I love the beach. I love vacationing with my family. We share a beach house and we lounge, read, play games, cook and eat and drink yummy things and share the responsibility of keeping the children alive.
Watching your mini me run and jump and scream with delight in the surf and swim out past the breakers like a boss is just bliss. Ok, a tiny boss who is carried by me through the breakers at the exact right moment based on ten minutes of close observation of wave patterns, and then allowed to swim unhindered for 8 second intervals while I watch less than arm’s length away and silently curse and swear in the direction of imaginary sharks, tsunamis, Portuguese Man O’ War, giant squids, rip tides and undertows. Respect the ocean, yo.
It’s glorious to arrive at a big, clean, airy beach house, throw your stuff in drawers and dash to the beach. Your senses have a field day – feel the hot sun, the shock of the first wave on your feet, the bracing first dive under, smell the coconuty sunscreen. Hear the waves crash and the seagulls argue over rogue bits of dropped sandwich crusts.
Families splash and swim and read and play. There is so much smiling at the beach. Even from Kevin.
I even love heading back to the house. Rinsing the sand off, going for a run on that hot beach town pavement, getting back in time to shower before snack time. Everyone shuffles in, shares a bite and a drink. Dinner plans are solidified.
I love eating on vacation.
To feel the pop as you bite into the first ear of corn, to taste the trip’s first good seafood or barbecue, then, later to sit around a beach house table and play games, while the kids chase each other in their PJs. Once they head to bed, tan and tired, the adults share drinks and stories and laughs, fighting over music tastes (if I hear that Toes in the Water, Ass in the sand song again…grr!)
There are trips to neighboring towns for sightseeing, shopping and getting the kids to quit whining.
And evening walks to see the sunset.
And kid-free adventures courtesy of the grandparents.
There are walks into town.
And lots of ice cream.
Leaving the beach stinks. The drive home is the worst. But once everything is unpacked, poking around to see what the garden produced and monkeying around on the swing set just feels like home.