I have been waiting for this for months, I was afraid it wouldn’t be possible this summer but the day finally came. When I remembered we were going to the beach today, I didn’t think twice about getting out of bed.

It was a beautiful day, perfect for going to the beach. I know what you’re thinking, the virus has spread when everyone goes to the beach. Yes that’s true, but I didn’t go to just any beach, we went to a beach kept clean by the town it is in. The town has control of the parking lot, keeps it clean and has life guards so we knew that there would be social distancing there.

We could see this right when we went in, as they had someone showing you where to park, making sure everyone kept one parking lot empty between cars. I saw them stop a car who wanted to park somewhere far away but they made it stop and park where they said so they could keep control of the parking lot.

As we walked to the sand we saw how there weren’t many people or large groups, like there usually are. Because it’s a big beach with not that many people, every group kept it’s distance, both in the sand and water. Yes, we were being watched because, in addition to the lifeguards who are always there and the people in the parking lot, there were also employees telling you where the hand sanitizer was and making sure the distance was kept between groups.

It was so spacious and relaxed that I felt safe swimming farther than I usually do at the beach with no fear of hitting anyone. I had done this twice when the life guard blew the whistle at me, telling me I was doing something wrong. I was in shock; first of all that has never happened to me because I always follow the rules and second I wasn’t doing anything wrong because I was still really far away from the buoys that mark the furthest you can swim. I had no idea what that was about.

Maybe it had something to do with the manatee we later saw hanging around near us. He was probably telling me I was close to the manatee but I didn’t realize it until later. Us and everyone around us were looking at the manatee, waiting for it to stick it’s head back out of the water, wondering why it was there, why it stayed there and why it was alone. Manatees aren’t usually alone.

We were only there for about an hour but I needed that, we all did. That feeling of just being outside and not worrying about anything, especially right now, is just the best. And getting in the cold water was the best both because it was refreshing and because cold water in June means there are no hurricanes coming.

But isn’t that great? We finally go back to the beach and we see a manatee. That almost never happens.

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