We siblings grew up near the beach and something in us hungers to return. Even my mother, born and raised in Kansas, longs to watch the ocean during the day, walk the coastline, and fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing.
After spending thirty-five years in Colorado, my family moved to Arizona two years ago. They were finally within a reasonable driving distance of the Pacific. I, who’d never moved from California, could share a beach experience with them again, maybe on a regular basis.
The four of us and two dogs tried an Encinitas hotel last Fall. We had a wonderful time walking Moonlight Beach (humans only) and Solano Beach (all of us), visiting dog parks, and an enlightenment center. Lots of vegan eateries in the area, and we tried them all. We jammed much into five days.
Last month through VRBO, we reserved a pet-friendly four bedroom house in Oceanside for four days. Mom watched the waves during the day, walked the strand, and listened to the crashing waves at night. The sunsets were spectacular. All but me saw dolphins swim, sometimes leaping in the waves. Platoons of pelicans sailed by hourly, sometimes diving into the water. Helicopters from nearby Camp Pendleton flew overhead.
The spacious kitchen allowed preparation of our favorite meals. First full day there, we zoomed through Frazier Farms to fill the pantry. We found our favorites and tried new food. We had delicious oat/cornmeal pancakes, porkless pockets, and nut-based cheese.
We siblings and the dogs visited the Rosicrucian Center in Oceanside with its fabulous views. Walking on the cliff edge and among the buildings felt eerie. From Wikipedia: Mount Ecclesia (dedicated on October 28, 1911) is the location of the international headquarters of the fraternal and service organization, The Rosicrucian Fellowship, located in Oceanside. It is also is the location of its spiritual temple, called The Ecclesia, situated upon the promontory of a high Mesa over looking the San Luis Rey River valley and the Franciscan Mission San Luis Rey de Francia.
On the penultimate day, I walked alone to the Oceanside pier. Each member of the family had either together or alone made the trek. I took dozens of pictures of the pier and the ocean vistas like the two above. Then I inadvertently selected the b/w mode. I collected several pictures that felt like a flash back in time.
Besides the hours we spent together, one of my favorite moments was not recorded. Walking back from the pier, I saw a humpback whale spout near a buoy. Then he breached. What a sight!
Within a week of our return, we checked our schedules and reserved the Oceanside house for another visit in the fall. Can’t wait!