An Afternoon at the Beach
Picture - #18
DISCLAIMER: - Everything’s mine.
Rachel mumbled as she stretched and sighed. She was prepared for a lovely late afternoon on the beach. She wandered to the palm tree-lined boardwalk and waited for her college roommate, Karen. Fresh salty breezes toyed with Rachel’s red curls and the cool shade gave her a sense of well being that she hadn’t had in a while.
Karen came up next to her. “Beach towels?”
“Snacks and water?”
“Umbrella and sunblock?”
“Check and check.”
Rachel patted the iPods. “Check.”
“Looks like we’re set then.”
They hadn’t gone very far when they found a spot on the beach that they liked. They planted the umbrella, stretched out the beach towels, and put on sunblock.
“Do you wanna make a sandcastle?” Karen asked.
Rachel laughed. “I haven’t made one of those since I was a kid. Besides, we don’t have buckets.”
“Well then, make a volcano. How ‘bout that?”
Rachel found a good spot not too close to the water, but not too far away, either, and began to dig, not caring if her fingernails broke or not. Handful after handful of wet sand went into a pile that Rachel gradually shaped into something that looked like a cross between a volcano and a tepee. Finally deciding what it’d be, she found some small sticks along the beach and arranged them on the top of the pile to look like tepee poles, and then she dug a small door in the structure’s side. She stood back and giggled when Karen took out a camera phone and took pictures of it and its creator. Afterwards, Rachel splashed around in the ocean a little to try to get some sand off her.
“I guess you’re having a good time.”
“Yeah,” Rachel replied eagerly. “This is the best vacation ever! If your parents call from Switzerland tonight, please give them my thanks for the invitation. I just wish they could’ve been here, too.”
“They just needed a change of scenery.” Karen smiled. “Dad’s not happy unless he’s hurtling down a mountain on skis, tempting fate at least twice a year.”
Rachel shook her head in amazement. “How in the world did a poor daughter of hippies meet a jetsetter family like yours? And how did said poor daughter of hippies ever get invited to a private island?”
“You won the lottery although you buy a ticket?” Karen jokingly guessed.
“Something like that,” Rachel readily smiled and agreed.
She settled down on her beach towel, rubbed on some more sunblock, and stretched out under the umbrella to listen to some music and sleep in the comfortable shade. Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburger In Paradise” came through her headphones, rockin’ and tropical and perfect. Rachel’s mind drifted, however, and she was soon asleep.
* * *
“Mmmmmmmmmmmm,” Rachel hummed as she rolled over and woke up. The beach was still no dream.
“Time to go,” Karen announced as she packed up and gathered their belongings.
“Wow!” Rachel exclaimed when she saw the palm trees along the boardwalk. Some were decked out in blue and white icicle lights and other trees had regular blue, green, yellow, red, and orange Christmas lights.
“Yeah. Manuel and his team strung the lights while you slept. Merry Christmas, Rach.”
Speechless for a moment, Rachel finally found her voice. “The Southern Hemisphere really rocks!”
Story by: THE BARD OF NEW MEXICO
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