St. Augustine, Florida
My dad grew up in Massachusetts, about twenty minutes from Cape Cod. Summer visits to see grandparents and cousins always included going to the Cape, climbing the sand dunes that line the coast, splashing in the cool water, often dodging giant spools of kelp. Unlike Florida, cars aren't allowed on beaches so there's a trek from the car to the beach, which is how it should be.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts in July
|Cape Cod in November|
A couple years before that trip, we went to Mendocino, California. It had been twenty years since my last visit to the northern California coast and I was amazed at how little the area had changed. Even the Agate Cove Inn, the bed and breakfast inn I'd stayed in before was still there. Different owners but still the gorgeous view, cozy accommodations and great food. The Pacific coast this far north is very different from the south end, just like on the Atlantic side of the country. Darker water, a little less hospitable, especially this far north on the west coast. Rugged cliffs, patches of sand that can't really be called a beach, but so what? It's glorious. Everything about it. The sight, sound, scents. I love it all.
Mendocino, California coastline
A trip to Scotland and Wales in 2011 combined my obsession with Big Water and my love for castles when I visited the city of Caernarfon, Wales and its castle. Caenarfon Castle, in northern Wales is situated on the southern bank of the Menai Strait between north Wales and Anglesey.
The Mensai Strait flows into Caenarfon Bay, west of the city, which flows into the Irish Sea. From atop the castle you can see the bay and imagine it stretching out into the Irish Sea. A breathtaking sight.
So when I start pining for bodies of water that are so immense their opposite shores can't be seen, I pull out my photos and my rock, seashell and sand collections (I have bowls of sand from every beach I've ever been on), add a mental soundtrack of seagulls and ospreys, and let my ocean-side memories whisk me out of the Ozarks. It doesn't cure my longings, but I'm grateful for the memories that let me travel first class, totally free, until my next visit to an ocean.
Any ocean-side memories of your own? Have you written scenes set on a beach?
Polly posts on RB4U's blog on the second of every month. You can find out more about her and her books at her website: www.pollymccrillis.com
Check in on Tuesdays for a new blog post every week: http://pollymccrillis.com/blog.html