Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Coast to Coast and Sea to Sea

One thing about growing up in England is you're never very far from the sea. Even in the days of our grandparents, a trip on the back of a motorbike to walk on the front and paddle in the waves wasn't such a rare occurrence. I've seen photos of my parents courting on the beach long years ago with my uncle and aunt. And my childhood holidays (vacations in American) just wouldn't have been the same without buckets and spades.

Which is why Salt Lake City, while beautiful, could never quite feel like home though we lived there for a while. There's the Great Salt Lake, of course, which is great and salty, but it's not the sea. And there's desert, but it's not the same sort of sand.

When our son went to college in Los Angeles, our occasional visits to him felt like going back in time. We just had to stand on the beach at some point in each trip and taste salt on the breeze.

We've moved to Oregon now, of course, and every Christmas visit from my Mum is accompanied by at least one trip to the small of town of "Seaside." (What a wonderful name!) It's just as well, since Los Angeles son has moved to San Antonio, and while there may be beaches within reach, San Antonio itself is rather far away.

If you've been following my blog you'll we took time off to travel with our son. We wandered the beach at Santa Monica before the trip, letting sand trickle between our toes, saying goodbye, for a while at least, to the setting of the sun over waves. And then we drove. Technically, our son drove; we entertained him with conversation and food and kept him awake.

San Antonio has a River Walk, which is great, but that's not the seaside either. Still, Corpus Christi's not so far away, and one day we took a day off from unpacking and building furniture to visit America's other sea. I know, LA to SA isn't really coast to coast, and Pacific to Atlantic would be a much greater (and longer) achievement. Still,the Gulf is the sea and was sea enough for me. We let the warm sand trickle between our toes again, and only wished we'd been able to get there in time to see sunrise over waves. Another trip maybe.

Meanwhile son rises before the sun, as doctors tend to do. And I'm waiting for a Texas sun to bring summer to Oregon.


Cold As Heaven said...

I agree about the sea. The only thing I missed when we lived in Colorado was the ocean view >:)

Cold As Heaven

Aubrie said...

I can't imagine not living by the sea. I live an hour away in NH.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Sheila, you're making me homesick. I grew up in Los Angeles and went to Long Beach every weekend to bake in the sun with friends. I also lived in Salt Lake City, where my daughters still reside, and agree that the Great Salt Lake just doesn't compare with the ocean. The Texas gulf coast also leaves a lot to be desired, with its tar balls on the beach, but I love Galveston and its shining sea walls, where my grandparents once lived.

Carol Kilgore said...

Great post. We moved to San Antonio from Corpus Christi, and my WIP is set there on the Gulf. I know exactly what you mean by even a big lake not being the sea. Every so often, we go to the coast to get our sea fix. Sigh.

maryrussel said...

I love the ocean. If I ever move away from here, somewhere near the ocean would be my first choice. In Wisconsin we have some huge lakes. If you use your imagination, you could almost pretend Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, and Lake Winnebago are oceans but they don't have quite the same feeling.