the things they love to do. However, the ice cream was delicious as we sat in front of the parlor and a little boy to the left of me took my mind off quickly. Without a doubt and only one look at him you were able to tell of the huge sweet tooth that little one had. Ice cream cone in hand, he turned is face towards me in the most serious, meaning business kind of way. But that was not the point and I could only imagine where his mouth must be as this entire region of his face, including parts of his nose and cheeks were covered in ice cream as if he had dove in and just smashed the cone into his face. Mixed with the serious look on his face that said something like “What are you looking at” I couldn’t help but laugh out before I had the chance to consider my reaction. It was a priceless moment and the combination of his love for ice cream and meaning business took me by surprise and offset the prior grumpy moments inside the shop.
We made our way back to the beach, through the crowds, carefully placing our footing not to step on anyone. Finally we found ourselves on that narrow little strip between the weeping wall and the ocean that had shrunken down even more due to the tide coming in. In the nick of time and not a moment too soon we crossed this section and made it back to the main beach. Unaware, the tide never even crossed our mind, nor did we expect to find another town around the cliff, we could have easily gotten stuck there, being separated from our campsite. But we didn’t and I’m glad as this would have meant to miss out on the beautiful campfire on the beach. Yet again and once more it is something a little bit wild and dangerous that sticks out in our memory and will stay with us forever. I can already hear one of us saying “Remember that one time as we walked over to Capitola and nearly got stuck there because of Tide?” The whole scene already plays out in my mind as if I’m looking through the all telling crystal ball to reveal the future or to look back into time. One little sentence to revisit the moment that will trigger a smile and a wish for more memories to be like this.