A pretty day drew me to Jacksonville Beach again this afternoon. The sunshine and blue skies belied the crisp reality of the air temperature and a vigorous sea breeze. As I zipped my cute, green pleather motorcycle jacket all the way up to my chin and stepped onto the dune walkover, I was still shivering in the wind that snapped the yellow ocean flag like a sail. iPhone told me that it was a mere 57 degrees so I was stunned to see people in bathing suits – bikinis and baggies – prone on their beach towels for the requisite spring break tan … and even, someone in the water with a boogie board, bare skinned and all. Hell-to-the-no, I would not be swimming or sunning today. Not even spring break could entice me to remove my adorable pleather jacket (thank you, Nordstrom in California. I do still need you after all).
These high schoolers were vacationing from Austin, Texas. They asked what it was like to live at the beach and said that their nanny had brought them on a road trip to Jacksonville – an 18 hour drive from Austin to get here. I told them it usually wasn’t quite this cold halfway into March, sorry for them that it wasn’t warmer after such a long journey, for just a two-day beach vacation. I was totally flattered because they assumed I was the reporter from First Coast News, which was setting up to do a live segment at the 5:00 hour there on the walkover and I certainly looked the part, now that I think about it.
No, I told them regretfully, I’m not. But I should be…. I guess I was camera-ready owing to my fine-looking lime pleather jacket and my Ocean Waves sunglasses, plus my hair… swept into a knot courtesy of Jonna, whose chair at Picasso Day Spa I’d left just minutes before showing up at the coast the same time as First Coast News. No, it’s just another day at the beach for your faithful atlantic beachlifer, embellishing the everyday with her own signature, beach-blogger style.
After several minutes of shivering and incredulously observing those who were undeterred by the temps in pursuit of their tans, I offered to host tonight’s First Coast segment from the beach. I’m sorry to say that the camerman declined, so I left them there to handle my beat on their own. (Are you listening, First Coast News?) Although too cold for tanning it was a lovely day for paragliding… don’t you think?
Paragliding holds no interest for me other than an eyes-to-the-sky treat and a chance for a good photograph which would have been far more interesting had the Canon Rebel’s telephoto lens been on the task but with the little Canon Elph, my sturdy, hard-working, always-there sidekick, I take the shots I can get.
Now if I was skateboarding, I’d certainly have shed that stylish, chartreuse pleather jacket, because, well, pleather doesn’t breathe … and heck, it’s not even skaterwear anyway. Soon and very soon the temps will be climbing and I’ll be packing it away for the several months, so I am going to wear it, along with the darling yellow trench coat*(also compliments of Nordstrom, Los Angeles and cannot go unmentioned and speaking of, did I really say I didn’t need Nordstrom in a blog post recently?) as long as I possibly can. I know it’s spring break and people want their tans… but I love the chilly spring and looking like a news reporter in my outerwear. The beach is my beat, after all.
Reporting straight from my laptop and certainly not live, I remain,
atlantic beachifer, at your service.
*some reader(s), and you know who you are, might be interested to know that the yellow trench coat I mentioned is by Ellen Tracy, and was purchased by both my sister and me, on the spot, the minute we saw it. The pleather (i just love saying pleather!) motorcycle jacket in chartreuse was an instant old friend, but the sister had her sights on a different style. As she was trying on trenches, I spotted the yellow number from across the room and knew before either of us slid our right arm into it that it was going home with both of us. I had it on before I could help myself and convinced her that ‘this’ indeed ‘was’ the coat she was seeking. Pictures of her wearing it still startle me because for half a second, I think, hey, that’s me!
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Jeannie Greenwald is a blogger, neighborhoods / 'go local' evangelist, hobbyist photographer, and degreed psychologist.