It was back in the mid-1980’s and the kids were raised and out of the house. Pat was working at Sears and worked weekends except for the one weekend a month she had off. Her days off during the week were a nice time to go to the beach in that there wouldn’t be any school kids there to make it too crowded. Pat enjoyed roller-blading and bike riding and usually headed for Mission Beach with Liz or one of her other friends to spend the day. She also kept after me to get a bike and join her. It sounded like a pastime that would be fun to share so I went to a swap meet one weekend and found a cheap bike.
At the first opportunity, we loaded the bikes in the back of my little blue Nissan pickup and headed for the beach. We parked in the lot by the roller coaster and got our bikes out of the back of the truck. We crossed the street and took off on the sidewalk through Mission Bay Park. At the end of the park, we took the sidewalk that went under the bridge and ran alongside the bay. We got to the point where the walkway is named “Bayside Walk” and continued north. Riding on Bayside Walk is always a treat with its beautiful homes with their lush landscapes. There are beautiful rose gardens, bougainvillea, and plumeria in abundance. We enjoyed the ride up Bayside and got almost to the Catamaran Hotel when we turned west to cross over to the beach. You go about a half block on the street, then cross Mission Boulevard and then go another half block to the boardwalk, the beach, and the Pacific Ocean. Once on the boardwalk, it’s about 3 miles south to where the truck is parked.
Of course, the boardwalk is made of concrete and is probably 18 or 20 feet wide. There is about a 36″ high sea wall on the west side and the east is lined with residences and beach rentals. The beach sand extends from the wall, some 40 or 50 yards to the ocean, depending what the tide situation is.
The beach was crowded and the boardwalk was packed with people walking, jogging, roller blading, and riding bicycles. We started down the boardwalk in single file with me riding behind Pat. You had to stay alert to keep from running over someone. Pat wanted to make sure I enjoyed the experience so she kept an eye on the beach and whenever she spotted a good-looking girl in a bikini she would point her out. Thanks to Pat, I didn’t miss a thing.
We enjoyed our ride down the boardwalk, watching the people and seeing the beautiful blue Pacific. As we got down toward the end of the beach, there in south Mission, we noticed a teenage kid trot across the sand and climb over the sea wall. He stopped right there on the boardwalk and Pat had to stop to keep from hitting him. I put my brakes on and coasted up behind her. The kid faced her and grabbed hold of her handlebars with both hands and straddled her front wheel. He looked at her and ardently proclaims, “You are so beautiful! I’m going to hold onto you and never let you go!” We both realized the kid was stoned out of his gourd and we started laughing. As the kid goes on, professing his undying love and promising to take care of Pat forever, I’m sitting there and laughing my head off. As the kid continues, Pat begins to become embarrassed and starts squirming a little. The kid doesn’t quit so I finally have to tell him that I’m her husband and he should get lost. He had enough brain power left to take the hint and left.
We sat there on our bikes, laughing and talking about the experience. I told Pat that I was surprised to see her boyfriend act so brazenly in front of me and all among teenage boys at the beach. As we laughed about that she told me again that watching people at the beach is more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
November 2, 2015