I’ve knocked off work and got my house clean, so it’s time to hit the beach. I have a few necessities before I go:
Towel (sometimes forgotten and it’s not fun sitting directly on the sand – think uncomfy swimmers)
Sunnies (protect the eyes, especially while reading)
Book (light novel, usually, but any book will do)
Magazine (if novel is finished)
Sunscreen (forgot it yesterday and that’s a no-no in the Australian sun)
Lipscreen (my lips really feel the heat)
Zinc (for nose protection)
Small change (to buy a drink or snack)
Thongs (sand is too hot)
Swimmers (on before I leave of course)
Water (keep hydrated)
Almonds and grapes (to snack on)
Hat (my hair is thin so this is very important)
Phone (but only in case someone needs to phone me, otherwise this is a no-phone zone)
Car Keys (definitely do not lock in the car on a hot day)
The reasons I love summer are numerous. I just feel happier and healthier in summer. It might be the extra Vitamin D my body gets or the sparkles set off by the sun but something about it makes me feel alive, refreshed, exuburant, glowing and grateful for where I live. It’s the small things:
Soft sand between my toes
Reading a good book as the sun kisses my shoulders
Hearing waves crash on the shore like a drum beat
The sea salt smell on a soft breeze
Birdlife flying overhead singing their own songs
Walking from headland to headland through cool ankle-deep water
The smell of coconut, frangapani, seaweed and salt
Cicadas and their cacophonous chorus, like the titinus in my ear
Healthy bodies jogging or walking by
Surfers riding nature’s playground
Bush, rainforest, estuary and beach in all their lush beauty
Paper white sand and azure blue water
Toddlers testing the shallows with squeals of delight
Relaxing is something that can be taken for granted. Those who get to do it regularly have no idea how important it can be to those who have limited time and resources to really unwind. Dictionary.com defines relaxed as: being free of or relieved from tension or anxiety: in a relaxed mood. Yes, that was us last weekend when we took a 4 day mini holiday on the Sunshine Coast. I wish I was still there.
We (hubby, Bev, and I) drive just on an hour to The Gateway Bridge and as we head up the Bruce Highway we decided to take in as much coastline as possible. We exit to Caloundra Road and immediately notice, this once sleepy little seaside town (at least 20 years ago) has grown. It’s bustling with traffic as we drive through the main streets. We pass the Caloundra Waterfront Caravan Park on our right and say, “That looks lovely. It’s close to town. Maybe we could stay there one year.” It’s on Plumicestone Passage with a lovely view of the water and a short walk to town. It’s a Big 4 so it has everything you could need for a family holiday.
We drive along Bulcock Street and the town is filled with interesting boutiques, cafes and stores. I want to shop there, but we drive through. We get to the boardwalk and because there seems to be nowhere to park we go up a side street and decide to walk in the warm sunshine. La Promenade Café sits at the start overlooking the water, units behind it and surrounded by pandanus. Patrons are relaxing over delicious looking meals and enjoying that turquoise blue view, that stretches around the passage and to the outlet.
The boardwalk (25kms if you walk the whole length) is set up with covered picnic tables with plenty of shade for the summer heat. You can just chill and gaze at the glorious view or stroll down to the small patrolled stretch of beach and take a dip. The water is clear blue and the sand white and inviting enough to rub your toes in. Across the road on The Esplanade the café’s are tidy and interesting. There’s the usual franchises like Coffee Club, independents, bakeries and for those who love their Rugby League there’ Alfie Langer’s foray into hospitality with Alfie’s Mooo Car + Bar. The units above the café stretch have fabulous views across the passage and out over the headland. As we round the headland there’s parkland, shady pandanus and a rocky outcrop (plus a much needed toilet block).
We head back slowly, starting to relax. Thinking, what a tranquil and interesting place Caloundra is. Jet Skis churn up the water beside us and holiday makers stroll the boardwalk taking photos (like me) as runners run past with earphones and walkers swing their arms and chat.
We get back to La Promenade and go in and take a seat. The breeze is just perfect, the ambience typical of waterside dining; timber decore, blinds, aromas, blackboard menus, salt air and happy chatter. We order at the counter and are served in what seems like minutes. We’re eating simply, a toasted ham and cheese sandwich and salt and pepper calamari and chips. The chips are the best we’ve eaten in a while – crispy with fresh oil. It amazes me how many restaurants cannot cook chips. La Promenade Café can. The calamari is soft, not chewy and tasty with just enough seasoning. The sandwich is generous with three layers of freshly-cut ham. We gave it the big thumbs up. The only thing we’d change is getting a table on the right-hand side right next to the water. That blue water is mesmerising.
I take a quick couple of photos and we’re off to our final destination – Noosa.
Come back to see what happens in, my old home of over 28 years ago, Noosa.