Well Hidely-Ho there, Pigeon Handlers!
Back in the day…you know, when I had a Texas State Issue Driver’s License, the address on that ID pegged me down in South Texas. If you are familiar with things around here, you know that to be North Kosciusko. If you weren’t familiar, you are now.
Anywho, the point is that when I was there in the black dirt, I was probably a good hour-and-a-half to two hours away from the coast. The Gulf Coast, that is. Two-ish hours to Corpus Christi, Port Aransas, or Rockport-Fulton, all three of which were popular destinations. If you wanted to spend a little more time in the truck, you could make the four-hour trip to Port Mansfield, though that was more of a fishing outing that it was a beach day.
Now being so relatively close [remember, this is Texas we are talking about – the nearest state was over five hours away], you might think that every weekend was spent soaking up some rays or tossing out lines in hopes of landing the big one.
“Actually, I was thinking about Cuban Sandwiches,” You say, making sure Janet from Accounting didn’t hear you. “When I saw a new post pop up, I automatically assumed—”
You know what they say about assumptions! That’s right, we write about more that sammiches here. Sometimes. I’m getting off track.
Sadly, even with such a close proximity to the water, me in my youth neglected the beach-bum/fisherman’s lifestyle. But, as you know, we’re in Florida now! That’s a new state entirely! And wouldn’t you know it, there’s beaches all around.
About an hour-and-a-half east from Ocala, the Atlantic calls in the form of Ormond and Daytona beaches. On a whim, I loaded up in the Soccer Mom Mobile and headed out, blazing a trail. Fun Fact and future story alert: The drive to the coast takes you through Ocala National Forest which looks to be full of adventure. But today we’re talking about that salt life, so the woods and the bears will have to wait for another day.
First thing of note in Ormond Beach was the sand. While the beaches back home, the Sandhills in Monahans, and even the stretch from Pensacola to Okaloosa Island have fine, light colored sand, this was something this wandering and wayward Texan hadn’t ever seen. This was reddish in nature and had much larger grains. And it was cool!
Speaking of cool, as I might have mentioned before, I’ve become a fan of taking a dip in the cold water. So despite the crashing waves, I donned my trunks and made the walk up to the water and let the waters hit me full force. And boy howdy, do I mean full force. Like I said, there were crashing waves. I’ve seen waves back home and I’ve seen waves on TV [Johnny Tsunami FTW], but this was somewhere in between. While there wasn’t much in the way to get Jack Johnson inspired to hang ten, these were the tallest waves I’ve ever seen.
Disclaimer: I fully recommend to everyone wading out and enjoying the water. But do so with caution. Check in with the lifeguard or beach attendant as to the condition of the water and riptides and currents. Don’t forget, Safety First.
As for me, I only got out to about knee deep water. And then I got down on those knees and let the cold waters of the Atlantic slap me around like a rag dog. Again, very refreshing, very invigorating, and very calming. Highly recommended, 12/10 would do again.
Remember that sand I was talking about? Remember the waves? While watching the beautiful greenish-blue waters crash to shore, I had noticed that they stirred up quite a bit of that sand. What I didn’t realize was that when I let those waves hit me, they did so with a whole lot of sand. And folks, no matter how tight you cinch up your swim suit, that sand is gonna get you. Luckily for me [and you should do this as well] I brought a fresh change of clothes. After I took two more excursions into the water, I changed and brought out my chair and listened to the soothing sounds of the coast for a nice spell. What I didn’t do was go on a walkabout. Like I said, that sand got me.
Instead, after I found myself relaxed and reset, I hoped in the car and took the drive back home. It might sound like I drove all this way to take a quick dip in the water and then sit for a while, and that’s exactly what I did. Back in the day, I was fortunate enough to be so close to the water but I never took advantage of it. While on an adventure in a place that is almost completely surrounded by water, I plan on doing that quite often. And where ever you may be, next chance you get you should do the same. Get out of the house or office and find someplace to get your feet wet. Whether it’s your nearest beach, a river, or even just a pool, go take a dip. You’ll thank me when you do.