Bee, Where Is Thy Sting?

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!

Stumble Stairway

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.

Sunset From Our Balcony

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. 

Edible Art 1

Boyfriend had his usual:  carbohydrates.

Edible Art 2

Besides walking, we swam.  Boyfriend surfed.

Boyfriend Really Does Surf!

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

Seagull Shadow on the Shore

Cormorants, sea gulls and pelicans perched on rocks sharpened and hollowed out by the sculpting ocean. 

Apartments Very Complex

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

Boyfriend and Surfboard At Rest

and to take a photo of a blushing little finch nearby.

Our Blushing Friend

Before packing up and setting out once more.

Aubrey Locked and Loaded

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.


14 responses to “Bee, Where Is Thy Sting?

  1. It sounds like a wonderful time (except for the bee sting). I would have liked all the walking — burns up calories for awesome breakfasts at nice little places.

  2. Somehow, I think the bee sting just made it all more memorable. I don’t know how often you’ve been stung, but I’ve had a relatively sting-free life which makes me wonder for several moments each time if I’m secretly deathly allergic and am going to die within the hour. Mostly, it just hurts like crazy.

    Please do go back and tell the bees to buzz off!

  3. What a wonderful trip! But I’m so sorry about the bee string – what a bummer! 😦

    So cool to see a pic of your BF surfing! I’m dazzled by the food, the ocean and even the scary stair case!

  4. hope the bee sting has stopped hurting by now! Apart from that, it sounds like a lovely trip!

  5. I love the beach too. Thanks for sending us this great postcard of your trip.
    It really reminded me of my trip to San Diego/La Jolla. The walking, the waves, even Zorro’s. I can imagine it all.

  6. breakfast looks incredible, I would love boyfriends breakfast even though I know a few hours later I will have a crash and need a nap.
    So Sorry about the cranky bee! I hope the toe is doing well now!

  7. Sounds like a total delight, bee sting aside. LOL @ “locked and loaded.” Very intrepid!

  8. LaurieW – precisely my way of thinking. That walk ‘paved’ the way for the fried shrimp dinner I had that very evening!

    SnoringKatZ – what made it so memorable, ironically, was that it had been so long since I’d been stung, that I had no memory at all about how badly it hurt! That’s why I initially thought it was a piece of shell that had disappeared into my vein, slicing and dicing as it went.

    Dora – I miss so much about that vacation, even that deadly staircase. (but not the bee, who has gone to join the quiet invisible)

    FatCat – Ferocious pain for about 20 minutes. Then, a few hours later, itchy-itchy. Then, all serene.

    pyrit – Forgot to mention the wedding reception going on that Saturday, right under our balcony! I was dancing to ‘Shout’ in our room, but by myself. Boyfriend isn’t what you’d call a dancer.

    LavendersBDD – Oh, we crashed, had a nap…then went swimming! Gosh, I love swimming pools.

    Reds – I was hoping my calves were looking muscular, but nah…Boyfriend was intrepid, but I chose to post the photo showing only his sneakers (I don’t think he approved of my choice)

  9. do you or your man-candy eat cows? If so, go to McClintock’s for dinner the next time you’re up there. MAJOR YUM!!

    Beautiful pictures. Wish I had the sense to do something like that. How long was the train ride? Did you have to go to Union Square to catch it?

    I’ll happily meet you in that pool!!

    • I had to check up on McClintock’s – it does look promising! But it’s in Shell Beach (where Zorro’s was) so it would require a large walking effort on our part – but it could be worth it! This time we didn’t start from Union Station : the Burbank Amtrak/Metro station was closer to Boyfriend’s place – walking distance, in fact.

  10. ps: the bee must be a relative of the one that bit the bottom of my foot at a beach in Hawaii. Despite the bite, it was still one of the best days of my life… which tells me that it was a pretty kick ass kind of day!

  11. So sorry about the bee sting. Your pictures are fantastic though. The food, the shoreline. It looks like a perfect get away! Ah, the food. Now I am hungry!

  12. Ouch about the bee sting; yum that edible art! Lovely sunset.

  13. The photo of the bird made me really nostalgic. We had one of those as a pet when I was a kid. It’s a cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus), it’s like a parrot or parrakeet. They can be really sweet and affectionate! And they’re so cute with their blushing cheeks 🙂 How cool to see one in the wild.

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