As ever, I'm desperate for glamour, and a sucker for romance, and therefore packing my beach bag as if the task was also to describe my idea of a dream date. This is a spontaneous Tuesday evening in Encinitas, California. Pre-sunset. The two of us make our way toward the water in time to watch the surfers ride their last few waves, and the southwest swells in August bring out all the best talent. Nearby, a family poses for a selfie in front of the day's project: a ridiculously large and lopsided sandcastle. We laugh. The seagulls miraculously relocate to the trash bins by the parking lot. Everybody else goes home—it's just us and the ocean now.
The sky is as orange and awe-striking as this floral slip dress, the sand still warm and soft to the touch, like this breezy button up (a post golden hour essential). We lay out this lush, leopard-print towel and unpack the snacks you spent hours preparing. I might have told you a thousand times, but how did you know I would die for artisanal chips and Castelvetrano olives? When you suggest we open a bottle of limited edition amber wine, I pretend to be surprised, but you know I didn't bring these handcrafted vino vessels for nothing. After a very generous pour, you carefully slide these Bottega Veneta sunglasses off my face and pause to take a closer look. A single tear trickles down your cheek as you tell me that the best view is... me.