Sometimes I so miss the ocean I can literally smell a dried starfish and hear the waves. My family took two trips to Gulf Coast in Alabama when I was a child. I was then invited to go to the beach for a few years by a friend. I have stayed in a tent on the beach, a hotel on the beach and a fancy rental house. But always right on the beach. Always private and away from the tourist crowds off season. I have seen clear sea water, brown Gulf water and things in between. But there have always been sea shells, starfish and sand. I have been on every coast South, West and East.
I have gone swimming with dolphins, sharks, biting fish, wild ponies and Navy seals. I have been pulled by the undertow three times in my life. Always broke the swimming with a partner rule. Just learned to swim with the shore until I could get back in. I have almost drowned two times in my life in the salt water. But I still love the ocean. Living in Missouri, land locked I feel the pull to the ocean, badly. The rivers are great but sometimes I miss the salty air. Growing up in New Orleans, you could taste the salty fog and smell the water in the air. Hurricanes and storms brought that wonderful smell up from the Gulf. If you did not grow up there or near the ocean, then you just don't understand. I miss the feeling of sand between my toes even cold sand. And its not the eating and partying, I miss the long walks with the sound of seagulls, waves and wind. I would walk or swim alone for miles. It was so wonderful and peaceful.