There’s nothing better than. . .

There’s nothing better than standing in the kitchen of a rented beach condo eating a peanut butter, potato chip, and butter sandwich on plain old grocery store wheat bread. 

Wet hair, damp bathing suit, sand between the toes.  Slathered peanut butter, thick cold real butter, crispy salted potato chips on bread with barely enough oomph to hold it all.  Superb.

So much so that two are better than one.  The second one should be consumed in a chair on the balcony.  Maybe wash it down it with a Coke or perhaps an afternoon cup of coffee.

After a day at the beach, the body needs what that sandwich offers.  Salt after sweating, protein after swimming, fat just because it tastes good.  I love love love a peanut butter sandwich after a day at the beach.

I also love a frou-frou umbrella drink at the beachside bar. At about noon. I used to always have a daiquiri – strawberry — frozen, one shot and twice as much strawberry mix as usual – two drinks worth with half the alcohol, an all-afternoon sipper in a thermal cup.

But last summer the bartender and I experimented with different combinations of things until we reached perfection:  vodka, frozen strawberry lemonade, whipped cream (the real stuff), and three cherries.  Three cherries. 

There have to be three cherries.  I don’t make the rules.  Well, okay, yes.  This one I did.  But trust me, there must be three to get the right amount of maraschino cherry juice drizzle to streak the whipped cream pink.

And then after dinner, there’s nothing better than taking off the dress and putting on the ripped beach jeans.  The jeans that are like being naked with pockets.  Oh, so comfortable.  Wear them with a black t-shirt on the balcony and pour a glass of a dry red or maybe an after-dinner cup of coffee.  The ocean breeze massaging sun-kissed skin and wafting hair.

But the best of all of the nothing better thans?  That first cup of coffee in the morning on the beach balcony before everyone else is awake.  It’s still dark, the sun is coming up over the water just a glint of yellow at the horizon — all the earth murmuring “let there be light” as shape and color return.  The morning air ruffling the nightshirt. Steam rising from the coffee mug.  The deep breathing of contentment.

There’s nothing better.  Nothing. There’s nothing better than a day at the beach.

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