We finally made it to the beach this weekend. I know, I know, we’ve been living on an island for the last two years. Why has this been our first trip to the beach??
Mainly, we’re not beach people. I could handle it a lot better if we lived on the beach, or rented a house within walking distance of it. When I was a kid, my parents and extended family would rent a beach house right on the shores of Lake Michigan. Those were the best summers of my life. We’d get up early, scarf down some breakfast, and spend all day, every single day, in the water or on the sand. Our next-door neighbors had a trampoline, and we’d bounce and bounce and bounce if we got tired of swimming. My cousin Aubrey and I would share a room upstairs, and we’d fall asleep to the sound of the waves, the scent of the lake air, and the lights of the pier glinting off the ceiling. Some nights I almost felt like I was on a boat since I had been in the water all day, and my body still felt the rocking of the waves.
But that’s when I was a kid, and I didn’t have the adult concerns of getting sand everywhere, or driving home in a wet suit. Besides, we were living on the water. I could come “home” every evening and immediately jump in the shower. Sand wasn’t an issue. Sunburns were — I almost always burnt my back to a crisp. Not good, I know, but I either wore off the sunscreen that my mom insisted on, or I slipped out of the house before she could pin me down.
See, Kurt isn’t a fan of the sun for just that reason. We are fair, fair people, even though Kurt gets pretty brown in the summertime. Plus he easily gets hot in the sun, and he’s rather light-sensitive. He’s getting better about wearing hats that also shade his eyes so he doesn’t get a headache, but it’s still not hard for him to get too much sun. That’s also why we rarely go to the pool here in our neighborhood — there’s just no shade. It would also help if the pool were actually open instead of being broken all summer long, but that’s a rant for another day.
When we were kids, we also didn’t have to worry about parking since we were already there. Even the beach for the locals was charging $20 a day to park, which was slightly painful seeing as we were only there for two or three hours. That, and there wasn’t enough parking to boot. We arrived when it was chilly and foggy, so foggy that boats would suddenly and drastically emerge from the mist as they came near to shore.
After an hour or so, the sun came out and burned off the fog — and the temperatures skyrocketed. It became perfect beach weather, and the cold ocean water felt so dang good. Kurt and I passed ME back and forth between us so we each could swim and carouse with our visiting friends.
Doesn’t that look lovely? That photo is taken slightly right of the first; the shoreline was covered by fog in the first photo. So as we were leaving, there was quite a line to park at that beach, and the traffic for the more populated beaches was simply insane. Why anyone would wait for an hour to park at the beach, I will never understand.
But we had a great time. ME discovered sand and enjoyed getting it everywhere. Grace occupied herself by covering herself with sand, rinsing it off in the ocean, and covering herself with sand once more. Right as we were getting ready to leave, I had her rinse off once more — only to see her plop down in the sand again. Gahh! This happened time after time after time. And ME managed a sunburn, even though she was slathered with sunscreen. Note to self — buy a shade for the baby. Even I’m burnt; my back won’t quit itching.
So in general, even though we had a blast, I am not sure it’s worth it in future. I’d rather stay at home and throw Grace outside in the kiddie pool or in the sprinkler while Mary Ellen gets in her afternoon nap. I don’t mind being outside, but I think half my problem was I forgot my book. I hate having downtime without being able to read.
Maybe one day we’ll rent a house on the beach so that Grace and ME can have the same awesome memories that I have as a child. That, I think, would be ideal. Until then, we’ll just keep our trips to the beach to a minimum.