Pacific Northwest Beaches aren't usually the type where all the men are in euro-speedos and all the women in two-pieces that fit with varying degrees of accuracy. It's more like a warmer version of what I think everyone thinks of New England. With better sand and more neutral accents.
We went to another beach at Ecola Park. Which was supposedly 'less
windy'. 'Less windy' than the opening scenes to 1996 disaster movie "Twister", the last time Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton were remotely relevant, is not 'not
windy'. Also, by meterogical fate, the wind WAS blowing directly onto
the beach. Nobody was digging out their loved ones from suddenly appearing sand dunes, but nobody was peaceably perusing a newspaper, either.
Everyone mills about in Gore-Tex or capris and strolls up and down taking a sudden interest in tidal wild-life and various sub-species of gulls.
There are also surfers. Pacific North West Coast surfers,
to be exact, in their Subarus and faux-hippie attire and rigourously
distressed boards. I often wonder if these surfers get defensive when confronted with a Hawaiian surfer or anywhere
in which the size of waves can be measured in 'number of galleons that
it can capsize'.
There are those who obviously insist on experiencing the beach as they imagine it, if we were 10 degrees lower in latitude. Shorts and frolicking in the sort of water they use to prep for cryogenics, I assume.
Invariably these off-seasonals are kids. My kids.
They spend some time making the sort of lumpy no-form sand castles that can only be made with perfectly dry sand, and then decide they want to play in the waves. Sensible parent that I am, I steer them to a calmer area, where the waves won't immediately claim them in a deceptive undertow. Owl Jr. becomes grumpy, because, of course he wants the life-threatening ones, populated entirely with wet-suit wearing Pac NW surfers.
And here, amongst water that makes my toes candidates for hypothermia-relatd amputation from an enthusiastic 1800's naval surgeon, they are most happy. Running to and from the waves. Surfers doing their surfer thing. Me, squinting, the wind and the sun being a bit much for my introvert ways. Mrs. Owl is far back where the dry sand is, being one of those regular people who seem to enjoy sunshine and just, 'relaxing'.
(It's impossible to 'relax' while being assaulted by a bracing wind and a sun that insists it's the middle of summer, is my general take on things. On a couch with the gentle impulse engines of the NCC-1701-D, maybe. )
But boy, do the kids scream alot. It takes a practiced ear and a tense-nonchalance to determine if this is 'screaming because we're having so much fun' or 'screaming because a severed head has just washed ashore'. Context and probability help me out, usually. And this is their game, running to the waves. running away from the waves. Owlet, being a girl who could get dirty taking a bath, would switch up the running and screaming and make extremely muddy lumps of sand and build a sad moat around them, and become pseudo-distraught when the waves washed over it. The things that kids find fun.
And the wind, not noticeably less, didn't seem to bother them at all.