The sun is hot on my skin, but a cool wind sends my hair drifting on its currents.
Perfect day at the beach. Blissfully warm. Blissfully refreshing breeze. Silly frou frou drink in my hand.
Frozen strawberry lemonade with vodka, whipped cream, and 3 cherries. But no umbrella. Alas.
It’s my second one of the day. The first one lasted nearly three hours.
I began this perfect beach day at 10:15. Procured the vacation-only drink at about 11. At two, we trundled up to the beach bar for blackened flounder and French fries with cocktail sauce. And another drink. I told the bartender twice as much strawberry lemonade, half as much booze. He puts it in a 24 oz white Styrofoam cup. I take most of it back to the beach with me.
We, my friend and I, sit there until the shadows began to lengthen and the sun moves behind us. I can feel old Sol’s heat on my shoulders and back. I feel the stress dripping off me into the sand where the ocean took it far away.
The sound of the surf, the sound of shorebirds, a small child giggling in the distance somewhere.
We talk in drowsy tones about the need for more sunscreen and whether it is time to indulge in the hot tub. We dither.
Moving is much too much effort.
My new white beach chair is perfect. It was built for tall people — high-back white seat, lots of attached pouches to keep my treasures dry.
I try to look at my phone to see what time it is, but the sun has washed the display clean. It’s just a bright mirror.
I take another sip of my frou frou, vacation-only drink.
My friend finishes her book.
I don’t multitask at the beach. I just sit. No book. No radio. No diversions other than the ocean and beach around me.
My friend reminds me that she is cooking dinner. Italian sausage in an alfredo-ish sauce with Cajun seasoning, salad, and garlic bread. I nod. There is no place we must be at any certain time. We settle deeper into our chairs. It is 3:30. I’ve forgotten about the need for more sunscreen. I have become one with the earth and the sea and the sky.
I notice I’m burning. I mention it. She sighs. We agree we should go to the hot tub now.
I am stiff and sore from two weekends in a row in a car for a long journey. The hot tub will finish healing me. I drink the little bit left in my cup.
In slow motion, we pack up and head for the hot tub.
It is blissfully hot. I can feel the soreness draining out and flexibility returning. No more Granny Clampett walk. I make myself a promise to hot tub every day.
Dinner is so very good. I hadn’t realized how hungry I was until that first bite. Parmesan and Italian sausage with a New Orleans flair. What’s not to like? We drink wine out of large, long-stemmed glasses. I hold it up to the light. The red catches the fire of the light through the balcony door.
We load the dishwasher, change into jeans as the night promises to be a bit nippy, and head to the beach bar. An acoustic guitarist is playing Van Morrison, the Eagles, Country Roads, and, at my request, Tyler Childers.
The place is empty. Talented musicianship is not as popular as karaoke. Pity that, but blessings on me. It is like having a private performance.
I am still drinking frozen strawberry lemonade with vodka, whipped cream, and 3 cherries. I convince the bartenders to name it after me. After that, I order a Connie Kinsey.
To the strains of Wild Wild Horses, we sit on the deck where there is a cool breeze and watch the moon rise over the ocean. It is a stellar moon. Fiery and glowing — almost orange. The sound of the surf keeps the guitarist in rhythm.
Perfect beach day.
We wobble a bit back to the condo and sleep the sleep of the innocent. We plan to do it all again the next day.