It was decided a few weeks ago that we would take advantage of the sunny, warm Southern California sun and celebrate our good friend Jenny’s birthday at Huntington Beach. We prepared our food, swung by other friends’ houses to borrow tables and a canopy, loaded up the cars, and hit the road. Little did we know the sun was going to play shy that day. Nevertheless, we braved the winds, set up camp, and waited for others to arrive. Sure enough, the clouds parted, the warmth spread across the sand, and we began enjoying our time at the beach like it was meant to be enjoyed. Join me after the break for some more fun in the sun, great food, and toasty marshmallows. Did I mention we had fancy kites?
Okay, so perhaps it was a little too cold to hop in the water. After all, we spent nearly half the day trying to stay warm amidst high winds and barely any sun. The water had a nice stinging feeling; you know, that feeling when you hop in the shower and the water heater doesn’t work. So instead, we stuck to a majority of activities spent away from the shores and onto the sands.
Food, food and more food! Abundance of barbeque-worthy meats aplenty thanks to a few master grillers we have for friends.
Kites! This one was a dual-string kite that none of us figured out how to fly until we re-read the instructions what seemed like almost an hour since we took it on the first of many failed flight attempts. Controlling the kite is essentially like parachuting – tug on one string or both and you can direct the kite in different directions. What we were trying to do was hold the strings above our heads, but we soon learned that downward force at launch needed to be applied instead.
Relaxation is also key to the perfect trip to the beach. Unless of course you aren’t really relaxing and just handing off a key piece to a field (or in this case, sand) game after being caught by other players.
This particular game is called ‘Braveheart’ where two opposing teams are separated by a center divide and any player that crosses into the other team’s territory can be tagged and frozen in place if caught. The objective? Capture the objects (in this case, frisbees) from the ‘castle’ (safe zone at the rear of a team’s territory) and bring them back to your own castle. It is even more tiring when unstable sand thwarts the movements of even the most agile players. I lost my breath after just 10 minutes of play in my first and only round of participation!
As the sun began to set, so did our activities for the day. We put on more layers of clothes to stay warm, sparked a light to fuel the bonfire, and retreated back to some more food.
It has been a few years since I was back in Huntington Beach to enjoy an entire day’s worth of beach activities. Back then, I was still in college and had a lot more free time. This time, it almost felt like a major getaway, especially since most of us had to drive down from the greater Los Angeles area to be at this particular beach. Nonetheless, the company was great and the activities worth worth losing one’s breath for. We had great cooks and event organizers; we sure had an amazing time.
Happy birthday, Jenny! May you be blessed with many more (and subsequent photos) to come!
The entire photo set can be found on my flickr here.