Oooo, That Smell


It’s a Saturday, a true Saturday.  The first Saturday in nearly two months where I had no plans.  I almost forgot what that was like.  Seems like it has been either a travel day back from someplace for work, or driving umpteen hours, or just heading out with friends for wine tasting.  So, as my week was wrapping up yesterday and the prospect of having no plans came across my desk, I realized that there was something wanted to do that didn’t really need much more than time.

This morning, the pup and I drove out to the beach.

Wait … that is misleading.  For one, it was nearly noon by the time we got there, after him and I argued for a good couple of hours whether I get to sleep in.  Plus, I did the driving, the pup just ran back and forth in the back seat, farting.  And we got to the beach, but didn’t get onto the beach.  We learned this morning that most the beaches were closed for dogs, and the dog beach we found had no empty parking plus six cars waiting to park.

What we did do is take the ride down to the beach.  In some ways, it was the close of the whole ‘cross country’ journey, allowing us finally to see the sea following the drive from sea to shining sea.  Simple ride from the hotel near Fullerton past Anaheim, through Irvine, and then out to Huntington Beach.

Because it was mostly freeway, the windows were up leaving the hotel – again giving the pain of a gassy dog to make his presence known.  When I first got to California, I spent a lot of time with the windows down – just something you do after spending a winter where it’s cold to end up where it’s warm.  But windy freeways is still windy freeways.

The last couple of miles was city streets, and with the pup doing his blowhole impression, the windows went down in a woosh.

And there it was.

I don’t know what it is, but I swear that I used to have some past life with the ocean.  That seasalt in the air hits my senses and I just feel happy.  The wind must be coming onshore, because it would be another 10 minutes before we got to the water, but the way the air filled the cabin seemed to make all that travel worth it, all that driving, all those allergies, all those miles.

Huntington Beach is a decent one.  The downtown area has a bunch of outdoor seating, surf and swim shops, general stores that all roll out to a pier that extends it seems a quarter mile out to sea.

As you get closer, the fish smell, so pungent on the coast, and much more prevalent off the Atlantic hit me.  It’s not off-putting for me like to some, more like nostalgic like the smell of diesel engines off of buses.

We drove the beach for a good hour, heading north towards the edge of the OC, then back through the back roads towards Santa Ana.

The smell of it all had to come to an abrupt end.  A highway once more, the windows up, and Auggie purging the atmosphere with a need to drop a deuce.

So that was the morning, taking in the smells of the sea.  Tonight I will catch some hockey,tomorrow who knows. but today … today was a good day.


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