At 7:35 on Saturday morning, I walked into a Starbucks. Now, it was already pretty much hell for me, being awake before 10 on a Saturday. I was barely ready to make myself a functional enough human to interact with the barista. But I figured that was all the human interaction I would have to do for at least the next fifteen minutes. The world, or more accurately the basketball camp also being housed in PSU’s dorms, had different plans for me. Before I’d stood in line for two minutes, an entire horde of teenage basketball players swarmed on the Starbucks. And to top off this wonderful experience for a tired introvert, I had left my phone sitting on my desk upstairs to finish charging. Let’s just say, the morning didn’t start off well.
This was immediately followed by the wonderfully smooth experience of loading 12 people, four tents, 12 sleeping bags, two camps stoves, two lanterns, and enough food to feed a small army into a 15 person passenger van. While that went just about as smoothly as it could, it still wasn’t my dream way to spend 20 minutes at 8 A.M. on a Saturday morning. (By the way, did I mention that it was EARLY on a SATURDAY morning?!)
But then came the best part of any early morning road trip, the long drive. The long drive where the tired little introvert can sit herself down in the corner of the van, plug in her headphones, and sleep for two whole hours on her way to the beach. And boy did I take advantage of that. To those poor people who can’t sleep in cars, I am so sorry. Because I do some of my best napping in the back seats of cars. Some of those naps have just about changed my life.
So then we got to the coast, and we did exactly what you would expect a car full of ten college kids to do the moment they set foot anywhere near a beach — go to the museum! Okay, okay. So it doesn’t have the same ambiance as taking a nice long stroll next to the ocean, but it was surprisingly fun. Our tour guide failed to show, and that allowed us to spend 15 minutes playing with Legos, 10 minutes playing in sand that had water in it, and 20 minutes playing in sand that didn’t have water in it. Oh, and I might have accidentally ruined some poor kid’s Lego wall when I clicked a button I didn’t know would set off a mini tsunami.
After all that? Finally, FINALLY time for the beach. It went pretty much exactly like every trip you’ve ever taken to the beach ever. The first 3 minutes are very exciting, and then you remember that sand exists and you spend the next 3 hours furiously trying to keep it off your damn things. The sand won. The sand always wins.
And then we cooked fajitas over the beautiful fire (that I built), watched the sunset over the ocean, took some pretty great pics, ate our body weight in s’mores, and stayed up later than we thought we would huddled around a lantern after we ran out of wood for the fire. It was like every other camping trip I’ve been on in my life, which is to say, it was absolute magic.
I’m not sure there are any lessons to be learned from this story. As a matter of fact, I’m sure that there aren’t, mostly because I’m sure that I have no lessons to teach. I’m just a 20 year old whose best words to describe herself are “tired little introvert,” who gets irrationally irritable before the clock hits 10 A.M. on the weekend, and who gets too competitive over fire building. But I do know now to never enter a starbucks without my phone, to always ditch your tour guide if the museum is interactive, that there’s no such thing as too many pictures of your friends, and that there’s always more room for magic around a fire.