So, out here in west Michigan, weekends are obviously beach days. The problem is that they are beach days for EVERYONE and their mother, so parking is a hassle. Why they don't expand parking for the big beaches, I have no idea. It's ridiculous.
It's a timing game. I went from the biggest beach out here, which could easily fit everyone in the surrounding cities on the actual beach, but of course the minuscule parking lot was full, to a smaller beach with only six parking spots and I found a spot. Crazy. It's just timing.
So, in my constant search for a beach with parking, I decided to go to one I've never been to yet. It said online that it was secluded, which would be nice. I packed up all my stuff, headed out, and found the last spot in a lot of about five available. So, I grabbed my chair, cooler, roller bag stuffed with blankets, Kindle, writing pad, and set out. This was different. There was a dune. I mean, an actual dune. Not just a sandy hill like we see most times around here.
In passing, I saw stairs going up on my left and a beautiful sandy trail going down to my right. So, I chose right. Why would I go up when I want to get down to the beach? I found out. Going down the dune was not as bad as going up would be, sure, but it was pretty steep and carrying all this stuff, I definitely gave a father and son playing catch at the bottom some very unattractive views. Anyway, better than the stairs! Wasn't so bad.
I get out to the beach and turn around to see where I just came from because there's no way I can climb the dune on the way back. I look at the flights of steps. Freaking Machu Picchu. Aw geeze. I did not pack appropriately for this. I looked around at the very popular beach (can't be that secluded if it's online, right? Where the hell did all these people park?), and everyone only has their towels. No coolers, chairs, bags, etc. Ha! This is going to be fun getting back to my car. My bad. Well, at least I'll be here for a while.
I always think that if I wake up early to fight the parking situation that I'll sleep on the beach. This is never the case. Then I'm just tired, cranky, and irritable at the beach. For example, why is it that people have to be right on top of you? Numerous times people have touched their blankets to my blankets. Their bags or flip flops ON my blanket. Too close. Back off. We are strangers, in bathing suits no less, not best buds. So strange, right? It's like close-talkers, but everyone's practically naked, so it's way more invasive. It's like when my mom goes to a movie (she's like 3ft tall) and the tallest guy always sits in front of her, even though there is a myriad of empty seats. With me, it's the intrusive beach bums, always screaming at their kids or loud eaters. Every time. There is room. I usually look around at all the available sand in an exaggerated way for these intruders to take notice. Then I reach awareness that I am irritated at the beach. I hate that. A day at the beach is supposed to be "a day at the beach".
I moved once. I couldn't take the chomping and screaming. There goes my nap. The lady actually put her feet on my blanket right by my face. Ugh! I was here first!! I had to move.
But all in all, beautiful chill time. As long as I didn't want to leave yet.
Then it was time. The Climb. Carrying all my shit, I looked like a packed mule. I took some breaks along the way. I felt better as 20 somethings were huffing and puffing too. Good, this is normal. Except for that couple, so obviously still in their wooing phase, that was RUNNING up the steps. I don't think I ever thought such foul thoughts about anyone. Someone should trip 'em.
As I'm trucking, my bag that was tucked inside my other bags tipped from my meticulous pack job on my back and poured out a stream of tampons. This stream slinkied down the steps, but also sprayed to the sides on the actual dune. A little boy asked his mom what they were. Only me. I had to go down the damn steps, collect my embarrassing belongings, and then GO BACK UP the damn steps.
Now, I'm pretty active. I play softball, volleyball, and do yoga, advanced-dancer-Zumba twice a week, with weights. I do my resistance training and walk all the time. There is a treadmill in my office. This was just not my forte is all. I have always hated the step machine at the gym. I also really hate running. I hear that most women with boobs do. And spinning- my crotch hurt for a week. I think you just have to accept what you like to do for exercise and what kinds hate your private parts. I did not like stepping. But hey, at least I don't have to work out for the rest of the weekend now...
I got to my car and I was dripping. Panting, I passed some cutie-pa-tootie heading in. Of course. I loaded up and pulled out of the lot. Every car along the woods leading in to the area had a ticket. This parking situation is for the birds. My invaders for sure got a ticket, since they got there so late. I felt guilty for this little evil pleasure, so when I passed the cop still writing tickets I gave him some stink eye. We beach parkers still need to stick together.
I went straight to the ice cream place and got lemon frozen yogurt in a cone. I don't think it defeated the purpose of ALL the steps...
The next few days my ass and hamstrings were tighter than my bathing suit. Ow.
But still, so worth it, our Great Lakes.
I hope this Labor Day Monday is a day at the beach for all of you!