I KNOW THAT IT'S ONLY April, but in southern California, beach trips are pretty much considered a year-round thing. Strangely, I don't find myself making it out there too often-- even when I lived in Orange County, which I did for seven years. I have a multifaceted relationship with the beach in that there are different types of beaches-- and beach experiences-- that I prefer more than others. My kind of beach is more along the lines of the central and northern California coast like the beaches along Big Sur and, I imagine, the ones even farther north in Portland/Seattle and even Vancouver. [The farther up the Pacific coast the prettier it gets. I'm heading up to Portland in two weeks exactly, and I can't wait. I'm already planning a Seattle/Vancouver, BC trip in my mind.]
The times I did go to the beach when I was living in OC, I mostly went for bonfires or just to walk along the water or read. There were times in the beginning when I was more immersed in the surf culture; I learned to surf from my dormmates at UCI who rented a house almost right on the water. That whole aspect was actually really great, but when I think about surfing now, I'm sort of terrified. I can't even begin to fathom how I ever did some of the things I did when I was younger. I think at some point I'll try taking surfing up again (and being braver-- read: a little more reckless), but who knows? Now I mostly like exploring beach caves and climbing on rocks. It's nicest for me when it's a bit overcast even, because if it's too sunny and hot, I can't hike around as much or I get all sweaty and gross.
On Sunday, Kaity (who took the photo above; she's the best) and I went to Thousand Steps beach in Laguna. It's named after the amount of super steep steps it takes to get down to the sand; there aren't really a thousand, but it sure feels like it-- especially on the way back up at the end of the trip. I realized how out of shape I am after still feeling an ache in my thighs two days later. But, look how beautiful! Just look! Pretty worth it, right?