Beach Tips And Beats

A Day in the Life of a Part-Time Valley Girl
by: Penelope
● July 31, 2023

Cue the music:

…Wake me up before you go-go! *insert musical notes amidst head bobbing and slight dancing*

Off we go, as Wham’s iconic beats begin to blast on the car stereo. For me, 80’s music is just the perfect soundtrack for this perfect day as my boyfriend and I go to the beach via the winding picturesque road of Topanga Canyon to the Pacific Coast Highway (aka PCH).

There is nothing like listening to great music while cruising and relaxing on the beach. As I give you some tips for today, indulge me as I share some beloved music from my childhood.

Yes, girls do just want to have fun (right, Cyndi?). While spending the day under the sun is not as simple as having Toto’s “Africa” bringing you the mood, you must also bring the goods:

Plan ahead. California’s weather can be a bit bipolar (IYKYK). Check the weather forecast and make sure you pack accordingly. If it’s going to be hot, pack sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. If it’s going to be windy, pack a windbreaker or jacket.

Know the beach rules. Some beaches have restrictions on swimming, sunbathing, and pets. Be sure to check the rules before you go so you don’t get in trouble. If you know me, or my boyfriend, bringing our dogs is a must!

Be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for rip currents, jellyfish, and other hazards. If you see something that looks dangerous, don’t hesitate to ask a lifeguard for help. Say NO accident-prone possibilities and any potential life-threatening events.

Stay hydrated. I CANNOT REITERATE THIS enough… drink plenty of water! A trusty Stanley 30 oz Quencher is my best friend. Bring sports drinks or electrolyte-rich foods to help keep you hydrated. If you’re like me and are in your 40s (and cannot handle hard drinking anymore), pack some White Claws. What a feeling!! Being’s believin’… woohoooo!!!

Protect your skin, over and over again. Before going outside, apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and wait for 30 minutes prior. Reapply every two hours or more if you’re sweating or swimming. If you love to tan like me, you can also add a layer of Australian Gold Instant Bronzer with SPF – not only does it smell good, it also gives you that beach glow <3

…and I’m walking on sunshine… oh ohh… and it’s starting to feel goooooddd… oohh yeahhhh

Wear comfortable shoes. Flip-flops are great for walking on the sand, but they’re not the best choice for walking on rocks or shells. If you’re going to be doing any exploring, wear shoes that will protect your feet. Bring a pair of trusty trainers for those off-the-path walks. Right now, Onitsukas are a godsend to my tired feet.

Bring a beach towel. This is a must-have for any beach day. You can use it to sit on, dry off, or even sit on while building a sandcastle. If you are like me, bring a waterproof beach mat so the pesky sand doesn’t make your life hard afterward.

Pack a cooler. Fill it with drinks, snacks, and anything else you might want to eat or drink at the beach. Okay, also bring some cheese and crackers (have you tried Triscuits?!). In addition, don’t forget about the beverages (maybe some White Claws? My personal favorite flavor is peach.)

Bring a first-aid KIT. Need I say more? For this trip, I brought my NO SPOOF, WATERPROOF kit to cover my beach needs.  This is ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA, in case of any emergencies. I always have a kit in my car and another handy one in my tote.

Have fun! That is the whole point of the day. Enjoy the company you are with, the place, the tunes, and the moment. Be present.

Relax, soak up the sun, and make some memories that will last a lifetime. Okay… Photos are a must… but really, enjoy the moment, will you? Also, I want to leave you with a few more tips to further your day…

Get there early. The best beaches can get crowded, so it’s a good idea to get there early to stake out your spot. Like Rocky… RISING UP… back on the streets… – if this beat does not motivate you to start your day bright and early, I don’t know what will!

Bring a book or some other activity to keep you entertained. If you’re not the type to just sit on the beach and relax, bring something to do to keep yourself occupied. Although playing Candy Crush (along with my boyfriend) on my phone has kept me entertained lately, it became more of a bonding session with him – done separately, but together… you know? I’ve recently read David Sedaris’, A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003-2020). It made me laugh, think, emotional, and all sorts of in-between. I highly recommend this diary of literature.

Explore the area. If you’re not the type to only stay on the beach, take some time to explore the surrounding area because there might be some interesting things to see or do nearby. Topanga and its surrounding areas are a treasure trove for the uninitiated. Not only is it a nature lover’s paradise, you won’t run out of quaint places to shop, eat, drink, and just simply have a great day! …She’ll turn her music on you… you won’t have to think twice… she got Betty Davis eyes… – Topanga is very much like Betty Davis’ eyes now that I think about it…

Be respectful of the environment. Leave no trace of your presence at the beach. Dispose of your trash and be careful not to disturb the wildlife. – This for me is close to my heart – please, for the love of… DO NOT LITTER. Have respect for nature, other people, and just life in general. Clean up after yourself. As Sting sings …Every move you make, I’ll be watching you…Oh, can’t you see…

Whew! I know it seems like there are many things to take note of and get ready for, but really, the whole day has just been the best experience for me. It was the best because I love being in nature, spending it with people I love, and learning to enjoy life. Whether the small or the big things, it is truly a beautiful life. Sweet dreams are made of these… whom am I to disagree…

As we drove home, Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up started playing on the radio… it felt fitting. At that moment, I decided that I’m never going to give up this feeling of being a child again such as harking on sentiments, childhood joys, loving nature, and experiencing life as it happens.

Signing off for the day, much love from my 80’s mixtape.

K.I.T (keep in touch)

(because we make kits, DUH)

ABOUT THE WRITER…

Penelope

Unicorn whisperer, miracle believer, and master connector of people and ideas for the greater good. Behind every success, there’s a friend like Pen. With kaleidoscope color-changing hair, Pen is a total MOOD with an eclectic flair for fashion, jewelry, and design. A lover, a traveler, and a happy, smiley wanderer. With her, shopping addictions are enabled and totally justified, so consider yourself warned. Always ready to embark on a wild adventure with friends (both furry and human) and family, Pen will literally work for food and look aesthetically pleasing doing it.

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