I am a creature of habit.
The husband and I decided to try a new beach last week.
I was excited about the idea of seeing lighthouses and exploring a new island.
Well, I was excited until I got there. I don't think the long drive helped. A seven hour drive is a bit of a shock to the system when you're used to getting to the beach within 4-5 hours.
The place was gorgeous. At various points, you could see both the ocean and sound and I found myself in awe when I thought of how often those stretches of island had been under water. Given that fact, I suppose it's no wonder that the island is virtually barren of development.
I had no idea where anything was. The beach we usually visit has become like a second home to me. I know where all the cool little hole-in-the-wall bars are, where all the cheap diners frequented by locals are, where every little side road takes you.
There were no little-hole-the-wall places there and what few side roads existed led only to non-descript beach homes that all looked alike. No cute little cottages, no hot dog stands and NO DOUGHNUTS! What's a girl to do when she can't have doughnuts for breakfast at the beach???
There were plenty of pricey little apparel shops, hammock shops and shops that offered coffee and do-it-yourself beading.
It didn't even smell like beach. I'm not sure if it was the sound or lack of piers or high winds, but there was no salty spray in the air, no immediate whiff of fish, salt, sand to greet you upon your arrival. I missed that.
So, I spent a few days lying on an unfamiliar beach, on an unfamiliar island, that was 7 hours from home.
Thank God I'm leaving tomorrow for some serious "real" beach time with my aunt. We'll stop for doughnuts on the way to the hotel, walk the piers, eat lunch in little hole-in-the-wall places that may not remember your name, but recognize you from years past.
And, the minute we cross the bridge to get to MY island, my beach, we'll be welcomed by a salty, sandy, fishy scent that will linger long after we come home.
There my spirit will be revived and I'll come home recharged and ready to go. Or at least, that's been the routine.