Local Tourist

Saturday September 15th

Finally, a moment to sleep in. 9:45am, ugg I wish I could sleep more. Well I might as well get dressed for the beach. I’m not sure exactly my plan today except for I’m heading to Santa Monica somewhere and am doing something. I’m in a colorful mood and reach for my royal purple swimsuit, but change my mind and put on the green. Picking out a swimsuit when you are not trying to impress anyone should take as long as reaching into the drawer should take, but this morning it was like as if I was dressing for a thousand on-lookers. Never the less picking the black razor back tank top and dark blue jean shorts was much easier. I packed my bag. Towel, snacks, book to write in– no book to read– no sketch book– no book to write in, sunscreen– spray on, no I think the old fashioned rub in kind, ok good to.. opps water. I stopped at the door thinking if I forgot anything.. nope I think I’m good.

I type in Main St, Santa Monica into my GPS. I know very narrow search (not), but I figured it would get me into the right areas. I drive closer to the water looking for the more scenic route for the 88 degree day. I end up driving past Main, towards “beach / parking” signs that lined the street. I go down to one parking area, nope not paying $12, and I cannot parking on the street as I planned on being there for more than 2 hours plus my genius self has no cash just card. Oh I hope that they take card. The next parking lot “All Day $8.00,”  ok I guess that works. The machine takes cards, so I’m good to go. I head towards the beach thinking about how I missed the sand and the water. It has been about a month since I have gone to the beach in between my trip home, looking for jobs, and then of course moving. I start walking digging my feet into the sand. HOT HOT HOT.. my feet were burning for the entire walk to the water, stubborn me I would not put on my flip flops. Once at the water, I decided to walk the half mile or so to the pier, then wander down the old wood planks. It looked like it was ready to fall a part at the next wave crashing at its pillars, but I figure it was more for the atmosphere than anything. It was a nice walk and didn’t seem like it took too long. The water seemed warm – not California temperature…. after the pier I continued for another half mile or so on the other side, when I finally decided it was time to turn back. Besides noticing that pretty much everyone there was a tourist… a foreign tourist at that, or a family, I immediately felt out of place. Except I realized, although I live here, I’m still a tourist. Maybe not wearing a french styled swimsuits or lingerie (as one girl was), but I’m still a tourist exploring the wonders of “Santa Monica: The Beach of Famous People.”

I walked all the way back, making my trip probably around 2 miles or so, and I was starting to melt. I am pretty sure the temperature was now wading around 100 (not that I actually checked, nor was it actually that high). I dropped my stuff, laid out my towel, and laid down as I talked to my good friend Sarah who recently moved from San Diego as well. After about 20 minutes of talking, I needed to get into the water. It wasn’t hard to get used to as it was probably close to 80 degrees itself (very unusual for California). I of course ended up swimming out pretty far before I realized I was in the middle of 20 surfers, all I realized later, taking a class. I was probably out there for a good 30 minutes just relaxing before I decided to go head back in.

I didn’t know what else to do. As a tourist I was done with my trip to the beach, but I wasn’t really in the mood for shopping or anything else, so I headed back to sit by my apartment’s pool. It is weird being a tourist, but it is weirder not knowing anyone. I’m so used to choosing to be by myself on day trips, but now there is no choice. I don’t mind being alone, but it would be nice to do things with other people, especially when being a tourist.

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