Last summer, I wrote about one of our favorite activities during our Pandemic “staycation.” From June to September we went very frequently to our closest public beach, about 20 minutes from our home. If we arrived early in the morning before 9 am, we were guaranteed a parking space. At that hour, the air temperature was still in the mid-70s but gradually the ocean temperature rose up to 86 degrees.
It was sunny and we had the beach almost all to ourselves. We could do our morning walk along the coast with multi-million-dollar mansions set back in the grassy dunes.
There were some weeks that we went there every day of the week.
As the seasons changed, we stopped going to the beach because we resumed our normal walking routine with our neighbors within the community. It also took too long to get to the beach because of the early morning school bus activity.
When this morning I suggested to my wife that we go to the beach, we decided to make it a late-afternoon excursion. Today was a sunny day and the temperature rose into the low 80s, but early in the morning it was “only” 65 degrees, a temperature too cold for my sensitive feet. And the ocean temperature this time of year is only about 75 degrees, way too cold for my now “thin-blooded” body. I wasn’t even thinking about going swimming!
When we arrived at the beach, the parking lot was filled to capacity and we had to wait a few minutes for a space. A quick survey of the cars revealed many out of state visitors, normal for this time of year and especially during the Christmas break.
As we reached the ocean, it was so crowded that we had to find a place to put our beach chairs, something we never have to do during the summer. We could tell that there were many grandparents with their visiting children and grandchildren.
After 4 pm, we didn’t realize that the sun had already gone behind the trees and the beach was enveloped in an early sunset shade. We actually felt a little cold even though the temperature was still in the high 70s! It was fun watching the seasonal visitors playing in the surf. They were obviously not feeling the chill that we were. As soon as we finished our dinner, we decided to pack up and left the beach. We both felt comfortable getting into our nice warm car.
It reminded me of past winters here in Florida. When the temperatures occasionally go down into the 50s and even sometimes into the 40s, we bring out our winter coats, sweaters, gloves, hats and scarves! We would see some of our “snowbird” neighbors from Canada walking in their t-shirts and shorts. Just as we wondered about how they were dressed, they were probably looking at us as weirdos.
It all depends on what you get used to!