Beach Day

Am I ever going to catch up writing about vacation? Do you ever have the intention of writing deep, soul-searching rambles, letting your mind wander and return refreshed? Would you ever let your mind bend, commit a perambulatory dimension shift, jump up an energy level or two to uncharted parts of the brain?

You would? Good for you. I’m just going to talk about the beach.

We decided to go back where it all began, at Jacksonville Beach, where Reilly proposed to me.

When we got to the parking lot near the pier where we lost Jenny’s keys, it had started to rain. We waited for a little while then headed to a nearby gas station to get something to drink. When we returned to the parking lot, it was raining even harder. Because we are supreme nerds, both of us brought books to read and talk about. We cracked a window and read while it rained.

About 45 minutes later, the rain stopped, and we carried our books, drinks, and towels and found a nice place on the sand. The sky was still overcast, so it wasn’t very hot.

THE pier.

We stayed at the beach for the next two hours. Here is a list of things we did while we were there:

  • Applied sunscreen
  • Read and talked about books
  • Remembered seagulls from our engagement day
  • Drank our drinks
  • Got sandy feet
  • Took photographs
  • Watched people
  • Made fun of people
  • Peed in the ocean

Squinty photo

More clouds

Still more clouds

We only peed in the ocean because we’d been drinking those drinks from the gas station so we had to go, and the parking lot bathrooms were locked, and we thought it would be sort of fun to pee in the ocean. I mean, let’s be honest. We walked casually enough to the water and allowed enough space between us so that we wouldn’t by grossed out by the each other’s warm current. We walked to where the water was about to our hips. We didn’t talk to each other for a few seconds, then I asked Reilly if he was done. Then we let the ocean gently roll in and rinse us.

But here’s the thing: Do you know what acid rain is? So, because people pee in the ocean, and water from the ocean evaporates and forms clouds, and some of these clouds make rain, I wonder if we often think about how often we pee on ourselves. Despite this, I still and will always love the beach.

After a couple of hours it was lunchtime, and we decided to eat at the Metro Diner. It’s a small Jacksonville chain with some distinct charm. It’s just a few blocks from the beach. If it weren’t for my friend Jenny’s recommendation, we wouldn’t have thought to go there.

Yummy food here

Reilly had a Philly cheesesteak sandwich, and I had an enormous fish sandwich. The staff was really nice, and I took half my sandwich to go.

It was a sunny December afternoon when we got engaged a year and a half ago. As is typical for Florida summer afternoons, it rained on our way back to my parents’ home. But not very much. And maybe we had driven far enough away from the ocean and the wind hadn’t blown the clouds to where the familiar smell in the rain wasn’t my own urine.

Leaving

 

Light plays some pretty cool tricks here. I thought this might inspire a poem, and it still could, but all that’s entered my head are thoughts of dead things drowning. A little too dark, perhaps. The devil, he’s making me do it. He’s doing a little number with my mind. Maybe it’s because I renewed my temple recommend, maybe I’m just plain weak. It’s frustrating.

I went to a couple of parks in Jacksonville today in an attempt to clear my head. I was out for about five hours, and approximately two of those hours I drove. Not complaining, really; just an observation.

More photos here.

Proof I Was at the Beach

I went to the beach for about 17 seconds on Saturday, April 25, 2009.  It was at Jacksonville Beach. It was a little bit crowded, the sun was high, the sand wasn’t too fine, and the water was perfect. For some reason I didn’t bring a swimsuit. Maybe I thought the water was going to be too cold. Anyway. My brother and I played in the sand for a little bit. I took some pictures. Mom and Tom went for a walk. My brother and I tossed around a frisbee. I waded in the ocean for a while, then people were hungry and wanted to go out to eat. Then we ate. Then we went home. I wish we would have been able to spend a little more time there. Here’s a photo of me at the beach as we were about to leave. I haven’t shown this much skin since the last time I went to the beach, a little less than a year ago. Children, cover your eyes.

IMG_6978

Ha, just kidding.

I took quite a few pictures in Jacksonville, but ask me how motivated I am right now to post them.

Waiting Silently for Me

Um, I’m having A LOT of fun here.
I love it, but at the same time, it’s a little disconcerting.
Went to the temple this morning with a friend.
The drive to Orlando was wonderful.
That’s still my favorite temple, you know.  Manhattan is terrific, but I hadn’t been to Orlando in nearly seven years. I missed it, and I didn’t realize how much until I saw it, then I was inside, and all these memories came flooding from when I used to attend the temple at least monthly since August 2000.

I went to a birthday party this evening, where I saw some familiar, friendly faces. Man, the same feelings I had for the temple, I had for these people. Also, they made me stuff my piehole until I was in pain. Y’all, the love language of the South (and most Asian homes) is food. Food is the way to go.

And so, now maybe I have to speak in church on Sunday. I’m not sure how that happened.

This is so much more comfortable and welcoming and … fun than I expected.

It feels pretty good to be home.

Tomorrow, we go to the beach. Frank will join us. Yay. It’s been over a year since I’ve seen that dork. Man, I love that kid.

Friends back in NYC, maybe you should break out your aloe reserves, just in case. This body has not seen the sun in ages.