A few weeks ago the kids and I spontaneously went to the beach on a Sunday evening, at about 5:30 to hang out and explore a little. As I was getting out of the car, at the beach 40 minutes from my home and in one of many parking lots and at a very unusual time of day to go to the beach, some friends of ours were getting out of their car to go to the beach too. How weird is that? Very, very cool. We ended up spending three hours at the beach, past sunset, and not getting home and to bed until well after 9:00 pm. It was such a wonderful, memorable, relaxing evening, that being out a little too late was forgivable.

Since that day my kids and I have been making a point of going every Sunday evening to the beach. There is no better way for me to recharge and get ready for another week.

Why Sunday night? Why not. But more than that it's quiet, it's cooler than midday, and, if the rain holds off, we get to watch the sun set.

And then we discovered Bonita Bill's. Geez, a restaurant to go to after the beach that's cheap, but good, and is as laid back as the beach makes us feel. Perfection.

We're so hooked on this new tradition. It will, however, be seasonal. Right now the last two miles to the beach takes about five minutes, in season it can take up to two hours. Just before Christmas our beach evenings will cease, we'll pick them up again next May. For now, though, we're enjoying them immensely.

One of the things that amazes me about the beach is that it's never the same. It never gets old. One afternoon there were tiny catfish everywhere, another day there were zillions of sand dollars underfoot, some as small as 1/2" round, some 4" round. The tide goes out, the tide comes in bringing new adventures and discoveries. It's like a new destination every time we go.

Some type of jellyfish.

No idea what these were. They were rubbery, not squishy, and the brown things squirted water when the little appendages were squeezed.

And Bonita Bill's. There aren't many places, right off the beach, where you can find a family of seven for under $40. And still be wet from the beach and not care. And have a fantastic view for your open air dining. And be treated like you're a regular, even when you've only been there a few times. These places are being torn down to be replaced by expensive dining establishments (or condos, in the case of a wonderful restaurant I used to manage), this place really is a special, cherished find for us.

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