I don’t remember us having driven much of any where back in SC. We didn’t have what people call vacations. I know we drove to Spartanburg at least once and Greenville a couple of times. These places seemed way far away though they weren’t really. We never made it to Columbia, the state capital, or to historic Charleston.
When we got to California, the folks started taking those vacations after a while, and every summer when we were all still in school, we would have to take an excursion out to the ocean on some Sunday afternoon. I guess since we lived in California and not that far from the ocean we had to go see it at least once a summer. Actually, back then the freeways weren’t complete and it took a while to get out to the ocean.
I don’t think any of us wanted to go see the ocean. It was always hot. None of us knew how to swim. So we didn’t really go to the beach. We went to La Jolla Shores because that’s where our mother wanted to go. We could look at the tide pools which would be educational and since these were tidepools and not really the beach there would be less chance of us sighting those indecent bathing suits. After looking at the tidepools a bit, we would roast hot dogs and go home. I think mother like La Jolla Shores because it was located in La Jolla where many rich people lived right next to ocean. She talked like she had known people there way back when before the war. Going to La Jolla shores fed into her delusions of grandeur.
First though we had to find a parking place, and that could go on for a goddamn half hour with the old man swearing a blue streak up and down and the rest of us just cringing in the back afraid he was going to throw something. By that time my stomach would be in a knot. But looking at the sea anomies and sticking a stick into them to see them move in the tide pools was somewhat quieting. While we were out looking at the tide pools and getting educated by the sea life, the old man would start the charcoal up in something called a hibachi. He always dumped about a half a can of lighter fluid on the stuff because he liked to make an explosion when he threw a match at it.
The hot dogs always had sand in them. And by that time, the ice would have melted and the cola would be warm. But that was about the only time we had cola so that wasn’t too bad. Then we would get back in the car and go home, and the excursion out to see the Pacific would be over.
The next day we would have red spots and splotches and stripes where we had missed with the sun block stuff.
Oh, I didn’t say. But in the picture is a real life La Jolla Shores tide pool with brother Stephen next to it and beyond them a bit, the old man with brother Dave, I am pretty sure, standing behind him.