I LOVE the beach and I miss the beach and this hot weather has made me want to do nothing but go to the beach. I think it’s funny how people from the Midwest and East Coast assume if you live in California you go to the beach every day. I think the last time I went to the beach was when my nieces came out to visit last summer, and when we got to Stinson it was cold and foggy and empty. We got out, looked around, then got back in the car and went out to lunch. Other than that, Martin and I went to Costa Rica three years ago for a surf vacation, but I don’t think I’ve been to the beach since. So last Sunday we drove down to Stinson and after about 20 minutes of me complaining that we’d driven all that way and it was cold and foggy once again, the marine layer burned off and the sky became blue and the sun was hot and we lay there until we were sweaty and risking sunburn, then ran through the hot sand to brave the cold water. Another misconception is that you can throw on a bikini and go surfing or swimming in the waves in California. Maybe in LA ot San Diego – MAYBE. But up here you need a 4/3 wetsuit to survive longer than an hour. I was so desperate to swim, though, that I followed Martin into the waves. He jumped right in. I walked slowly, letting first my feet, then my calves, then my thighs and midsection get completely numb before I submerged up to my neck then dived all the way under. Usually a wave gets me before I get brave enough to go all the way in. But once I’m in, I’m fine. We body surfed long enough for me to decide that we were going to buy body boards THIS WEEK. I LOVE body boarding, but I’m not very good at body surfing (without a board). I won’t say I’ve given up on real surfing completely, but it’s such a commitment and when you live in the East Bay, such a pain to lug your board all the way to Santa Cruz or Pacifica or Bolinas only to find that there are no waves, or they’re closing out, or blown out, or whatever. The best time to surf in CA is in the fall. In the summer, when I really want to surf, there are no waves. The good surfers all like to surf in the winter, when the waves are big. That’s also when it’s cold and rainy and the last thing I want to do is surf. Surfing just isn’t all that convenient in Northern California. So for now I’m sticking to body boarding, and we’re going to Berkeley Board Sports tomorrow to buy boards.