I know it's been a while since my last post, but given that I'm just a couple weeks away from starting classes again back in the US (and consequently thinking about how much I miss my friends in Middelburg), I thought I'd write a little "retrospective" post about a trip I took with my boyfriend while in Europe.
Before traveling abroad, I had never been to the beach. My image of the beach was based on what I saw in movies: sunny, warm, sandy, breezy...you know, the typical "beach scene." What Thomas and I experienced on the last weekend in April, however, was anything but typical. But wait - I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start with the actual trip to the beach...
We asked my housemates which beach was close to Middelburg, and then mapped it out on Google. Then we hopped on the bikes we borrowed from one of my housemates and set out for sandy shore. The directions were a bit...unclear...at times, so we may have ended up a bit lost a time or two. Given that we were trying to navigate an unfamiliar road system and read signs written in Dutch, I don't think we did too badly. But the trip took a fair bit longer than Google said it would...and in the process we saw some beautiful Dutch countryside.
Anyway, the important thing is that we got there. As I said, our afternoon at the beach wasn't like it is in the movies.The only descriptions that matched up were 'sandy' and 'breezy.' As usual in the Netherlands, the sky was cloudy and the temperatures seemed a bit cooler than average. But we decided to make the most of it, even though the conditions weren't exactly favorable for a relaxing afternoon on the sand.
As we stood, inhaling the cool, salty air, I remember thinking Wow. This is beautiful. I can't believe I'm actually on a beach! I should probably collect some shells to take home so I can remember this. And soon I'll be standing in the ocean for the first time!
So, I grabbed my camera in one hand and Thomas' hand in the other, and we started toward the water. Along the way we saw various items washed up on the sand...seaweed, shells, driftwood, and jellyfish. Yes, jellyfish. Fortunately Thomas recognized them as a non-stinging type, so he bent down to touch one. Though he encouraged me to join him, I just thought that it would feel too gross. Instead, I was content to take pictures of the jellies.
When we reached the ocean, I was nervous and excited and...humbled. Nervous because what if a shark (highly unlikely, but I still thought it) bit me? Excited because it was my first time at a beach and my first time standing in the ocean. And humbled because as I stood there at the water's edge, I tried to grasp just how huge the oceans are compared to how tiny I am next to one. Just being there, feeling so alive and free in Europe, on a beach...I felt so very blessed to have had the opportunity to travel and share so many things with very good friends.
With all that said, here are some pictures from the day. Enjoy!
|It was a cloudy day, but the sky is still pretty. I love God's artwork :)|
|Jellyfish...are interesting creatures. The purple and white stuff in the middle reminds me of a swirled marble.|
|Everything about this jellyfish was clear, except for the purple in the middle.|
|My very first seashells!|
|Thomas had fun taking pictures of me as I tentatively stepped into the icy water.|
|The water was so cold! Guess whose feet are going numb? **points to self** But I'm in the ocean! Woo!|
|A beautiful place made more so by the wonderful man I shared it with|
Until next time,