I rode my bike out to Gooseberry on Saturday; I hadn't been there in a while. Last time (late May perhaps??), the rosa rugosa was in bloom but had yet to bear fruit, and I'd headed that way because Darling Daughter, just home from college, said she was headed that way. The beach was empty except for my distant child on her striped towel and a couple with a dog named Olive (I asked) running laps along the lapping shore. So I walked down — the sand wasn't too hot on my bare feet — and plopped myself on my own striped towel beside my bikini-clad progeny who turned her head, pulled the earbuds out of her ears, and said, "What, are you stalking me??"
Ouch ... though, in all fairness to Darling Daughter, I suppose the company of a chatty bikini-clad (how embarrassing!) mom didn't fit with her vision of a day at the beach. Things got better from there: I piped down, and she went back to her iPod.
This past Saturday, by contrast, Gooseberry was crowded. The sand was hot to the point that I muttered "ouch, ouch, ouch" with every step. What's more, everyone seemed to have an umbrella — a good thing (or not), as torrential rain and wind moved through later in the afternoon. There were green umbrellas, striped umbrellas, flowered umbrellas, ruffled umbrellas, hi-tech umbrellas (more like tents), even grass ones. It was a city of umbrellas not so different from the sea of umbrellas one often sees in the city ...
Okay, it was different. But the variety and state of busy-ness (everyone was so busy relaxing!!), not to mention the bustling business going on at Gooseberry's best-in-town snack bar, were jaw-dropping.