Earlier this week was the birthday of one of my good friends, a regular blog reader and quirky commenter, JC Barnhill. The town we live in is coastal, on the Gulf of Mexico, but since he is a “farmer” and horse trainer the beach might as well be several states away. He never goes there for fun, unless I take him. This is the third time we’ve celebrated his advancing years out by the ocean.
Going to the beach is always a mixed bag experience. There’s no denying it’s a beautiful place geographically and I appreciate that about it, but even I don’t go there to be comfortable. It’s hot out there, and bright, with way too many people dressed to leave nothing to the imagination. Taking food out there makes it even more of an adventure. Here’s my quick list for an “exotic” supper at the beach.
- Do not work all afternoon making delicious things. They never taste as good with sand in them. Save that kind of food for home. And don’t think you’re going to find a grill and cook food. Buy Kentucky Fried Chicken in a protected bucket that can be closed quickly.
- It’s good to have cold drinks, especially like now in July, but no matter how hot it is, bring coffee and Half n Half. If Barnhill is along, bring sugar. And cookies. The things you eat last will be what you remember most.
- Park as close as you possibly can to whatever beach view you want to enjoy. It helps when all you have to do is open your car trunk and set up your chairs. No long trek across the sand.
- Don’t let the birds see your food. Don’t let them see you eating.
- Don’t take napkins unless you plan to decorate the beach with them. A roll of paper towels is what you need, and a garbage bag. Put some sand in it to weight it down.
- Keep track of your car keys.
- At the very least, go down and touch the water. It’s required.
I thought we would stay for the sunset and get some spectacular photos but instead we got to see an enormous storm bank roll in with some hair raising lightning strikes. Tip #3 above was such a good idea.
So JC, you can rest easy now that this year’s beach outing is over. And next year, I don’t care how white your legs are, you need to wear some shorts. And maybe get wet in the ocean. Happy 83rd!