The scent of sunscreen and the feeling of sand have always been favorites of mine. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a place where they signaled the start of a very brief, but always wonderful season. In Wisconsin we savor summer nights and warm, snowless days.
Last week, I woke up to the sun streaming through my window and brightening my room in Rome. My skin was warm from the previous days’ sun, and my tan lines stuck out on the crisp, white sheets. I rolled over, leaving sprinklings of the sand stuck in my hair and on my feet. Closing my eyes, I could still hear the gentle sway of the Mediterranean, and my skin was salty from sweat and sea. I smiled, relishing these last hints of the island. I love the beach. Nothing on Earth has ever made me happier than days spent near the water. Four days in Sardegna, on one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever laid eyes on, were the best possible way to ring in June. The water was a blue so deep it was almost purple, interrupted by bright, turquoise streaks, and clear enough to see the shimmering rocks below, even from waist deep. Most days we had the sand to ourselves.
A routine came easily. We woke to the sunshine and birds, made coffee, and groggily walked the short path to the water. A few hours were lazed away under the sun, reading and occasionally breaking the silence to reiterate how beautiful it was, or to vow to come back every year. In the afternoon we would pause our sunbathing for lunch — fruit, tomatoes, salami and cheese from the market across the street. We ate contentedly in our garden, sometimes heading inside for a luxurious mid-day nap. Then back to the beach, this time with wine and more vitality. Late dinner and drinks took place after sunset, and so it went, for four blissful, lazy days. It helped that the company was the type that enjoys talking politics and travel over cards in the evenings, and devours books during the day. The kind of friends you can be around without really needing to try.
This summer is so packed with plans and travel I worry it will be over before I really realize it’s begun, but I can’t think of a better way to have kicked it off than with sun, sand, relaxation and friends, on the brilliant blue beaches of Sardegna.