Thursday, August 09, 2007

Crystal Cove

As I've previously written, the first time I saw SSC I found myself with several hours between the meeting at which she'd captivated me with her beauty, and the department holiday party at which I'd hoped to be able to speak with her. After a restless half-hour at my hotel that afternoon, I jumped into my rental for a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway.

A few miles later I came across Crystal Cove State Park and I pulled into the parking lot to have a closer look. After a few minutes gazing down at the beach from the cliffs high above, I walked down the path to the shore. I spent the next two hours strolling along the sand with the water lapping at my ankles, and thinking about the breathtaking beauty both of nature and of SSC.

During my visit with her last week, SSC and I decided that we needed to take a day for ourselves in the hopes of relieving some of the stress she'd been under since learning of her stepfather's illness. Our original intent had been to drive to Balboa Island, but our lack of directional sense and the snarled traffic that greeted us when we finally found our way conspired to prevent us from reaching our intended destination.

While driving back to SSC's place, I saw Crystal Cove on my right and I once again pulled into the parking lot. We exited the car and stood on the same cliff I'd stood at during my previous visit. We walked along the cliff until we came to the curved walkway that lead down to the beach, and we strolled across the beach to the water's edge just as I had that night.

We held hands as we walked along the beach, we wrote our names in the sand like schoolchildren, we took pictures of the beach and of each other another, we talked to a nice family that we met, we saw what SSC is certain was a rabid crab, but who was actually snacking on a piece of shrimp and probably wondering why were were taking so many pictures of it, and we tried not to think about the fact that in just twelve more hours I'd be on a plane back to New York.

As I shared with SSC the story of my last visit to that beach, I couldn't help but to shake my head in amazement that the woman that I'd only dreamed about meeting the last time I'd stood on that beach was the same woman that had made all of my dreams come true.