Since I established in an earlier post that my favorite vacation spot is anywhere there’s a beach, I don’t really have a favorite one. I do like white sand beaches and had a lovely time snorkeling at one on Vieques Island once. This was years ago and I was so excited by the experience I vowed snorkeling was my “new thing.” Despite this childlike enthusiasm at the time, however, I’ve never actually snorkled again. My favorite thing to do on the beach is to kick off my flip-flips and start searching for seashells, sea glass, or anything interesting that’s washed up on shore. I don’t like beaches with large numbers of human bodies littered around the coastline, so my favorite beach is always rather remote and less inhabited.

Many years ago, on the southern coast of Spain, I visited a lovely beach in Nerja. It was part of a larger trip so I was just there for a couple of days. Most of the memories are of body surfing and generally lounging around, which is not something I do often, so it was remarkable. Once, while laying on a towel with my eyes closed, nearly lounging myself into a deep sleep, I suddenly felt the sun disappear. There were no clouds in the sky, so this seemed rather odd. I slowly opened my eyes and was horrified to see the bare arse and bits of an obese German man squatting over me. He had apparently picked that spot and that moment to change into his swimsuit. I know most Americans are ridiculously conservative when it comes to nudity, but this was a perfect example of why that’s not always a bad thing.

And this is why, still today, I only choose secluded beaches and shun crowded ones. Also, I just think that the primary enjoyment of the beach is the peaceful feeling of being on the edge of infinity. When I experience this, I prefer to be with just a few people I actually know. Watching the sunset over the water, and listening to the waves, while clearing my cluttered mind and actually managing to think of nothing much at all for once. It’s a magical moment that any lovely beach can bring. Making each and every one of them I visit, my new favorite.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors: Naples Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Pyrrol Red, Azo Orange and Ultramarine Blue. Sennelier: Caput Mortem. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal.

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

40 replies on “My Favorite Beach

      1. Again, you have caught my fancy with a scene at the beach ! And talking about snorkeling ! I have just the island for you to get plenty of snorkeling in a vacation: Grand Cayman Island. My husband has made it his life’s work to eventually be able to say he has snorkeled every spot on the island and there are many very good ones. I love my snorkeling, especially from my youth, when the oceans weren’t so warm. The fishes colors were BRILLLIANT, the coral was magnificant. Things have changed drastically in 60 years. 8( Sure hope you get some more snorkeling in soon. (If you plan a trip to Grand Cayman, ask me for suggestions: we know where the turtles swim every day; possible sightings of sting rays; star fish beach; Sting Ray City, etc., etc. ). ~Pam

        Liked by 1 person

  1. It seems that all artists don.t like crowdy beaches. Well Holland is a small country but we have a long beachline all covered with white sand. Pity that the water is always cold.
    In summertime our neighbours Belgium and Germany are coming en mass to the shores.
    I have my favorite little town on the sea in the south and like to stay in a cosy family hotel!

    Your story is pretty and snorkeling I did long,long ago and after a few times no more.
    I like your painting and this time, surprise, you used the red color, the flip flops (again a new word for me)

    Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Charlie, your description of the beach is perfect and I agree wholeheartedly that an uncrowded beach is the best place to truly relax and enjoy the “edge of infinity.” There is nothing like it to clear your mind, relax, and just be in the moment – unless someone is changing their swim suit overhead 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This doodle wash is the definition of summer for me! I live in a landlocked state now, but I lived on an island in the Western Pacific for about a decade and your painting brought back all of those fantastic memories. Fortunately, in all of of my beach time I never encountered a German “arse and bits”. hahahahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You seem well and truly in ‘holiday mode’ now, Charlie! This is so cool! And obviously, such love for the beach, it is exactly as you describe – I expect, though, that those nearby are a little different to the likes of Nerja and Vieques Island! It’s good to hear your harrowing experience with the German behind – das Gesäß😉 – hasn’t put you off the beach for a lifetime!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey i love your watercolor paintings and the analogy applied to it. Even i am an artist, if you all wanna see my poems, essays or paintings, please do visit my blog at
    I mostly write on spiritual and philosophical topics. I am still a beginner and dont have enough readers at my site. Would be extremely happy if you all support me growing as a known blogger. Thank you🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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