This is where I wish I was right now. Right this very moment. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not next month. Right now. But alas, it is not to be. So I cue up some calypso and reggae music on Pandora and try to let myself imagine I am there and ignore the fact that my children are fighting over the Wii. I am trying to live in my imagination rather than my reality. For just this moment.
I have had a love for the beach and the ocean since my first trip there when I was five years old. I had a Great Aunt and Uncle that lived in Sarasota, Florida and we would go down to visit them every so often. Those were great vacations. We would go to the famed Siesta Key Beach. That's where this photo was taken. Known to be among the softest, whitest, and most powdery sand in the world. We went when I was expecting Owen. Notice, I am not including a picture of me at 8 months pregnant! I always had wanted to return to that beach someday with my own children. It was a nice calm before the storm of having a baby.
I keep a jar of seashells on my kitchen window sill. The shells are a collection from beaches from the West Coast to the East Coast including the Gulf. These shells are the ultimate vacation souvenir for me. I look at them while I wash dishes. I will catch a glimpse of them when I call out the window for my kids to come in for dinner. I will stop and look at them after I've checked the temperature on our weather gauge. They are my instant calm in my crazy life.
That sand dollar above came from Lover's Key, Florida. My parents got that one for me. In all my beach-going years, I have never been able to find a viable sand dollar to bring home as a souvenir. So, they got me this one and I like keeping it with my collection.
The sand in this jar is exclusively from Siesta Key Beach in Florida. It is the only sand worth bringing home. Be careful if you are flying and want to bring home a Ziploc bag of powdery white sand. It looks very much like something else and in the event your luggage gets in on a random check... Well. Let's just say, things didn't look the same inside the suitcase when we got home.
The black rocks in there came from La Jolla Shores Beach outside San Diego, California last summer. No shells to be found on the beach there. Only these smooth, black rocks which make for a nice contrast in color, texture and shape inside my jar. There are some huge shells in there too that Kevin brought home from Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. He and his siblings took a trip down there last spring to visit their Dad. All of the little shells have been collected at a variety of vacation destinations from our past. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Sanibel Island, Florida. Clearwater Beach, Florida. I am reminded of beach vacations past, from the very first one when I was five to the most recent one last summer. Each one holds a special place in my memory bank. I go back there from time to time, especially when there is snow on the ground and we are cooped up inside. I think it's time to book our next vacation. I've been bitten by the bug!