Taco Bell is one helluva big deal in these parts. I really don't know why it took off as a hangout, but it's really taken its place as a symbol of the community. If you don't go at least once a week, you're probably a social outcast. And don't even get me started on the time it shut down for a few months...then reopened, new and improved, as a Taco Bell/Pizza Hut EPIC PLACE OF EPIC EATING EPICNESS.
In third grade, we had to write about our favorite places in the school district. Even though Taco Bell is technically a town over, I wrote about it. That's how influential it's been in my life.
Today, on of my best friends, Zach, and I bought the Party Pack (12 tacos, bitches!) and split a large Mountain Dew Baja Blast while sitting on the dock at Venetian Park. It was beautiful; perfection. Even if it was 6541984 degrees outside. It was okay - we had the serenity of the bay and the quiet of the dock and tacos, and that was all we needed.
And then I took the last two tacos to work with me for dinner ♥
Thunderstorms are always awe-inspiring. Who doesn't get the urge to marvel at the lightening, to run out and dance in the downpour? Most people outgrow a fear of thunder as they move out of elementary school and view storms as a blessing, a gift, an exciting phenomenon. But thunderstorms become terrifying again when you're stuck outside. Near water. In summer.
Storms get more powerful in summer, or so it seems; I'm not sure that's a fact. The sky turns gray-green-yellow, cut with slate gray clouds. Sometimes, you can still see the sun behind the sky, before it's swallowed for good and the heavens open. The thunder may seem quiet and comforting at first, a gentle rumble in the distance like a cat's purr. It's easy to mistake it for a plane overhead or a passing truck. But when the sky lights up as a bolt of lightening cuts the horizon, you know you're in for something bad.
And so I found myself all alone, huddling in the filter room at the pool where I lifeguard. The last patrons finally cut out to escape the storm and the rain began, lightning lighting the premature darkness. If I hadn't been paranoid about getting electrocuted and trying to leave early to go home, I would have been mesmerized. I got soaked running to the car but, once inside, I started to wish I'd taken the time to dance in the summer storm.
I guess it's not really "a boardwalk." There's no food, no games, no rides. It's just a bunch of wooden planks, leading you to the lighthouse. But this is one of my favorite places to walk, especially in fall and winter. There's a chill in the air and you don't see many people; you can just keep walking and keep talking and you know you'll get to the lighthouse, eventually.
I do miss "real" boardwalks, too, though, places to eat and play. This place is in a class all its own.