Guest post by the usual bliss

13 Jul
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. 

12 Responses to “Guest post by the usual bliss”

  1. Cassy July 13, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    I love the weekends. Oh man…this summer I have been taking full advantage of enjoying the beauty of Maine while I can… before it gets dumped on by snow (ugh). Beautiful guest post!! =D Everyone should have that thing/place that just centers them and makes them feel awesome afterwards!

  2. jmsabbagh July 13, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Absolutely Best wishes. Jalal Michael

  3. bhg July 13, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    _fantastic! i want to be there right now. a constant daydream from behind the glow of my monitors…

  4. PEM July 13, 2012 at 8:24 pm #


  5. righteousbruin9 July 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

    I looked at the snow and figured you might be posting from Patagonia or some such place. The contrast is sweet, though.

  6. Shannon July 16, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    Nice post, Bliss. And me too! Except my favorite beaches require flying or three day’s travel with four young kids. Yikes. For now, my idea of relaxing is sitting under my canopy oak out back with my husband and a Tecate (lime please) watching wildlife, while the human wildlife is indoors and out of earshot.

    Incidentally, my favorite beach has white sands, clear water, and no salt or sharks. No passport required. (

  7. Kimberly Santoyo January 23, 2013 at 1:09 am #

    Hello There,

    My name is Kimberly and I’m a professional blogger.

    I have over four years of experience writing for the web and have covered plenty of topics about Travel.

    I noticed that you have a blog and was wondering if you would be interested in allow me to write relevant, useful topics about Travel on your blog at no cost.

    At this point in my writing career, I simply want to get more visibility for your writing and I will write for free as long as you are okay with me adding a small author bio section next to each blog post about myself.

    Please let me know if you’re interested and if you’d like for me to submit a sample blog post for your approval.

    Thanks a bunch,


  8. the usual bliss April 11, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    Reblogged this on the usual bliss and commented:
    On this cold, rainy/snowy spring day in Park City, my mind is wandering to memories of sun-kissed days and feet in the sand. I summed up my ideal escape in this post for Kate (365 ’til 30) last July. Sigh…*dream*


  1. All you need is love. « the usual bliss - July 13, 2012

    […] And last, the lovely Kate at 360 til 30 asked me to be a guest blogger on her site today! If you aren’t reading her blog, you MUST. She just reached an incredible milestone in her life, and the journey leading up to it was inspiring to follow. Plus she’s funny and beautiful. I can’t wait to see what comes next in her life, and it was an honor to contribute to one of my favorite blogs. Being Friday… in summer…I let myself daydream about my idea of escape. Check out my post here!  […]

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