I know that I have been out of touch. Maybe it's the end of the year stress.... On the bright side, this past Saturday and Sunday were relaxing and carefree. That's because I was at the beach!
I first heard about General's Beach back in September. A few families from my class spent a weekend in cabins that spilled out onto a clean and remote beach. This was intriguing enough to stay in my memory. A few weekends ago Sarah, Tracey, and I asked Florian if he knew of the beach. He said, "Of course." We spent an amazing Saturday playing, reading, swimming and relaxing at the beach. We (meaning Florian) inquired about the cabins. The cabins are only $20 during the off season! That weekend put this past weekend in motion. Seven of us: Amy, Travis, Entela, Tracey, Sarah, Florian, and I spent two heavenly days soaking the rays (and probably getting skin cancer). I expected the same deserted beach that we had visited two weeks ago. A different beach greeted me. The beach umbrellas and chairs, not to mention actual trash cans, were all set up. The water felt 10 degrees warmer. And there were people. Lots of people.
Makes me sort of want to go back next weekend....
Travis and I admiring his sandcastle. I'm going to make it a point of publishing every picture of a sandcastle. Who knows? Maybe Travis's sandcastles will become a coffee table book. (This is a picture of Amy's). Oh, and see the peninsula in the background? Sarah, Tracey and I had marathon swims almost to that point on both Saturday and Sunday. I can't help comparing the Adriatic with the Pacific Ocean. I love swimming in the Pacific, but it's usually a quick swim with time on the shore trying to warm up (while the Central Coast wind's blow). You can stay in the Adriatic for hours without turning into a summertime popsicle treat.
I actually wish that I took a picture of the amazing fortress that Florian, Travis, Paulina and Josephine created. Who are Paulina and Jo? Students from school. Paulina is in my class. Have I, by any chance, mentioned just how small Albania is?
Another picture from Amy's camera! Tracey's friend had sent her a magazine (I think it was "In Style" but now I don't remember). I began it on our last beach trip, so I gladly finished it this past Saturday. It was truly an enjoyable read, feasting on the latest fashions and movies. Tracey was reading a book that Amy and I had read for book club, "Water for Elephants," which I recommend.
This was a difficult picture to take because of the angle of the three musicians. After a yucky dinner at the single restaurant (my pasta tasted stale), we had a sing along on the beach. Amy and Entela were in charge of the egg shakers!
Amy and I trying for a self-portrait! (Or is it selves portrait, since there are two of us?) Amy is another Albania- sister. I'm so lucky to have found so many kindred spirits.
How do you like to go up in a swing, up in the air so blue? I love that Entela is a kid at heart too! (I know that I'm not Stevenson, but do take a minute to admire the impromptu rhyming sentences!) Swinging is one thing that triggers memories of my maternal grandmother. She was never too busy to "push" me on the swing, even when I was perfectly capable of pumping. Grandma used to sing me a song. I sang it to Entela. I can't help it. Every time I'm on a swing (which is surprisingly often) I have to sing it.
The sun sets over the Adriatic Sea. Sigh.
This is not the most flattering picture of me, but my friends look put together and beachy! I had just emerged from the water, on Sunday, when our friend, Mary said, "Quick come look at the boys!" Now you are probably wondering who these boys are and who Mary is. Yep. Half our school turned up on Sunday. At least, half of the swim team was there and one of my students! There were around 5 or 6 families represented. Frankly, I loved seeing them. I love that Sundus, a parent from my classroom and my friend from book club, could come and read Tracey's magazine on my beach chair. I love that the "boys" wanted us to see their floating heads (they were buried in the sand) and the hermit crabs they caught in their net. I love that Madeline's dad didn't give up on me and tried (for the millionth time) to teach me how to throw a Frisbee (I swear that I'm improving). I love that little Sarah was so amazed that she saw her teacher at the beach. I love this community. And I love General's Beach. Is it summer yet?