Kitty Felde |

Lifeguards east coast style

I miss the ocean. So a road trip to the closest Atlantic beach was in order. Two and a half hours, over the Chesapeake Bay bridge, past corn farms, past not one, but two Kiwanis chicken bar-b-que stands, until finally you arrive at Delaware's Rehoboth Beach.

Poor Delaware! The stretch of sand is narrow, the waves tiny, the water more green than blue. And every inch of the beach covered with umbrellas and people who are definitely NOT from California.

Even the lifeguards are very different! They sit in portable lookout chairs and blow air horns at swimmers who violate the rules. Then they use orange flags like semaphores, gesturing to swimmers their directions. Which I could not figure out. Perhaps swimming out too far? Rip tide? Tidal wave coming? It was a mystery. So I assumed they weren't honking and waving at me.

And then promptly at 5:30, the honking and waving got frenetic and everyone was ordered out of the water. Shark? Nope. They rolled the portable chair back to the boardwalk and went home. Instantly, the ocean was rushed by a flock of black and white seagulls (more formal looking than our California variety) waiting for the pesky people to depart. And then one by one, everyone just went right back into the water. No drownings on my watch.

How nice to taste salt water again. To jump the anemic waves. To brush sand out of the library book you brought down to the shore.

But it's not California, that's for sure.