OK. I will grudgingly agree.

I have found something to like about middle earth. It’s a small slice of heaven but it deserves merit.

Middle earth has a beach. And it is mighty lovely.

Hubby came home from a business trip to Brussels and the next morning, after poodle was dropped off for his four-day play date with Cooper-the-Golden Retriever, we were on the road.

It’s six hours to the Alabama coast from “middle earth”-Huntsville (nearly the same distance we drove regularly from Redondo Beach, California in Los Angeles County to see my mother in Scottsdale, Arizona). Realizing that I’m still not happy about living in middle earth, I tried not to set my expectations too high. I’d spent eight years in Southern California…living two miles from the ocean enjoying near perfect weather, year round…..and….well…what could be better than that?  I’ll tell you and reluctantly so…..

The Alabama coast (also known to some as the Redneck Riviera)!

What’s different about the Alabama coast?

The sand.

I love the sand. It’s clean, a pristine white and fine as sifted confectioner’s sugar sand…. and when you walk on it there is this soft squeaking sound with each step. Strange yes  A squeaky-clean sand!

We stayed in a high-rise condo (the 14th floor) in Perdido Key, Florida. I’d have preferred a small beach cottage but it’s not quite like the Outer Banks, North Carolina here. Anyhow, just two miles westward up the beach you cross into Alabama. Hubby and I walked the beach just past the state line each morning and afternoon in our continuing effort to keep moving our aging (and expanding) bodies.

What else is different about this beach?

The water. I fully expected the frigid shock to the system when I dipped my toes into the ocean here for the first time. But the only shock I received was learning that the water is warm!  Oh my…how lovely….I sank myself into the warm waters and, for a half hour or so, I didn’t think too much about the possibility of sharks….that’s how enthralled I was with the warm water.

This time of year (September) is the perfect time to enjoy the beach…particularly if you’re one that doesn’t want to be surrounded by throngs of partying college kids or caravans of families each with a car-load of kids and beach paraphernalia in tow. So far, we have spent two marvelously serene days on the beach staring out at the ocean, reading, or taking long walks. I’d spend the entire day in a beach chair if it weren’t for the fact that my skin just cannot take the sun. I don’t know what God was thinking when he got around to me: He entirely overlooked my love of being outdoors, giving me the skin type that abhors the sun. My skin would be better off living in the North Pole.

Sigh….

No matter…..It’s my bliss time….and I’m soaking up every second of it.

….despite the dime-sized crater left in my arm from Monday’s skin-cancer biopsy I am heading back to the beach now….

So, excuse me while I slather on sun-screen and go back to the beach chair rooted in the sand to savor the last 48- hours I have left here in this little slice of heaven…..

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