Yes, we've been back in San Diego for exactly a year now and it took us that long to go the beach and play!
Pathetic, I know, but we had a good excuse for not going last year... sharks and sting rays populated the shallow waters off the beaches. They normally don't do that here. So, you know, we kinda avoided the water. No Jaws replays for us.
(Although I did have a dream a couple nights ago that we were at the beach. Hayley was four and Emma was one. I was playing on the sand with them while Scott swam in the ocean. I looked up to check on him and saw dolphins jumping out of the water. I pointed them out to the girls and as soon as they saw the dolphins, I saw killer whales breeching! They came closer and closer to shore and the waves came in like a tsunami. I grabbed the girls and ran, but lost hold of Hayley. Scott was right there, though, and grabbed her. We ran and ran and ran. And were all safe. The end.)
It took us a while to actually get to the beach since I didn't have a bathing suit that actually fit and had to go out and buy one. (Went to Sears up the street and found a cute Land's End tankini for 60% off. Woot woot!) We came home, packed a picnic dinner (yes, it was that late) and jumped in the car thinking, "It's so late now. There's sure to be plenty of parking."
Haha. Joke's on us. We finally found an itty-bitty spot four blocks away and I executed a perfect parallel park, thank you very much. Grabbing our gear, we walked to the sand.
And the beach was almost completely gone! And I'm not talking about all the people covering it. I mean, the beach was literally almost GONE! What was once a 50 yard-wide beach is now maybe 35 feet! And the tide wasn't even all the way in! We have absolutely no idea why the water now comes so far up the beach.
The Coast Guard blocked off a ten foot swatch running parallel to the boardwalk, so that minimized space even more. And there were people everywhere.
See the spaces of sand in the photo? I know they look decent-sized, but they're not even close too being big enough for our small beach blanket. And we could only open two of our three chairs! Crazy!
Not that the space issue mattered much since the girls immediately headed five feet in front of us and started to dig a big hole. Yup, the water was that close. And getting closer! In the two hours we were there, we had to move our stuff backwards several feet three times. (Thankfully, people started heading home shortly after we got there.) By 6:30, there was no more beach behind us and we had to go.
It was actually really funny when that last wave almost overtook our little camp. Scott and I were both reading and I glanced up to check on the kiddos. I saw the wave racing just inches in front of our blanket and in a split second, I snatched it up and grabbed both bags saving all our things from certain sandy ruin! (Not really, but it sounds good. LOL!) So I saved all our stuff, but poor Scott got a face full of sand from when I yanked the blanket so hard! *cough cough cough sneeze* Poor guy!
Scott and the kiddos played in the water for a while. We only have one boogie board and it's sized for maybe a four year-old. But they were still trying to ride those waves! It was awesome to watch them.
So here's the other thing that took Scott and I by surprise at this first visit to the beach in almost 10 years. The trash. It was gross. People just dumped things and didn't care about picking up. Corn cobs. Chip bags. Broken toys. Lost sandals.
The trash piled up in the seaweed, sank in the girls' sand hole, jostled in and out of the waves. I just cannot believe that people are so crass and rude that no one cares about how horrible it looked and smelled.
I happily give credit where credit is due, though. Two teenagers came by and picked up a bunch of trash along the area we sat. I don't know if the trash belonged to them/their group, but I certainly applaud their good will. Scott and I took a turn, too, picking up garbage with the girls' sand shovels. After about 10 minutes, though, we got grossed out, tossed what we'd collected in the buckets and thoroughly rinsed everything off.
We'll be trying a different beach next time. What a shame this one has disintegrated and deteriorated. But, I'm optimistic. It just means that we have to explore other beaches we ordinarily wouldn't. :)