I'm an Indiana girl, born and raised. Don't get me wrong, I’ve traveled quite a bit. I wouldn't say I'm adventurous, but I do like to find unique things where ever I go. If not, why leave home?
Exhibit A: On my trip to San Luis Obispo last week, let me remind you that I was sick. It was also colder than I had anticipated. As much as I wanted to get out and explore during my work down-times, it just felt much better to go sleep in my room. So the last night I was there, I had an overwhelming and perhaps irrational desire to get out and see local stuff before it was too late. After all, I was leaving at 6 am! I hadn't even found a beach yet! I took 6 ibuprofins, packed my tissues and Ricola and wound up at ... where else ... the FARMER'S MARKET! Exactly what a Hoosier girl should do when she takes a trip to the coast 2200 miles away from home. Brilliant.
OK, so the market was great, and California has the most impressive fruit I've seen this side of a Sci-Fi movie, but it really just felt like home on steroids. I needed to see something different. I trudged back to the hotel in a cab, and lamented to the driver about how all I wanted was a sandy beach to walk on without falling off a cliff, which is all I had seen so far. To which he promptly replied, "Didn't you notice the path on the side of your hotel? It leads straight down to a small sandy beach." Oh, well, NOW you tell me.
Back at the hotel, it's basically dark. Should I venture down the path alone, in a strange place...sick...cold...armed with nothing but a camera? Heck, why not. It has a flash! I could blind an attacker in a fraction of a second. Proceeding down the path, which was a slightly winding, sandy, steep thing with a few steps scattered here and there. Down, down, down…in the dark. In the cold. No people in sight. What on earth was I doing? I could barely see.
Landing on a deck… STILL not down to the beach, I took a flash photo so I could read what appeared to be a sign in front of me. I told myself that was as far as I was going. Screw the sandy beach, this is ridiculous. FLASH, SNAP! Previewed the image to reveal a warning about a seal. A SEAL! We don’t have those in Indiana. Really, we don’t. If it had been a squirrel, I probably would gone back. But there was no turning back now.
Descended the final steps to the “sandy beach,” which amounted to nothing more than a tiny strip of wet sand against a steep cliff covered in knee-deep water every 10 seconds or so. Nice. Did I mention is was cold? And starting to rain?
No wildlife in sight, suddenly I began to have visions of being shanghaied from Pismo Beach, sold into prostitution, and never heard from again. Hey, it happens! And if it had, you could have blamed it on the seals. And a chatty cab driver who clearly doesn’t know what a sandy beach should look like.
Note to self: stick with Florida for beach living.