San Francisco Bay Area

An Ocean Promenade


An Ocean Promenade


An Ocean Promenade

Ocean Beach

If I could I would tell you everything Jim. The way our conversation started reminded me of a puzzle I bought for my niece with a vivid, colorful & elaborate illustration of a carnival at Venice Beach.

His name is Jim & he was wearing a light-colored Tommy Bahama shirt with palm trees on it sitting to my right. I didn’t notice until the drive back that his colorful cruise-line attire was the same brand as my blue and white striped beach umbrella I had bought on sale three years ago at Orchard Supply Hardware. I realized he had coordinated his shirt with my beach umbrella on purpose.

Jim was sitting next to me off to the right under his own beach umbrella. I sat under my blue and white Tommy Bahama umbrella with Savannah and watched passersby. I kept my eyes on the waves directly in front of me and watched Jim’s back from time to time.

Savannah & I went for a short walk until we reached the “big dogs” farther south along Ocean Beach. I almost went swimming in the ocean trying to rescue my sunglasses after they fell into the waves when I was trying to cool off. Savannah acted is if she knew precisely what she was doing at exactly the right time – just like she always does. Somebody should put her in charge next time.

I watched the waves.


I watched the waves at Manresa but all I saw on the water’s surface were a few seabirds and a pelican. I went swimming in the ocean and watched Jim’s white back from a distance. Savannah and I even stopped by his chair to see if he needed anything but he said he didn’t. I went swimming in the ocean one more time. The waves were rough and the water was choppy, but it was a beautiful afternoon and I got to see Jim. 

When I first started writing about Ocean Beach, Jim’s suggestion for the title of this post was “Ocean Promenade.” The definition of the word promenade means: a stroll or walk, especially in a public place, as for pleasure or display.We didn’t do much strolling together, but we did manage to get in a few shared memories from the beautiful beaches in Northern California. 

Seacliff Beach & Ice Cream

After Manresa we stopped in Aptos at Marianne’s Ice Cream. I ate my ice cream cone and walked toward the beach entrance at the top of the cliff. I saw a beautiful ocean view, and looked at what’s left of the pier and the cement ship half submerged in the water. People were swimming in the waves, and piles and piles of driftwood lay scattered on the beach with a few tepee-style stacks of wood for bonfires later in the evening. I heard someone playing the congos and headed in that direction. 

I saw a trumpet player at the top of the steps on the way down to the beach. He had congo drums, his trumpet, and salsa music playing in the background. We had some time, so I walked all the way down the steps, then back up with Savannah. At the top, I stopped again to listen to the trumpet player and I noticed two benches near him, one for me & one for Jim, where we might have sat and enjoyed the ocean view before sunset. 


Our next beach trip together will be to get married on the beach in Bali with Savannah in attendance.

– Love, Jennifer


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