Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Beach, Then and Now

We had a fabulous weekend at the beach; the Outer Banks of North Carolina is definitely one of my favorite places!  Growing up in Southern California, I always loved the beach but when we moved to the east coast, I was concerned that I'd never see the ocean.  Happily, I must admit, I was completely wrong since I've now been to the beach several times and while it is a longer drive than before, it is just as fun.  This time though was the first time that we have brought Luke, who at 2 1/2, was beyond thrilled with the waves and building sand castles with Ethan!

The first time I realized how different this trip was going to be was in the car on the way there.  I must confess that I really enjoy road trips and have been wishing for an opportunity to go on a cross country journey.  That trip would take us about three days to get from coast to coast without much stopping.  About an hour and a half into the three hour ride to the beach, I recanted and publicly admitted my gross miscalculation about how enjoyable road trips with children can be.  Luke had discovered that if he said "poop", Ethan would laugh like crazy.  I mean hysterical, roll over, insane asylum type laughter- the type that might make you crazy just listening to it for ten minutes straight, which we did as "poop" was repeated over and over.  Once we got over that, about 45 minutes to our destination (arguing taking place in the meantime between boys), Luke decided to unbuckle his seatbelt so his car seat tipped over as we rounded a bend on the highway.  Apparently, he was bored (and maybe somewhat disappointed that we weren't heading to Disneyland so he decided to create his own thrill ride complete with screaming parents).  So, three days of relaxing cross country sight seeing will not be happening anytime soon.  The airline industry definitely has my business.

When we made it to the beach, I didn't body surf or lay out like I used to; I watched the boys and built a sandcastle which is something I don't think I have done since the fourth grade.  I now think building sandcastles is definitely under-rated.  The giggles as the waves came in and filled up our moat were priceless!  It's funny that the things I used to want to do have changed so dramatically over not too much time.  I used to work on my tan but now I am an obsessive sunscreen girl now that the sun damage horrifically has started to show up just like my mom always said that it would when I refused to put it on.  Oh, the times I pretended not to be sunburned to a lobesteresque degree just to avoid that lecture!  Now, I even wear a hat too and  I feel like I am practically plastering every visible patch of my children's skin with sunscreen.  I realized I was becoming a bit obsessive when I considered putting it on them under their clothes too just in case their rash guards didn't help.  I restrained myself.  But, my good intentions fell short when the wind kept blowing over our umbrella.  Luke tried to hold onto the end of it and giggled as it caught the wind and it blew him down the beach.  Totally reminded me of Mary Poppins when all the nannies get blown away!  My husband, Seth and I took the kids out in the waves instead of body surfing like we used too.  We spent a very long time trying to convince Ethan that it is important to keep one's mouth closed when the wave is coming in since saltwater is really not that enjoyable of a beverage.  It was just a quieter adventure in some ways but really fun and it was so nice to get out and enjoy something that didn't involve cartoon characters or video game remote controllers.  I think the most fun part of our adventure was getting to share something I love with my boys and husband and maybe someday, they'll love it just as much as I do.

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