to the beach...
April 23, 2013
Once upon an Easter long weekend we decided to spontaneously take a road trip. I mean a real spontaneous road trip, not one we thought up a few days in advance or even the night before. At 9:30am we couldn't think what to do with the day. It wasn't beach weather but we wanted to go to the beach. Melbourne doesn't understand beaches. It doesn't understand the crashing, rolling, stormy waves or the riptides so strong you can see their line going against the ebb and flow of the water. NSW understands beaches, Queensland understands beaches. Melbourne deals in bays, in flat, glassy bodies of water that stay the same all the way to the horizon. I'd never even heard of a bay until the first time a new friend invited me to Half Moon Bay the summer after I moved to Melbourne in 2004. I hadn't heard of lots of things though. As I looked out across the listless ocean, barely making the effort of throw ankle high waves against the shore I felt homesick for the first time. I've been homesick for the beach ever since.
Anyway, apparently if you drive far enough south you'll hit the Great Ocean Road, Victoria's surf coast. I'd never been, none of us had. Rob and I both just wanted to bury our feet in the sand and watch real waves break, and watch Violet run up to the waters edge when the tide was out only to run back to us shouting as it came rolling back in. So at 10am on a public holiday we piled our babies and our coats into the car and tried to find a food selling store that wasn't shut (not that easy). The GPS said we would come to the first town on the road in an hour and a half but it didn't factor in the traffic of people getting out of the city for a few days. It also didn't factor in that it was a piece of crap and had no idea what it was talking about anyway. But we love to drive together. Beatie sleeps without interruption, unless she's hungry which isn't often. Violet is the best 23 month old car companion you could ask for, she rarely complains, even when she's in the car for 3.5 hours straight on a whim with not many toys and boring snacks. When she did start to get tetchy towards the end on the way there, she was totally satiated by some episodes of Little Einsteins on the iPad tucked into the flap on the back of my seat. Rob and I can talk without electronic distraction or pressing chore to come between us. It's my favourite.
When we finally got to Anglesea 3 and a half hours later we tried out a play park and found a beach a little ways down the Great Ocean Road. The less than an hour we spent on the beach was the best less than an hour either of us can remember. Still, weeks later. Too cold for swimming but just right for getting feet wet and sand in hair. Just right for Rob and Violet to explore the rock cliffs too. Just right for Beatie and I to watch them through the camera lens set to maximum zoom while we cuddled in a dug out sand seat, wrapped together in my coat. Just right to fill our souls up with oceany peace until we can find the time to get away again. I hope it's soon.