SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diegans would not let a lingering marine layer or chilly ocean breeze keep them from heading to beaches to unofficially kick off summer.
“I've been here for 30 minutes, I feel like I'm already starting to get my tan,” said Charlie Hopper, who got to Del Mar’s Dog Beach around 1 p.m. Saturday.
Hopper's day couldn’t have been more typical: volleyball, football, a swim, with a California burrito for lunch. Of course, that’s what made it so special.
Last year, he spent Memorial weekend inside, amid Coronavirus restrictions, making a TV dinner.
“Covid felt like 40 years and so it was just not fun,” said Hopper, an Encinitas resident.
A year ago, Memorial Weekend hit in the early months of the outbreak. At the time, beaches were only open for exercise and boardwalks were closed. Police instructed those who tried to sit on stop on the beach to move along.
Now, social distancing restrictions are lifting amid widening vaccine distribution.
San Diego lifeguards say with the outbreak winding down and more out-of-towners coming in, they're expecting larger than normal crowds for the holiday weekend.
San Diego Police have increased patrols for the weekend. They are reminding beachgoers that alcohol and glass are not allowed on beaches, and bonfires are only allowed in designated fire pits.
At Dog Beach in Oecan Beach, Mike Dodson and Sara Thompson took their two Boston terriers, Doc and Gunner, for a day out in the sand.
“We brought a frisbee, we brought lawn chairs and we brought dogs, that oughta keep us busy,” Thompson said.
But it wasn't a mad rush to the beaches Saturday.
Around 11:30 a.m., with the marine layer above and a chilly breeze on the ground, multiple parking spots were still available in the lot near dog beach in O.B.
“It's chilly and Monday is supposed to be a lot sunnier and nicer, and tomorrow as well. I think a lot of people are just waiting,” Thompson said.
And this year, the beaches will be wide open whenever they decide to go.