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#11 BEACH MUSIC: A time of tans, blonds and hot pants

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IT WAS A TIME OF TANS, BLONDS AND HOT PANTS, WHEN THE ENDLESS SUMMER WAS JUST A SHORT WALK DOWN A HOT SIDEWALK
Beach Music, an On the Street Where I Livestories is really a tale of two cities; San Juan, Puerto Rico and Santa Monica, California. It was originally published in the LA Times Sunday Magazine.


Beach Music We came to California from Canada, with a detour to Puerto Rico that lasted one endless summer of a year. A year in which I turned 15, and my hair turned blond from living in the sun. “Psst,” the boys and men would call after me in the blue-cobbled streets of San Juan. “Psst! Hey, blondie. Psst! Hey, cutie pie.” I was devastated when my parents said we had to go, that it was time to leave the island so that my older brother, Russell, could get a first rate education. The plan was to drive cross country from Miami and settle in San Francisco so that my brother could finish high school before going on to UC Berkeley. But, once we got there in the fall of 1968, we found that …

Happy Fourth of July! [Joyeux Jour de l'Indépendance???]



It was May 27th. It wasn't Bastille Day—that French fete is coming up on July 14th. It wasn't the national Fete de Musique, that happens on June 21st. And it definitely wasn't the fourth of July. Still, for some reason, on May 27th, our last night in the small beach community of Saint Raphael, the town was putting on a feu d'artifices to rival any Independence Day celebration.



My hubby Mark and I had enjoyed one last day down on the sandy beach, taking a couple of quick dunks in the mediterranean and then strolled back along the promenade, looking once more for souvenirs from the south of France. 


We stopped at Spar, the small convenience store where we found ourselves shopping every day for sunscreen and shampoo, beach mats and beer. We picked up one more package of the sesame seed biscuits we'd grown incredibly fond of over the last few days for the road. My husband had his little chat with the pretty young blonde cashier who complimented him on his French. Really his language skills hadn't progressed much beyond bonjour and merci but she was sweet to notice his pronunciation had drastically improved. She always made us feel welcome and as though she were as happy to see us as we were here.  


Back at our hotel, we showered, rested, and caught up on texts, tweets and Facebook before heading back out to the promenade along the Boulevard de la Libération. We had a beer at one of the outdoor bistros and wandered down along the beachfront checking out all the menus, helpfully posted on sandwich boards out front.



After dinner we took a stroll and the day turned dark. As if it was timed with the precision of a church bell, a loud explosion crackled in the air. 



We turned just in time to see the sky light up. We ran across the street to the beach where other vacationers had begun to gather too. I was afraid I'd miss the show before I could get my phone out of my bag but I got lucky and caught quite a bit of it. 









Unplanned. No thinking about where to park and whether it would be too crowded to find a place to see the fireworks. They came to us, awesome and wow-worthy.  On that note I wish you the same this Fourth of July! Stay safe, be happy and enjoy the feu d'artifices. 


Comments

  1. Amazing fireworks photos. I can just picture you strolling along the road and reading restaurant signs, picking the best menu. Did you have hosts trying to lure you in to each restaurant? I always felt guilty if I turned them down. But we did go to a few restaurants that had persuasive hosts but not the best food. Thanks so much for playing along, and I'm sure I'll keep our Dreaming of France meme going even when I move to France. Here’s my Dreaming of France meme

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    Replies
    1. We actually got that mostly in Italy. It's very awkward and a bit embarassing, especially when there's a line of them, close together.

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