Ahhh, the beach.
Relaxing days lazily flipping through magazines, or the latest novel your best friend just finished. An even tan, golden, maybe a little rosy across your cheeks. Hair bleached just around your face, kissed from the sun. Quiet dinners surf-side with a glass of crisp, cool wine — or maybe, just maybe, a cocktail (or three), followed by a long and restful night’s sleep.
Breakfast in bed, with the windows open so that the fresh ocean air breezes gently in and around the room. Back to the beach mid-morning, only to start it all over again.
Or, at least, that’s how it USED to be. Fifteen years ago.
Now, like many of you, a beach vacation is nothing more than a week long endurance race.
“Are we there yet? How much longer? How long would it be if there wasn’t any traffic? Can we walk there from here? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? ARE WE THERE YET?”
Then (shew!) we finally DO get there and….
Up a half-hour before at dawn, breakfast like a short-order cook, exhaustedly tirelessly hauling umbrellas, chairs, blankets, towels, beach shovels, buckets, backpacks, juice boxes, snacks, and the beloved dump truck that I had to schlep back to the house for one day because I forgot it – imagine that?.
All by 8:30 a.m. Every. Single. Day.
Oh, did I mention bringing money down to the beach? Yes, also cash. Because, you see, the beach now has vendors right there, evenly spaced among the entrances so that no vendor is more than 100 feet away from where you place your towels. With things like $2 bags of goldfish, and $1 Dum-Dum lollipops. It’s a steal of a deal for them.
You know who is completely and maniacally obsessed with loves that? My six year old. That’s who. Oh, and icing on the cake (so to speak) is the Planet Ice slushee truck that drives up and down the beach, starting promptly at 11 a.m.
Not that I don’t like slushees. Who doesn’t like slushees? But incessant, “Mommy did you bring the money? Mom! Money, we need $4! Mom, MOM!”
Like nails on a chalk board.
But really, beach vacations with small children are still unforgettable, and totally worth every exhausted step. And now that my kids are a little older, I was able to sit down for a while and watch them play, rather than run around furiously trying to make my youngest stop eating sand.
Sit and almost relax!
By the way, this year’s favorite beach snack? Clementines. Juicy, portable, and on sale at the grocery store, they were perfect.
Not exactly Planet Ice, but almost.