I love that Royal Caribbean has a ship called Allure of the Seas. The name of that ship describes something that has been in my blood for a long time, even if I didn't really understand it. I always enjoyed staying on my dad's sailboat when I was a kid, and I've obviously always liked spending time at Cedar Point, surrounded by Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay. But being around the ocean has intensified those feelings a hundred times over. When we took our first cruise in 2013, I was shocked at how much I loved it. A year later, taking the second one as a Florida resident, I loved it even more. To date, we've taken 19 cruises. In between all of that, we've had days at the beach, both on the Atlantic and gulf coasts.
This week, we rented a beach house via Vrbo down in Melbourne. It was super clean, with what I call "beach appropriate furniture" and a garage full of beach toys. Not luxurious the way that I typically want in accommodations, but perfectly adequate for families with kids. It was a little pricey, sure, but it satisfied two conditions: The endless sound of surf outside, and a hot tub because it won't likely be warm enough to hang out in the ocean. We made our meals, watched the presidential inauguration, grilled chicken, chased down sand crabs at night and empties six bottles of wine. It was everything that I hoped for. And for the middle three days, I worked remotely while Simon schooled remotely (I was more successful than he was). I didn't even take the time off, but when I took breaks for lunch and retired for the day, I touched sand and listened to that glorious surf.
This partial week near the ocean made me realize that the great peace that I feel when we cruise has a lot to do with just being near the ocean. In the Covid era, not spending much money and wondering what I want to do with life, I wonder if I am meant to live by the ocean. Looking into it, it's not an inexpensive endeavor. If you want to live with the ocean literally in your back yard, prepare to drop a cool million (unless it's a condo tower filled with spring breakers). You can even buy some undeveloped land for around $350k, if you have the cash. I don't see any way that we can afford that any time soon, and I'm not sure that the story gets better even in ten years. That's a bummer.
But we could still be cruising quarterly if that were in fact a thing right now. Watching Captain Kate on IG makes me even want to consider cruising with someone not Disney. Seriously, get me the vaccine, and I'll lick the handrails clean if it means we can cruise.
I dunno, I have this strong realization that the sea makes me feel so present and calm, but it doesn't seem like it's easy for me to reach a place where being near it is my standard operating procedure. That troubles me.