Camille organized a little beach bon fire but when we got down to Balboa there were signs everywhere saying we could only burn charcoal in the fire pits. No worries, we lit a fire merely by the power of our rage.
It turns out that Balboa, Newport and Corona Del Mar have all banned wood burning fires. And Southern California culture as we know it has died. We drove up to Huntington in tears. Because who goes to Huntington for bon fires? Their pits are like a mile away from the water. I may have driven up PCH with my windows down screaming, "You're dumb!"
Basically what has happened is the people who live nearby, and who no doubt have ties to the SCAQMD and coastal commission, complained about the smoky air and noise coming from the public beaches and killed all the joy in the world. YOU BOUGHT A HOME RIGHT BY A PUBLIC BEACH!!!!! If you wanted a pristine beach experience MOVE TO A PRIVATE ISLAND!!!! STOP MESSING WITH SACRED THINGS! Bon fires are essential to our lifestyle. There is zero appeal to sitting around a pit full of charcoal. It would be like telling a Texan he has to barbecue his brisket on a George Forman Grill. It just isn't acceptable. When my cousin Sarah showed up and we told her that we may never be able to have a bon fire at Balboa again she said, "And did Disneyland close too?" Because that's how integral it is.
Naturally, I am starting a vigorous and extensive letter writing campaign. I have already joined Friends of the Fire Ring and have stared composing letters to SCAQMD, the mayor of Newport Beach, and the California Coastal Commission. If I'm reading the rules correctly it seems like all we need to do is move the fire pits 100 feet apart from each other. Can't we find a boy scout who needs an eagle project? Let's make this happen. If we can get the fire pits back I promise to throw a giant beach party the likes of which have not been seen since Frankie and Annette hung out with the gang in Beach Blanket Bingo. We will light the biggest fire and dance around it with wild abandon.
We still managed to have a good time at Huntington and I made the perfect s'more. I mean, seriously, it was a revelation. But it really only emphasized just how much this is a part of my life and how much I would miss it. There is something magical about sitting around a fire with your friends on a cool night at the beach.
Dear Orange County,
I'm going to cut you off and shove you out to the ocean so you can be your own island and Chino can enjoy beach front property with fire pits that burn wood.
Hugs and Kisses, Rachel.