We have landed in Huntington Beach. Aka Surf City. Immediately on arrival we abandoned the Chevy with all its air-conditioned comforts for an afternoon scrabbling on miniature towels on the beach.
This is a bigger deal than it sounds. We Kempners don’t do beaches very well. Well, we like the idea of them as an abstract concept, and we like the notion of relaxed bronzing and dips in the sea. But we’ve never really learned to do sand very well. Walking on it, lying on it, playing in it: none of these activities are quite as enjoyable as you fondly imagine them to be when you are dreaming of the summer holiday.
Anyway, we managed four hours, although you wouldn’t have thought it to look at most of us. Liberal application of factor 30 meant a few of us still remain very Britishly white. One of our number slapped on the 15 and cooked in alarming fashion.
And that was the beach, that was. The next day despite plans to “chill on the beach all day”, we relaxed doing anything but. Gentle strolls along the beach front and the pier watching the surfers; an enjoyable leisurely lunch on the beach front; and lounging poolside all intervened to prevent another four hours lying awkwardly on sand.
But I like looking at it. From a distance.