I love the beach. I remember my uncle taking us to the beach every Sunday afternoon. We would all pile into his big red car, 3 adults and 5 little kids. One adult and one child sitting next to the driver, five in the backseat. No seatbelts!

The vastness of the aquamarine sea and the golden sand is breathtaking and calming at the same time. Looking at the horizon we often wondered as kids if that is indeed the edge of the earth we are seeing. The heat made our skins warm and our cheeks rosy. We learned later on that we got sunburned because we knew nothing about sunblock. Oh well, that’s what aloe vera and cornstarch is for right? The hot sand underneath our feet and the cool water that soothed it afterwards felt divine. We enjoyed the heavy wet sand that playfully buried us but hated the clingy grains that annoyingly followed us home. A trip to the beach always called for snacks. My aunt would pack various treats like puto, a steamed rice cake that is slightly sweet and had a mild anise flavor; fruits like green mangoes to be dipped in shrimp paste and a variety of biscuits. Yummy!! But we always, always had several bottles of warm Coca Cola in colorful Tupperware cups. To this day the syrupy taste of Coke always reminds me of trips to the beach. It was all quite heavenly!

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