You've all heard people say it, I know I have. It's either "I love the beach!" or "Ugh, I hate the beach, let's go to the mountains." It seems that everyone has their favorite and the opposite is to be vilified and despised. I'm a mountain girl, through and through. Alas, I'm currently at the beach.
Among the many reasons I'm not a "beach girl" are that I'm fair skinned and burn easily, and the heat (WHY are we here in late July?) just disables me for days if I stay out too long and, last but not least, I'm a tenderfoot, so walking on the sand littered with crunchy shells and seaweed is pretty much torture.
So you might well ask why the heck I'm at the beach. Well, it's all about love. My husband and sons are beach lovers. So are their cousins and my brother and sister-in-law. Since I love them, I'm steadily, year by year, working on loving the beach experience. :> They are ecstatically surfing/boogie boarding and soaking in the rays. I'm in an Internet cafe talking to you. Trust me, we're all happier that way. Thankfully, the Delaware town in which we're staying, namely Bethany Beach, HAS an Internet cafe. (There's no phone or internet at the newly-renovated house in which we're staying.) This way I'm connected to my writing pals, my friends and family, so despite the heat and the "beachness" of it all, I'm content.
In fact, for all that I really dislike the beach, I can find a lot about which to be happy. This is one of the great times of year where I get to hang out with my husband for extended periods of time. My brother and sister-in-law will watch our boys and let us go for a walk or catch a movie without it costing us $100. (Babysitters and movie tickets are expensive in DC) The boys are in heaven because they get to play with their cousins, act macho, run wild, scream, yell, chase gulls, and eat BBQ from the grill. We grill at home, but somehow, it's just better at the beach, according to my sons. Then there's the ice cream.
It's a family tradition that every night we all walk to a specific ice cream place and eat a variety of weird flavors or sprinkles. Just because. To my joy, my sons are building memories of shared fun, creating relationships with their cousins who live far enough away that we don't see them often, and growing wiser and stronger every day.
My eldest son is learning to boogie board, tutored by his proud and knowing older cousins. My younger son is enthralled with the ability to dig large, messy holes in the sand without getting fussed at for ruining a flower bed or anything else. He's in heaven. My husband doesn't have to do anything but play with his sons, take walks with me, and finish leftover ice cream cones the boys can't manage. No pesky work. He's in heaven too.
So, even though I'm at the (ugh) beach, even though I wilt in the heat and don't leave the house much except after dark, I'm in heaven too. Watching them explore, hearing about their exploits - which they proudly recount in great detail - makes the experience magical.
What are some of your magic moments? Are you a beach or mountain gal/guy? Did you ever vacation with your family and extended family, and if so, where? What did YOU do on your summer vacation?