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This Side of Paradise

George Reporting...

sunny 80 °F
View WOA: GANDA TRAVEL 2014 on woa's travel map.

As my half-opened eyes blinked away the dust of the morning, I notice Andrea is up rushing
around rather busily. She sees me stretch my yawning arms and says, "Hurry up! We're going to be late!"
"Late for what?", I said. "Late for the beach!", she blurted stuffing a towel in her bag.
"Late for the beach??", I said with astonishment. "Late for the....BEACH??"
I suddenly had to wonder when did beach culture become such a big part of people's lives?

According to what I found on the Internet, "toga-wrapped emperors built summer residence on Italy's
Amalfi coast in the First Century A.D. for Imperial indulgence and amusement."

The Mayans built a palace overlooking the Caribbean ocean nearly a thousand years ago in what
is now known as Tulum. The beach there is wonderful and the water warm and calm.
In 1884 "The first roller coaster in the U.S. is erected on Coney Island,
establishing the future home of funnel cakes and hot dog–eating contests.
This early seaside vacation spot sees the arrival of upscale hotels on Brighton Beach
(not to mention the louche side of boardwalk life: prostitutes and con artists)."
The 20th Century saw the invention of the swimsuit and bikini and later, the movies and air travel
brought the glamour of the beach to millions of people worldwide culminating in the surf and
beach explosion of the 1950's and 60's.

We both grew up in California listening to the Beach Boys and watching Frankie and Annette
'Beach Blanket' movies.

The movies were terribly hokey and inane but the music was poetic and whimsical and probably was
a big factor in my desire to attend college in the beach and surf city of San Diego, California.

Andrea grew up in Huntington beach and went there regular to meet friends.

Beach culture was actually a large part of our lives when we were younger and really didn't think
that was unusual but, historically, it really was a new thing.
At some point you grow up and 'going to the beach' seemed more like a sign of laziness and showed
that you had a lack of ambition. So we both ended up living in coastal cities where going to
the beach wasn't a regular thing. Still, there were many times when I needed to go feel the
sand under my feet and stare at the big Pacific ocean trying to figure out some problem in life.

I suppose the biggest difference between going to the beach when we were younger and going now
is how much more capitalism there is on the beach. Most beaches here in the Quintana Roo state
are public but nearly every mile of it is packed with available beach chairs that can be rented
along with bars and a multitude of excursions that help you enjoy the beach even more. In most
cases, an entire towns' economy is based on beachgoer's dollars.

There's that' not-really-doing-anything boredom' that creeps in after about two or three hours.
Fish tacos and flip-flops aren't saving the world and I begin to feel a little guilty about
all the time spent in the water while others suffer mightily in some not too far away town. Captain Kirk, from the episode 'This Side of Paradise' reminds us that" man needs to struggle, to scratch and crawl through life". Yes we have to strive for something beyond ourselves or risk stagnation.

The beach is very nice but should only be taken in small doses.

Posted by woa 16:50 Archived in Mexico

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