We lived in a tiny 500 square foot walk up apartment that was classified as having "character", if by "character" you mean silver fish and bad plumbing then yes it had "character". But it was cheap as chips and as mentioned adjacent to the beach- in fact if it was winter and you leaned out our bedroom window you could catch a glimmer of English Bay through the branches or the bare trees, the water dancing in the sun or the fog rolling in. We took advantage of living so close to the beach every chance we could beating a path between our favourite swimming spot (Second Beach), Delany's coffee shop and our home. It was one of the best times of my life and the memories are held close.
It is with a full heart that we now bring our kids to this same beach, we live a bit further away and walking there can be a bit of a chore but it must be done. The magic of Second beach, or any beach really, early in the morning with the sun still weak but the wind warm on your shoulders is not to be missed. The beach regulars in their get ups swimming the harbour as the tide slips out, or claiming "their" spot for the day, no tourists yet and so we basically have the place to ourselves.
Exploring the tidal pools and rocks reveals creatures left behind by the tide, tiny minnows, baby crabs, star fish, kelp and shells picked clean by the sly crow. This in it's self is an education the kids will never get in school and to touch and feel and see the ocean is such an important thing for it makes it a real thing to be looked after with care. These ocean babies of mine know things I have only so very recently become familiar and comfortable with- the idea of swimming where such large creatures of the deep live and lurk.
At the end of the day with sand still between their toes, with that languid docile feeling one gets from being in water and sun we sit in the shade and wait for a ride from daddy. Too tiered to walk home, all the lunch eaten and fingers sticky with treats. That feeling that only a day at the beach can bring- shear exhaustion with a happy smile before drifting off to sleep- the sea singing to them in their dreams.