I have been extremely lucky to be able to travel quite a bit in my lifetime. It’s a favorite thing to do, so I’ve taken advantage of opportunities presented to me. One thing I’ve noticed over the years, is the differences in beaches.
On the east side of the continent, or west side of the Atlantic from Massachusetts to Florida, I’ve generally seen beaches in a normal tan sand color. They usually have tiny bits of seaweed, shells and the occasional dead fish, ray or jelly that wash ashore, but the sand is fairly soft and not too gritty or sharp. Beaches are short or long from ocean to boardwalk/parking lot depending on the tides and weather patterns. I do prefer a longer area with the low level water gently washing over my feet.
On the west side of the continent, or the east side of the Pacific, I’ve noticed the sand is similar to the Atlantic side; however I’ve seen large seaweed with carrot-shaped attachments and sea glass wash ashore. Rocks litter the beaches and snakes like the beaches there too, yeesh (shiver). The water’s cold, but surfers and seals seem to like it. That is cold, unless you find a beachy alcove with shallow water that is heated by the sun. Then it’s fun to swim and flop around. California beaches, from Sausalito to San Diego, are lighter in their coloring than the Alaska beach I visited, and that one had pines fairly close to the water.
When I was on the west side of Europe, or the east side of the Atlantic, I dipped my toes in the icy waters of the North Sea. When I say icy, I mean it, as there are icebergs in it. I can tell you I didn’t stay in long, that’s for sure. But my little family enjoyed walking along the sand, as it was almost as firm as a sidewalk. We barely put footprints into it.
I also dipped my toes in the Mediterranean. (Totes just spelled that right the first time!) I stood on the black rocks of Tuscany and looked into the clear aqua blue water. Even though the rocks were smooth, it hurt when different parts of my feet went in different directions as they did their balancing act. It wasn’t a “lay-out” kind of beach, but it was fun to skip rocks and test the warm water temperature. Now, I know all Tuscan beaches aren’t like that one, but that’s the fun of checking out many different sites.
What’s my favorite beach, you ask? Why, the beaches along the upper Florida gulf coast! Soft white sand warms with the sun and has the occasional beach grasses growing through. Shells are aplenty, the cost of visiting doesn’t blow you away, and the water’s warm. People are pretty laid back, excluding traffic, and there are tons of things to do and see. It’s why we visit repeatedly.
Peace. And sand. And flip flops…