Having lived in Florida my entire life, the beach is supposed to be part of my DNA. Sort of like Italians and pasta, the French and wine, or a Kardashian and unwarranted success. Despite being surrounded by nearly 1200 miles of coastline, however, the last place you're likely to find me by choice is the beach. OK, so I spent last weekend at Disney's Vero Beach Resort, but the fact is, I hate Florida's most valuable natural resource with a passion, for reasons that even I have never fully understood.
|OK... Grand Cayman was a beach I liked.|
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy being near the beach almost as much as Epcot during the Food & Wine Festival. Put me on the balcony of a luxury beachfront hotel with my favorite adult beverage, and I am guaranteed to be one happy travel blogger. There is definitely something therapeutic about the beach. Whether it's the salt water in the air, the sounds of the crashing waves, or the brush of the sea breeze against your face, the beach has the ability to melt away the stress of the world in a way that few things can. Plus, living in Florida, there are always last minute holidays available at beachfront resorts for a quick weekend getaway. There is just one catch though: you have to actually like the beach for it to be most effective.
|Pebble Beach too.|
So why do I hate the beach? Well, let's start with the sand. It's evil. Pure evil. Visit one of Florida's famous beaches, and chances are you'll find sand on parts of your body that you didn't know existed for weeks to come. Aside from being sticky and just all around gross, there's also no way to know where those grains of sand have been. Who's bathing suit did it visit previously? What fish digested it? Did a kid use it to make a batch of sand brownies? All things I'd rather not think about in the shower.
|Hammock Beach was alright I guess.|
Another unpleasant thought about the beach is the water itself. With all of those people floating around out there, doing who knows what, it makes me wonder if the ocean is actually more toxic than the East River. Think about it. You've been to the beach. What did you do in the water? At least on the Atlantic coast of Florida there's waves and wind to help, shall I say, dilute things a bit. But on the Gulf side, you're basically wading around in an 84 degree lake of questionable source. No thank you.
Despite my disdain for the sand and contaminated salt water, there was actually a time when I loved the beach. That is until one trip when I decided that it was a good idea to sit on the sand and dig a hole by hand until I reached water. I spent hours digging out a one foot square patch of sand, before finally achieving my goal of hitting the water about three feet underground. Content with this clearly amazing accomplishment, I called it a day and soon realized that my back was now the color of a stop sign.
|I liked this one too. Of course, I was wearing jeans and a sweater.|
It was the fever that set in first. Then came the uncontrollable shivers, as if I had spent the afternoon doing a little ice fishing in my swimsuit. Finally, after days of excruciating pain and aloe baths, I started to shed like a like a boa constrictor. Most kids would quickly forget the pain that they endured at the hands of the beach, but not me. I swore to never allow myself to get burned like that again, and I've had an extreme aversion to the sun ever since. Of course, I was 25 at the time.
|Hmmm...Maybe subconsciously I actually do like the beach.|
MJ always says that there isn't much about me which is normal, and hating the beach while living in Florida is definitely on that list. Part of me wants to join the crowd and like the beach, but the thought is lost as soon as I feel the sand, water, and the cursed sun at my back. So the next time you come to Florida, rest easy knowing that there's one less person you'll have to battle for a coveted spot on the beach. Chances are I'm directly behind you, soaking it all in from my sand-free, dry, and fully shaded hotel balcony.
Enjoy Your Stay