The coast is about 35 minutes from here, close enough that I could go often but far enough that I don't. There were plenty of other things I could/should have been doing today but I saw from the weather forecast that this was our last day of beautiful weather for a while so I decided to go! And it was lovely.
I thought on a Friday in winter it would be easy to get parking, but not today! It was 24C, perfect sunny weather. Every man and his dog was there walking along the esplanade. I had to park a couple of blocks from the coast, a long way down from the main beach. I turned my face away from the centre of town and walked along the seaside path for about 30 minutes, then walked back and even further until I got to the restaurant area where I had lunch. 1 hour 20 minutes walking without a break! And I enjoyed every minute. The path goes right along the sea, sometimes up a cliff, and every kilometre or so there is a park area with a little beach, maybe a pool (with waves crashing into it and sloping sand to walk in gradually), public toilets and benches.
I got back to the main beach and had fish and chips with a view of the ocean, but in the shade, and lingered at my table. Then decided to have dessert. Maybe not my best decision ever, but they had deep fried Mars Bar on the specials board... I'd never tried it and was curious... and my body is not used to so much exercise and wanted to replace calories! They brought it and it looked pretty blah but it was delicious. If you don't know, a Mars Bar is a sort of whipped chocolate fudge confection with a layer of caramel covered in chocolate. They coated this in a thin layer of batter and deep fried it so the middle was all warm and gooey. Surprisingly good. But very sweet of course.
I had planned to do some editing, indeed I'd been carrying my manuscript in my backpack the whole time, but now I'd run out of time as I still had to do the grocery shopping before the kids got home from school. So I walked back to the car - another 35 minutes, making close to 2 hours walking in all, this from someone who could barely walk at all two weeks ago! - and drove back to my own shopping centre. I was very tired at this point and feeling all that sun. I'm not burned, but I forgot my hat so I got a lot more sun than I'm used to. I did the grocery shopping and got extremely thirsty (I'd had juice and water at lunchtime) and was also craving vitamins or something so I bought a lot of fruit and made up a fruit salad as soon as I got home.
By the time I got home from the shops it was starting to cloud over and cool down. I'm glad I got out and enjoyed the sunshine today, indeed all this week, it is going to be much cooler next week.
PS maybe a little bit burnt