My vision of an ideal afternoon is being able to indulge in two of my absolute favorite things - music and the beach. Any music junkie worth her salt has a playlist for every occasion, and an afternoon stroll on the beach is no exception.
Of course the music anyone wants to walk to on the beach is always a matter of taste. But I've always found that the lazy rhythms of reggae and ska and the soothing vocals of bossa nova are the perfect complement to the whisper of an afternoon sea breeze, the gentle lap of waves on the shore, and the stunning beauty of a summer sunset. I also include songs that are not bossa or reggae that are happy and carefree and give voice to my exhilaration at being somewhere I've always loved. It's great accompaniment to the watching the world go by.
What follows is the sample track list from my happy, hodge-podge seaside mix-tape.
Every Breath You Take - UB40
Baby I Love Your Way - Big Mountain
Summer Samba - Bebel Gilberto
Glorious - Natalie Imbruglia
Waters of March - Sergio Mendes
Wouldn't It Be Nice - Beach Boys
Everyday is a Holiday - Esthero
I Can See Clearly Now - Jimmy Cliff
It's Not Easy - Marcos Valle
Hey Look at the Sun - Sitti Navarro
Do I Need a Reason - D' Sound
Any Lucky Penny - Nikki Hassman
Copernicus - Basia
Ooh Child - Marvin Gaye
More Today than Yesterday - Spiral Staircase
Can't Take my Eyes Off You - Fugees
Say a Little Prayer - Diana King
Here Comes the Sun - The Beatles
Bliss - Alice Peacock
No Woman, No Cry - Bob Marley
Underneath It All - No Doubt
Getting Better - Smashmouth
Carribean Blue - Big Mountain
Violet Sky - Keri Noble
Angel - Shaggy
Breathe - Michelle Branch
Don't Worry, Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin
Like a Lover - Sergio Mendes
Before the Summer is Gone - The Company
Do You Believe in Magic - The Turtles
Just No Ordinary Day - Sofia
Beach Samba - Astrud Gilberto
Lemonade Afternoon - The Company
How Sweet It Is - Marvin Gaye
Waiting in Vain - Bob Marley
Yesterday afternoon, I finally got to walk around the island as planned - though I had to do it in two parts. I took the east side of the island early in the morning, then the west side of the island in the afternoon after work with a long, leisurely pause to watch the sun set on another day. To someone who grew up on the fever pitch and the unsettling stress of the rush hour commute, this is a form of heaven.
In my perfect world, I would live a stone's-throw away from a beautiful beach, be able to quit work in time for sunset, and be able to trade my white coat for the hat of a beach bum every single day.
Beach junkies will all agree.