The Beach


Author: Dominguez

Malibu Beach


I got the opportunity to study abroad an academic school year in Madrid, Spain and while I was abroad one of the things I missed the most was the Southern California beach. The diversity and biodiversity that came with the habitat. It did not take long for me to book my flight from Oakland to Burbank and enjoy some of the Southern California weather by the beach. My first thought was the sun is not out, the weather is so cloudy but as soon as I saw the waves and the sandy beach it was easy to get over the sun hiding behind a few clouds. The water in So Cal is cold but due to the heavy sun, it is usually easy to get in the water and get accustomed to the colder waves. My friend and I wanted to play in the waves and as soon as the wave came to the shore there were tiny crabs beneath our feet that would scurry to burry there bodies as far deep into the sand. Later in ESRM, I discovered how they use their legs as a conveyer belt to move the sand up and bury themselves deeper.

One of the other aspects that called my attention was the amount of nature and dunes that were on the edge of the beach, the one closest to the Pacific Coast Highway.  The dunes were overfilled with cactus and other smaller plants that gave a different perspective to the beach and made it feel a little more like home. The beach was not as clean as Santa Monica or the ones closest to the city but there was an abundance of families and kids playing in the water since it was the beginning weeks of the Summer break. The waves were much calmer and the number of people surfing was not as high as during the winter, we went during the middle of the day as well, therefore, the water was easier to play and get into.


One of the best experiences I remember growing up in California was walking the shore and collecting rocks with my mom when I came back with my friend to the beach in Malibu we collected rocks but an even more special opportunity was collecting shells. I have never seen shells so formed and enough for us to collect and truly admire.  Walking the shore we also stumbled upon a group of rocks that formed a fish with a dried crab to form the eye of the fish. The beaches in Southern California area home to many not only humans but now other organisms such as the little crabs that dug themselves in the sand and ultimately better the beach’s ecosystem.

Santa Monica Beach

Spending an afternoon in one of California’s most populated beaches, Santa Monica is home to many tourist’s ideas of how a “California Beach” is supposed to look like. With the boardwalk inches away, the palm trees sitting behind the beach and the easy waves for a quick swim, this California beach is a perfect touristic getaway for our foreign friends. Unfortunately, due to the amount of tourism, the beach is overfilled with an abundance of plastic, trash and street sellers that leaves the beach worn out at the end of the day. Regardless of the amount of activity that occurs during the day, the beach’s view in the afternoon does not sell itself short. As the sun sets in the easy waves it makes for a magical date out before hitting the pier for a night of adventure on the rides. Because it is a touristic site this beach does go through grooming to keep the sand nice and even, the sand is also very fine and thin reflecting the easy access to walk through.

Although I did not get in the water myself it was easy to see that this beach was more of a beach to swim and have fun instead of a surfing beach. The waves were gentle just enough for one to get in and enjoy the tide, its long shoreline allowed for families to play in the water without worrying about the danger of getting dragged in along with the waves. Returning to Santa Monica reminded me of the first time I had enjoyed a day at the boardwalk and beach with my family when I was only sixteen years old. I live in Sonoma County which is six and a half hours away and the idea of Santa Monica and its famous boardwalk was only an idea in my head. Once arrived in this beautiful California getaway I realized just how much of the “Cali living” I was missing out in, living up north.

My family and I walked the boardwalk and the entire Santa Monica beach, five years later, returning on my own I realized just how much it has changed. The beach is still an angelic view for those of us who do not visit one as often, but aside from the stereotypical California aesthetics, it was enjoyable to see families out playing in the water with their children and begin a tradition of coming to the beach and jumping the waves as they hit the shoreline. Although it was not one of our most beautiful beaches it does provide a great example the Southern Calfornia culture.


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