During a warming period in the weather, my husband and I went to the beach. Armed with sun screen, a backpack with supplies and a new swimsuit, we went to the costal town of Holkham (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holkham), were we walked a the three-mile stretch across the dunes there until we reached the seaside. We arrived before noon and the whole shoreline was covered in a foggy mist that one could not see the water through.
With the reassurance that it would burn off as the temperature continued to climb, we set our things up on a sloping mound of sand where we invented a new game: Towel racing. Which is about as ridiculous as it sounds. With our toes facing the upper portion of the slope, we laid on our bellies and “inch-wormed” across the sand to the bottom of the hill, laughing until we encountered the thorny bushes that grow there where we declared my husband the winner.
After that bit of fun, we had a simple salad for lunch and lounged around until the tide came. The tide can be a tricky thing for people who are not used to having one – myself included – and should always be treated with extra caution. Depending on where you are on any coastal beach, one could very easily end up stuck up on an island with water all around them and no way to get to the shore. It is no laughing matter that people die when they combine stupid with sea water.
Once we wer sure that the water wasn’t going to come any closer, we decided to take a dip into the sea. I grew up in Minnesota – the land of 10,000+ lakes – so I grew up around large bodies of water. But this was my first time experiencing the salty variety.
You can smell it, you can taste it on the air, you can feel the salt on your skin, but even if you know going in ahead of time, that first instance when I dove into it for the first time and came back up for air, my reaction was a startled: “It’s salty!”
Watch every native that has ever lived on the coast say this in one voice: “Well Duuhhhhhh.”
I knew it would be, but for some reason, being told and experiencing myself are two very different animals.