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hi you,

I'm the tourist on the metro, lover of markets and dresses, a writer in the local coffee shop, and the friend who is always up for a picnic and conversation. 

More recently, making the journey through loneliness to write a book.

Welcome to L. Raine

Weekend at Cherry Grove Beach

Weekend at Cherry Grove Beach

We ran into the ocean, full-force, because there is no other way to get into an April ocean. The waves were rolling at a gentle 2-4' and the water was a less gentle temperature of frigid. What possessed us to go to the beach in early spring? I might never know, but thankfully it doesn't matter. 


Previous years we had booked AirBnBs, but for whatever reason went with a condo this time - likely because of the hot tub. It turned in our favor because obviously one is not going to spend much time in a chilly ocean, on a chilly weekend. Instead we jumped into the unheated pool and shivered straight into the hot tub, gaining the therapy of alternating hot vs. cold. Have you experienced this? It takes some courage to jump into cold water, but once you've switched back and forth a few times one's senses become alive and keenly refreshed. I see what the Scandinavians see in it. 

Our cool pool 

Our cool pool 

The color was beautiful. Too bad the temperature didn't follow suit.  

The color was beautiful. Too bad the temperature didn't follow suit.  




Early the first morning I slipped out to take a cold, grey morning walk. It's my favorite beach crowd, the morning people, because they're the ones strolling arm in arm, looking for new shells, walking their dogs, or biking the hard sands. Later the big lots of people show up (not this weekend though) and the play begins, but the people who get up early to walk the beach are the sort of people that like to wake up slowly to a fresh wind in their face and minds. It sets a good tone for the day. 


A cold walk is a little like jumping in a cold pool, it makes the hot follow-up option times more attractive, which is how I felt to return to fresh-brewed coffee. Of course, I was spoiled because I didn't still have to make the coffee or wait to dive in to the incredible breakfasts we had.

For some reason I don't have a photo of the quiche one, but here is the stuffed French toast, berries, and bacy breakfast. It's the first time I've had stuffed French toast and, I hope very much, not the last. 



Each year we picnic by the ocean, but given the fact that rain was driving down onto our balcony and the beach beyond we opted for the living room floor. The one obvious perk was not having to haul everything out to a picnic spot, or having to eat sand with anything. It was a fun change from the normal and we still got a view of the water. 


The menu

  • Croissants
  • Italian bread
  • Green & Kalamata olives
  • Cucumbers
  • Hummus
  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Pears
  • Wild Mushroom Brie
  • England Cheddar 
  • Papaya
  • Fig butter
  • Proscuitto
  • Gorgonzola crackers
  • Honey Pretzels
  • Cookie Butter
  • Ginger beers

Upon retrospect, do you think we went a little too far out? At any rate life is delicious out there. 

The best combo was brie, proscuitto, and fig butter on croissants. 

The best combo was brie, proscuitto, and fig butter on croissants. 

We opened the door so we could hear the ocean. 



It didn't rain the entire weekend, so in between we bundled up and had a few good jaunts up and down the beach on either side of the condo. We had a stroller for the cute junior member so she came along as well. 


Another Jr. member joined our group, albeit in a warmer house. 


Last year I discovered that a cliche beach vacation is really quite a lot more relaxing than the exploration type trips I had been taking. Staying in one spot with a good kitchen or restaurant, a pool and hot tub, and place to take walks is the bees knees. One can simply read, chat, eat, lounge about and never think about switching trains, AirBnBs or what to go see next; it's all in front of you. It brings one an unexpected sense of calm to have the world narrowed for a few days without work responsibilities or a social calendar. The other types of trips are still fun, but this always helps refresh me.


I kind of got there in time for the self-timer. 



For lunch on Sunday we try to find a local place to eat that isn't too mainstream, or a chain. Several members of our group don't like seafood so we usually try to find a place with other options or at least some tacos. This place fit the bill perfectly, with fresh fish, burgers, and plates like jambalaya. 


It came with a river view. 


And fresh fish. 

And fresh crab cakes, which I can apparently never resist with a remoulade topping. 

 Rachel was here too. 

 Rachel was here too. 

All in all, a good weekend by the ocean with the Hazel Surf girls. The best part was the talks, ranging from serious to cozy to snort-laugh funny. It's that kind of thing that truly takes a chilly, spring beach vacation to the next level. 

Like this. 

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