Yesterday was a first for me. It was my very first bonfire at the beach. And it was as cool as I always imagined it would be.
It was our youngest niece’s 14th birthday. And instead of sweating it out in the Inland Empire like we typically do, they opted for a day at the beach. You better believe I was behind that! And while I’m not a huge play at the beach and frolic in the waves kinda gal (long story…but it has to do with being a Jersey Girl and hypodermic needles and raw sewage visiting our local beaches), I was all over experiencing this California bonfire tradition.
We’ve driven past the Bolsa Chica beach many times and I’ve always been in awe of the bonfires. Turns out, it’s one of the few beaches that allows bonfires in the greater LA area (here’s a list of CA beaches that allow fires). What makes it such a cool experience is that they have the concrete firepits already there and waiting for you. You still have to bring your own wood (or buy wood from vendors). But other than that, it’s all good.
Being that close to the ocean, and the ocean breezes leads to some might cold temperatures and quite a bit of smoke and wayward ash. But it’s so worth it if you ask me. Though I can’t imagine what it must be like in the winter months.
We got to the party late (fully intending to just experience the bonfire part of the event), after the sun had already set and the fire was roaring hot. Which was great, because it was freezing (even in late July). Luckily we still had jackets and a blanket in the car (especially considering I dressed for summer cute and not beachy cold).
I even thought ahead to pick up the ingredients for some s’mores. Too bad the fam forgot to bring the sticks – LOL. We managed to make a couple using the BBQ fork, but with that roaring fire, it wasn’t easy.
Oh well, maybe next time. And I’ve no doubt, now that the nieces and nephews are getting older, that there will be a next time.
Photo: C o l i n