I’ll tell you where it was – at the bottom of my toe. Second or third – I can’t remember, as the pain was so ferocious, I had trouble focusing. Tell me, Mr. Formerly-Living Bee, how did you think wandering around the shore during low tide at Pismo Beach was going to work out for you? Let me ask you this: how are you feeling now?
This little incident was the only event that put a crimp in my little vacation with Boyfriend at Pismo. The fact that it was 20 degrees hotter than usual (90 degrees on the beach? Really?) and I had packed only turtlenecks didn’t put me in any particular ease, but one necessity is the mother, etc., etc. There were always Boyfriend’s t-shirts to borrow. Impossible to accessorize, but any port in a storm.
Our hotel was a single stairway off the beach. It was a gasping, terrifying climb, but so convenient!
One heard the waves crashing all day and night. So lovely to hear the ocean murmuring and fussing when one woke up just as when one fell asleep. Our balcony overlooked a little pool and further beyond a horizon where we watched the setting sun hover over every afternoon.
On Thursday AM, Boyfriend and I walked 2 miles to the Burbank train station, each of us carrying our own luggage – my right shoulders bears the imprint of 20 lbs, while Boyfriend merged with a dufflebag weighing 50 lbs. and an 8ft. surfboard. Hell? Oh, a little bit.
But the train ride was splendid, rushing along the coast where we saw surfers and dolphins meandering through the water. We even saw a deer running after the train. Whether it was chasing or racing us, it was hard to tell. But when it stopped, it seemed to have the satisfied look of a farmer who has finally chased those damned kids off his land.
We got off at Grover Beach, only another 2 mile walk from our hotel. On arrival, we checked in. We went to our room. We collapsed. Checked in and checked out, pretty much.
The town of Pismo Beach – sandy, student-ridden, boisterous – was one mile away. Walking there for dinner was fine, and walking back along the beach was lovely. It was always low tide, and we could see the dark ribbons in the sand formed by the ocean’s currents when the shore had been submerged mere hours ago. Full moon, on the brink of waning – thank you astronomy, thank you tides.
One morning we walked 2 miles for breakfast – well, wouldn’t you? – and found a sweet place, which had all the earmarks of a local hangout: Zorro’s Cafe and Cantina. When my Spanish omelette arrived, all I saw was a lake of melted cheese and red sauce brushing gently against a shore of crispy hash browns. Somewhere beneath were the eggs.
Boyfriend had his usual: carbohydrates.
Besides walking, we swam. Boyfriend surfed.
In fact, he was at sea when I was suffering from my bee sting wondering if/when gangrene would set in.
Our beach extended one mile to the wharf, dotted with kelp, clam shells and sand dollars. When the sun was high, there were stars twinkling in the water. There were shadows on the beach
Cormorants, sea gulls and pelicans perched on rocks sharpened and hollowed out by the sculpting ocean.
For threefull days we were complacent, tired and happy. I also bought a tiny sterling silver pin of a llama.
On Sunday we packed and set outagain – the same walk, but somehow it seemed rougher.
We had time to take a break. To rest
and to take a photo of a blushing little finch nearby.
Before packing up and setting out once more.
We arrived in Burbank at around 7PM. 99 degrees. And another walk ahead of us. The next morning as I was being driven home, we both agreed how nice it would have been if our swimming pool had suddenly materialized. We would have pulled over, donned our swim suits and jumped right in.
We go back, without a doubt. And I’ll be sure to wear sandals on the beach.