Friday, August 17, 2007

Beach Day

As far as I'm concerned, it's not summer until I've been to the beach. From the time I was little, I remember family beach trips where my dad would bury me in the sand up to my neck. As a teenager, there were many spur-of-the-moment beach trips with my friend Susie. Just one phone call and we'd be on our way to pick up our favorite deli sandwiches (which we had to guard from the seagulls), put the top down on her convertible VW Bug and head down to Zuma. From Hawaii to the Virgin Islands, I've spent a lot of happy moments at the beach and love going back whenever I can.

Now, with a family of 5 and a husband who doesn't share my love affair with sunshine (to put it mildly), we don't go very often but still manage one or two trips every summer. Usually our favorite spot is Paradise Cove which is a little more secluded and has parking right there, a restaurant and a pier to explore. When we showed up yesterday, however, it felt like the rest of L.A. had gotten there first. Not only was the weather hot hot hot but the beach was crowded and the restaurant was a madhouse. As we sat there sweating and waiting endlessly for our lunch I started questioning the wisdom of leaving my quiet, sand-free backyard pool for the heat, sand and chaos of the beach. We must have looked like some pissed-off Orthodox family, sitting there with our clothes on, huddled in the shade of our umbrella.

After we ate, Julia wanted me to help her get some water for her sandcastle and that's when everything turned around. It was a case of "just add water" and all of a sudden the fun started and the day was perfect. The breeze at the edge of the water was cool and refreshing and it was so hot that the normally icy Pacific water felt positively pleasant. My kids, who until yesterday, steered clear of the cold water eventually made their way closer (after a couple of cold and traumatic waves hit them and hysteria had to be abated) and couldn't get enough. Poor Brady was a little confused for a while. There were a lot of new sensations for him to take in. But by the end of the day even he was having fun playing in the sand with his brother and sister.

I was finding it hard to imagine that a day at the beach could actually turn out bad and I was happy that my predictions were unfounded. My happy beach memories remain intact and we added a few new ones. It doesn't look like we'll be making it back this year. It's just too hard to coordinate with the little one and all our junk and needing an extra body there to help keep an eye on everyone. But I look forward to spending much more time at the beach as the kids get older. The ocean is such a wonderful part of living in California and I'm thrilled that my kids have taken to it and love it as much as I always have.


OneScrappyChick said...

I'm glad your day at the beach turned around! We haven't been to the beach (except on our way to Maine in May) since we moved (it just seems sooooooo far away now)... but once I have wheels again the kids and I will take day trips in the summer (dh doesn't like the beach either).

Anonymous said...

Dang girl, I think we've been to the beach at least once every week since summer started.

If not the beach, it's the lake.


Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

I bet the baby slept all the way home. Looks like it all ended nice.......wish our beach was a little closer and a little warmer. We are a little over an hour to get to the beach, and usually it's windy....but we do have our rare hot days there.

Awesome Abby said...

Wow.....your kids are getting so big and Julia looks just like you!

Tracie said...

I haven't been to the beach in years! I'm not much of a swimmer, I think mostly because I refuse to put on a bathing suit....could be something to that!!!

Glad your beach memories remain intact! Kids all look like they had a blast, they too will cherish those memories. :)

Meghan said...

The ocean is on the wrong side!!!