One of the things I've missed most about California is the beach. I don't know how many times we battled the congested highway to get from Studio City to Malibu, but every time we did, I felt like the city just melted away. You pretty much can't beat Malibu for beauty. Every time we went to Point Dume, we would head to the cliff that served as a backdrop for the white sand beach and walk up the path lined with bright flowers, the Pacific ocean on one side and Santa Monica Mountains on the other. We would stand at the top of the cliff, listening to the wind and the seals below. It amazed me every time.
We just got back from a wonderful week in Florida, visiting friends and family in Surfside, South Palm Beach and Del Ray. While the views from the beaches of eastern Florida don't hold a candle to the views in Malibu, I was surprised to discover that they offer something even better for a mom with three young kids: no surf. In Malibu, the water was a surfer's dream and a parent's nightmare. As much as I loved our trips to the beach, I could never fully relax, imagining that the girls would be dragged out to sea in waves too big for me to battle. But in Florida, the clear blue water was as calm as a lake. The girls walked out until the water was chest deep, swimming and splashing each other. They loved it.
We spent one Saturday of our trip on the beach in Surfside, where our friends Diana and Damien live. Joey, Karima, Diana and I set up a spot on the sand and sat, discussing everything from education to Fox News to healthcare (okay, and Sandra Bullock, Heidi Montag, the guy from Friday Night Lights, and numerous other People Magazine-worthy topics) while the girls and their friends played in the water and sand. I rarely got up all day, except to occasionally wipe sand out of someone's eye or grab an extra snack out of the cooler. I loved that I could truly catch up with my friends while the girls safely entertained themselves all day.
In Colorado, we've traded the beach for some pretty wonderful mountains and national forests. We have a reservoir and lots of pools for the girls to swim in this summer. However, I'm feeling grateful for Southwest miles. I'm already looking forward to spending next year's spring break back in Florida at the beach.