Before J and I were married, I was working on a project that was extremely stressful. I told him that I wanted a beach vacation–“But not just any beach vacation. I don’t want to have to cross the street to get to the beach, or take the elevator down from the 15th floor and walk through the lobby to get to the beach. I want to walk out the door and be on the beach.”
Fast-forward four and a half years. I’ve just wrapped up a month of stressful projects, and what got me through was the knowledge that there was a beach vacation at the end of it. And, although I didn’t realize it until the day before we left, it turned out to be the beach vacation of my dreams.
Our friends D and A invited us to join them; for the past 10 or 12 years, D’s parents have rented the same beach house in Newport Beach. It’s a split-level with two floors. The bedrooms are a half flight up and face the street. The kitchen and living room are another half flight up and open onto an enormous balcony overlooking the beach. On the ground floor, exit the front door (actually on the side), turn right, and walk 10 feet. Presto. You’re on the beach. No elevators, no streets. Just the beach.
We spent two days with their family, reading on the balcony, oohing and aahing as D’s father flew an elaborate kite, lounging under beach umbrellas, watching surfers, swimming, and splashing in the shallows. In the evenings we ate delicious food and watched the Olympics. It was relaxing and healing and everything I needed.
The truth is that it was better than the vacation I imagined, because we got to share it with dear friends. I miss it–and them–already.