I am a Florida girl. Other than college, I’ve lived my entire life in Florida. I love the warm lifestyle, but I HATE sand. From the first time going over Rickenbacker Causeway to the beach with my family, I’ve hated sand. I would walk very gingerly in my flip flops right down to the water, where I popped out of them and straight into the surf. When I got out, I would get just at the water’s edge swishing one foot in the water before planting it in my sandal, and then the other. That worked maybe half the time. There was still always sand on my feet. Girl Scout camp in central Florida was a nightmare. Sandy paths led to a sandy lakefront. There was sand in the mess hall and in our cabins. To try and keep the sand out of my sleeping bag, I would bring damp paper towels back from the community bathroom and wipe my feet off before getting in bed. It didn’t seem to bother anyone else the way it did me; I could see them rolling their eyes during my sand-elimination attempts!
Don’t get me wrong. I love boating, floating, pools and paddle-boarding, swimming and seawalls. Just not being on the sand at the beach.
A good friend lives across the county (and slightly north) right on the beach in a small enclave called Redington Beach. And the beach is beautiful – – – to look at. It looks like a Corona Beer commercial with its bright white sand and sparkling blue water. Florida has many of these wide beaches with soft sand. Have you ever walked on soft sand? Very far? With shoes, it’s challenging and without shoes during Florida summers you can actually scald the bottom of your feet. It can feel like it’s miles to the water. So sometimes I confuse friends when the discussion of ‘going to the beach’ comes up. Because I love almost everything about it, just not being on the beach. I love living in downtown St. Petersburg where we have beautiful views of Tampa Bay. I love strolling downtown next to the water. But we have a seawall. Although inches away from the water, we’re standing on a concrete sidewalk where no sand gets between your toes. Ahhhhh — that’s my kind of beach!