Hey, guys! I’m Amber from the usual bliss
, and I’m so honored to be lovely Kate’s final guest blogger this week. When she asked if I’d be up for it, I thought, “Yahoo!”
What fun to “play house” on one of my very favorite blogs! It’s kind of like being little and unexpectedly getting to go to a friend’s house to play after school- and the friend has way cooler toys.
While thinking about Kate’s much-deserved hiatus from 365 til 30, I kept coming back to the idea of ESCAPE. What’s your escape from reality? Some people dive into a great novel, a steaming cup of tea on the side table. There are those who immerse themselves into hobbies that bring them joy, like cooking or crafts. Here in Park City, many people recharge by hitting the trails, on foot or bike. My husband-to-be can lose himself for hours in his music room, creating riff after riff on his guitars. He also keeps his sanity with steep ski lines on our frequent powder days, coming home energized and satisfied. Everyone has their thing that brings them back to center.
My idea of a dreamy escape has always been the beach. Growing up in Southern California, I spent a lot of time in the sand. But I’m not talking about those beaches (though many are quite beautiful). I’m talking about the tropical, poster-perfect beach. We all know the scene: sunlight twinkling off of teal-blue water, gently lapping against fine, white sand. A slender palm tree arcs gently over the ocean, and there’s not a soul in sight. The calm beckons you. A rum cocktail feels mandatory.
I’ll admit that I daydream about beach perfection a lot more often in winter. That’s probably because winter where I live looks like this:
Whether the snow is deep or it’s the height of summer, I often wish I could pull an “I Dream of Jeannie” and just cross my arms, nod my pony-tailed head, and open my eyes to a breezy tropical coastline. I’ve been lucky enough to have spent some time in recent years on a few incredible beaches. With one glance at these photos, I’m no longer sitting at my desk at 6,500 feet above sea level, landlocked in the mountains. If I just close my eyes, suddenly I’m bikini-clad with sand in between my toes.
I can hear the waves breaking on the sand- sometimes softly, sometimes with a rumble. I’m rubbing in the last of the sunscreen, remembering to get the tops of my feet. A few seagulls coast overhead, lower than I’d like, scouring my towel for an unfinished snack to poach. A drop of condensation slides down my Tecate into the sand before I pick it up and take a sip, feeling it cool me from the inside.
It’s the perfect temperature- not too hot and with a light breeze blowing my hair around. I glance at my book, open and page-side down on my towel, and decide to enjoy the scenery instead. I lay back on my elbows, looking out over my sandy toes at the waves tumbling in. The ocean is vast. The sky goes on forever.
It’s warmer down closer to the sand, and I feel my body heating up. I take another sip of cold beer and count my freckles, letting myself get warmer… warmer… too warm. I peel off my sunglasses and leave them on my towel. My steps toward the water are quick- the sand is hot! Before I even feel the relief of the chilly water on the soles of my feet, I’m thigh-deep in the breaking waves. I turn my back as a wave hits, splashing water over me. I dive in toward the horizon, surprised by the chill. A few kicks and paddles and I’m past the short break, feeling the energy of the ocean. Feeling alive. I turn onto my back and undulate with the sea, staring at the scattered fluffy clouds far above me.
I paddle back toward shore, allowing the waves to nudge me along. As I emerge, dripping like a sea creature, I squeeze some ocean out of my hair. The breeze that was pleasant earlier feels chilly now, blowing across my wet skin. I dive for my warm towel, all toasty from the sun, and wait for the heat to soak into me. Soon, my muscles relax and my heart rate slows to normal. I close my eyes again, listening to the lullaby of the waves, and feel myself drifting into my second-favorite escape: a dream-filled nap.
Whether you can go there in person or need to fire up the old imagination, find your version of escape. Whatever you do to unplug, do it today.
It’s Friday, after all.