One of our must-visit places in the area when family (or anyone else) visits is Kronkhite. Officially, Rodeo Beach at Fort Kronkhite in the Marin Headlands. We always called it Kronkhite. Now, in my own little bit of family, we call it La Playa Fria. Because it is.
When I moved back to the Bay Area, this is one of the first places I went with my husband. I warned him it would be cold. I don’t think he believed me, or maybe I just elicited Stubborn Husband. Maybe he wore a long-sleeved shirt. Certainly no sweater or jacket or hat. Next time we went, he decided he was too macho to let the cold get him, but it was one of the coldest times I’ve ever spent on this beach. The Wind! Oh, it was an epic wind. My ears hurt, even wearing a hat.
Thus, La Playa Fria.
We always search for carnelians in the sand. Tiny specks of clear red. And we always find a few and other bits and pieces of earth and sea. Everyone in my family has a treasure trove of little rocks from this beach. A family my mother babysat for covered their kitchen cupboard pulls with theirs.
In the years we’ve (collectively) been going there, the lagoon has been restored and made into a sanctuary of some kind or other, and the pelicans have come back. Mom says my grandfather would be so happy. This was one of their good walks.
I’ve lived most of my life in places new to my family. One of the curiosities of living in the SF Bay Area is knowing my parents grew up here, and their parents built their lives and families here. Mom used to drive into Oakland to the Food Mill to get freshly ground flour with her father. Mom and Tia Nana picked blackberries all over Marin. They spent summers at Stinson. Dad was around, too, on the Peninsula, surfing, building telescopes. I don’t know his stories – we’re not often around his growing-up areas.
That Kid up there is Generation Four at La Playa Fria. He was a few weeks old his first visit. And here he is, about to use this really cool treasure I found (Dried seaweed still attached to a rock! How could I resist?) as a wrecking ball.