Ever since the days of watching Laguna Beach in college, I coveted the lives' of those beautiful teenagers growing up in California. Surfing every weekend, shorts in December, but especially the beach bonfires. Sure we had bonfires in high school, but they consisted of driving 40 miles out to some one's ranch in the middle of the night and getting your car stuck in the mud or ruining your alignment bumping over boulders. Just when you were certain you were lost you'd reach the clearing where 50 high schoolers were gathered around a huge pile of flaming branches. The drunken adolescents would throw their beer cans in the fire to evaporate into toxic fumes so any dreams of roasting marshmallows were killed. And there were certainly no bathrooms in those deep woods. It was fun in its own "roughing it" kind of way, but I was jealous of the sophisticated beach bonfire.
Over President's Day weekend I got a group of friends together at Dockweiler Beach in Playa Del Rey, which is one of the few beaches in our area with fire pits. It was a far cry from my high school experiences, with convenient parking right next to the beach and designated fire pits. We brought our own fire wood, chairs, blankets, snacks and beverages and felt like we were camping on the beach. The weather was perfect and the ocean was to our backs as we toasted marshmallows for s'mores and cooked hot dogs over the fire.
Just like camping, except you get to go home and sleep in your own bed! Now, why did I wait so long to do this?
For the record, Laguna Beach did not adequately prepare me for sitting in traffic to the beach and paying $8 for parking. Thus is California living!