I grew up in Southern California. I was not a Midwest gal back then. No, I was a sand-n-surf kinda’ kid, with almost every day of summer break spent beachside. When I was younger, almost all of my time was spent in the water, and I could body surf and boogie board with the best of them. Once I caught a jellyfish and brought it home in a bucket (either something ate it or it ate itself, because when I woke up the next morning, it was gone). Frequently we would see schools of dolphins or pilot whales not-too-far-out, and I’d beg my mom to swim out past the waves to get closer. We’d also bring our rollerskates and walkmans and roll to the pier and back, again and again. It was pretty idyllic and quintessential California, and of course now appreciated more fully in hindsight than it ever was in the moment.
When I was a teen, I’d hit the beach every weekend with my girlfriends, and then it was all about the music and the lifeguards. (If you’re reading this in Cali, does K-ROQ still exist?) We collected and traded surf tees like they were Pokeman cards. Maui and Sons, Quicksilver, BodyGlove – I can still see the logos across our backs. I can still see the tan lines too. I don’t think we ever used sunscreen, but I don’t ever remember a sunburn either. After my first year of college in the Midwest, I was shocked to discover I actually have pale Irish skin.
While doing some research on stand-up paddle boards this morning (I remain to this day part water), I stumbled across Swell – a site for all things surf and sun. For a brief moment, I was ridiculously tempted by board shorts and a turquoise body board. Am pretty sure neither are appropriate for Lake Michigan, but the trip down memory lane has been a pleasure.
And of course now it is almost lunchtime, and I am desperately CRAVING a burger from In ‘n Out, while awash in a sea of Italian beef and deep dish pizza. Is there no justice to be had in this world?!?!?!