After many months of “getting settled” and unexpected food blogging, Casey and I finally went on an adventure. A beach adventure. He’s been wanting to go to the beach for a long time now. Every Sunday, he would hope to be off from work and, if he was, he would hope to go to the beach. It never quite came together until last Sunday.
If you’re wondering, “Why only Sunday?” it’s because traffic is amazingly awful the rest of the week and, somehow, there is very little traffic on Sundays. I don’t know where everyone goes. During the week, there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of people walking the streets and driving in their cars and yet, they disappear on Sunday. They go to church in the morning, and then I guess they just relax and visit with family the rest of the day. It is commonly said here that “Sunday is the day of rest” and people take that quite literally. If you ask someone to do something for you, they will refuse simply on the basis that it is Sunday.
Anyway! That was a long spiel. So we woke up in the morning and Casey suggested that we go to the beach. I agreed. We thought we’d be nice and asked a couple housekeepers here if they wanted to go with us. One said no. The other was at his house far away and couldn’t get transportation to meet us at our apartment. Casey decided to ask his pilot friends if they wanted to come, but we couldn’t get ahold of anybody. In the end, we just went on our own.
Casey’s been to the beach many times (and me just a few) but we have never driven ourselves. We always had a local driver. Therefore, we vaguely knew the way but weren’t fully positive. We got on the freeway and took a wrong turn somewhere heading inland instead of toward the coast. I pulled out my phone to use Google Maps, which isn’t 100% accurate in Lagos, but it’s good enough and much better than using nothing. We got stuck in heavy traffic for a while with people heading to church, and then we took some side roads to get back in the direction we wanted to go. I snapped the photo below of a truck loaded with empty water containers. They love to stack things around here.
We finally got on the correct freeway and, thirty minutes later, stopped at Domino’s Pizza for lunch on the way! This is the same location which we had been to once before. We’ve been wanting to go back for a while but haven’t had the time. I was SO excited when we turned onto the street and saw the building. I had successfully navigated us! And Casey had successfully driven us to Victoria Island! It was quite an accomplishment.
We ordered a pepperoni, sausage, and mushroom pizza to go, but Casey couldn’t wait until we got to the beach, so we each had a slice in the car. It was delicious! I make a good thin crust pizza (that NY style crust) but I haven’t figured out how to make the pan pizza crust yet, so this was a welcomed treat! Casey snapped the photo of the boxes looming in the back seat. I think if I had been driving, he would have eaten the whole pizza on his own and left me the crumbs! No, he’s nicer than that. He would have left me one slice. :) I also ordered some chicken nuggets to try and they were quite good as well.
We asked the employees at Domino’s how to get to Alfa Beach and they said, “After the toll gate, pass five roundabouts and then it’s on your right.” Casey had been to Alfa Beach many times and it was always decent. So… we passed the toll gate… then passed five roundabouts (one with a sci-fi-esque sculpture) and turned right. We drove about a mile and reached the beach. In hindsight, we think we ended up at Lekki Beach instead, but it was still very nice. Alfa Beach might have been by the sixth roundabout. But who cares: we made it to the beach! And it looked safe. That’s all we needed to know.
Casey created a lovely setup underneath our black umbrella by scooping out the sand and making little indents for seats. I put a towel under my side since I didn’t want to get sand all over me. A local lady came by and gave us a huge, purple umbrella, so we set that up too. It was great! The day was warm and humid, so it was really nice to be in some shade. There was a slight breeze which carried some sea-mist with it every so often. We could have been at any tropical location. Take your pick.
I just love Casey’s Baywatch photo below. Not that I’ve ever actually seen Baywatch, but everyone knows the classic running-in-the-water pose. Those waves were CRAZY! The surf is incredibly rough out here. I’m not sure how it works, but the waves are huge and they crash right next to the sand without much room to gently glide up the beach. How would you describe it? The waves just crash on top of each other and the beach juts up at an angle so you can’t boogie-board very well, otherwise you hit a wall of sand. I doubt my description makes much sense, but just know that it’s not the best swimming beach. Casey loved to tackle it though and he jumped in a few times. I’ve swam before on other trips, but I didn’t have the energy to fight through it that day. I did get my feet wet though. Actually, the wave caught me off guard so I got wet up to my waist, but it was fine. The water was super warm, like bath water. I guess that’s what you get living by the equator.
Here’s our one picture of the actual beach. That’s me on the shore! Other than being really humid, it was a lovely day. The sand was reasonably clean. There is always trash on the beach, unfortunately, but it wasn’t overwhelming like other beaches we’ve been to in Lagos. The palm trees were beautiful – a real tropical paradise. I picked up a few pretty shells to commemorate “our first beach trip as an engaged couple.” Silly me. At first, I had wanted someone else to come along with us, but it really turned out to be a nice day for the two of us. We didn’t have to entertain anyone, so we just relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. After being cooped up in our one room shack for so long, it was actually quite nice to be out and about. I never want to leave the building since it’s such a hassle to get anywhere, but I was glad in the end that we attempted to go somewhere fun.
Not many locals swim in the water (I’m not sure if they know how to swim), but they love to sit in the sand and let the water wash over them. It’s quite amusing when a big wave hits them unexpectedly. This particular group of girls asked if they could take a picture with us. Casey reluctantly let them. For some reason, people love to take pictures with us. I guess seeing white people has some novelty for them… although I would think by now that it wouldn’t be so exciting to see a foreigner. Alas. They were happy.
We stayed for a couple hours and then decided to head home around 3:00 PM. On the drive back, we stopped by ShopRite to buy some groceries. Casey picked up one of his favorite drinks – an apple soda called La Casera. It topped off a very pleasant day.
Oh, I almost forgot to explain the title of this post. Everyone loves to honk their horns here for, usually, no apparent reason. While I was thinking about the blog, Casey randomly said, “Keep your horns in your house” and I thought that would make for a catchy title.