And Now For a Little Beach Time

I’m writing this overlooking the ocean.

One of my very favorite things.

Since I was in Baltimore last week for work, and I have to be in Philadelphia for more work Monday morning, it wasn’t worth it to me to spend all that time flying home. So, instead, I’m here in Ocean City, Maryland.

Surf. No thinking. Lots of peace.


Last night I was treated to a concert by the fabulous Jeri Smith-Ready. No, she didn’t sing for me, alas. Instead I met up with her at the Merriweather Post Pavilion outside of Baltimore to see the Walkmen and Fleet Foxes. Check out this video from Fleet Foxes if you’re interested. I hadn’t heard of them, but I know Jeri has excellent musical taste, so I went with implicit trust. I bought an album today. Jeri described them as having a Crosby, Stills and Nash sound, which I can see. They use close harmonies and lots of acoustic sounds. There’s also a spiraling, circular feel to their songs that’s most stirring. They music winds around through slow, intimate lyrics to crashing crescendos of harmony.

The Walkmen opened for Fleet Foxes and they did a great job, too. Kind of a U2 vibe there. I don’t consider myself all that musically discerning, but I thought the drummer was really excellent. He drove the songs forward, punching through the lead singer’s lovely tenor.

It was a bit of a pain to get there. Work was long and intense. I had to take colleagues to the Baltimore airport in torrential rain and rush hour traffic, then swap rental cars. Jeri and I resorted to Twitter to find each other. But the skies cleared, the night was balmy, the company excellent. I let the music wash over me and take away all the tension.

Plus I got to hear the scoop on Jeri’s new Sekrit Project and it sounds just amazing.

Happy Saturday!

Beaches and Birthdays

This is my view at this moment.

Beautiful. Gorgeous. Wish you were here!

Yesterday I put up a picture from Aaron and Louise’s wedding reception. (Aaron is my cousin.) The actual ceremony took place last Wednesday at the confluence of the Snake and Salmon Rivers. A moving analogy, say those who witnessed it. Those of us who didn’t raft down the rivers or jetboat-in for the ceremony were treated to a reception at Louise’s family home in the Oregon woods.

Also lovely.

Yesterday – my birthday! – David greeted me with a Starbucks gift card when I awoke. The man knows where I live. We threw on clothes and popped off to the coffee Mecca. One of the best things about the Pacific Northwest is that a Starbucks can be found every couple of blocks, even in the smallest towns. Were I to have a complete Starbucks meltdown – and it might have happened once or twice – I could crawl to an outpost.

Just saying.

Then we headed over to the coast, to Newport. David surprised me with a cd of the True Blood soundtrack. Throbbing to the beat of “I Wanna Do Bad Things with You,” we drove through the draping green countryside.

By lunchtime we hooked up with my folks for wine and seafood at Local Ocean. We walked around the shops and looked at the sea lions, who were also enjoying the sunshine.

After a while, we reconvened with my two aunts and their husbands back at the B&B.

We finished the day with dinner at an Irish pub and then a hot bath in the deep jacuzzi tub for two.

A girl can’t ask for a better birthday.

P.S. Why, yes, these ARE pictures taken with the new camera! Snazzy, eh?

Sand Between the Toes

I finally made it to the beach yesterday.

No, there won’t be any “life’s a beach” titles or comments. Just the sheer pleasure of escaping from the strange veneer of Orlando to something that feels raw and real. To me, this is Florida.

Now, I know a lot of people don’t like the beach. They think it’s silly and boring and there’s nothing to do but lie around. I know quite a few men who think this way. Fortunately mine is not one, because I really love a beach.

Two of the gals I work with went with me and didn’t get there until late. We finished our work around noon, had lunch with the client and headed back to the hotel to swap our pumps and laptop bags for bikinis and sandals. By the time we stopped at the store and acquired sunscreen and beach towels, it was 3pm. So we arrived at the beach around 4:30, just as the sleepily sunbaked people were trailing away from it, pouring down the access ramps like so many towel-wrapped children ready to be bathed and fed dinner and cocktails.

But the declining Florida sun pumped warm and friendly. The ocean welcomed us with tangy blue swells. It soothes me, just to touch the water and be near it. To let the undulations of it move me. Sometimes I fancy I can touch every life touched by the interconnected oceans, as if it’s still the primordial soup that flows through us all.

Maybe it is.