Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Beach-Free Summer

Ok, I’m going to come clean on squandering proximity to the beach. We’ve been to the Fenwick Island area about five or six times since May and we have spent maybe three hours at the beach. It feels wrong to spend the weekend at the ocean and not spend anytime there, but I partially blame nature for keeping us away. If it’s not raining, it’s a land breeze day and the green heads are unbearable. And if that’s not the case, it’s a heat index of 115!

Oh, and then there is the realization that taking a two and four year-old to the beach is almost more trouble than it’s worth. It was one thing making the annual trip to the Outer Banks and being within a two minute walk to the beach. But packing the kids and car, lugging the crap over the dunes, setting up the umbrella, sweating through your shirt only to then be attacked by the flies – it’s a tough sell.

The last time we were at the beach (a few weeks ago) we bought the yearly pass for the Delaware State Parks thinking that it would encourage us to make short trips to the beach since we wouldn’t be worried about wasting $8 on a botched 30-minute trip to the beach. Well, as soon as I paid for the pass, carried all of our “gear” down to the beach, set up the chairs and two umbrellas – the green heads struck with a vengeance! And they always strike the same way – they start biting me first, then they bite our four year-old, and then they bite the two year-old. And when the girls get bit – they lose their freaking minds! So, within the span of 30-45 minutes, we’ve paid $50 for an annual pass and lugged four chairs, two umbrellas, numerous buckets and sand toys, and 65+ pounds of children over the dunes, down the beach, and back again. Good times.

We tried the beach again the next day. This time, we are blessed with a sea breeze and the flies are nowhere to be seen. But now, my two year-old makes it abundantly clear that the ocean is a terrifying thing (at least in her mind). She won't get within 30 feet of it, and when my wife goes for a swim, my daughter just shouts "mommy, mommy, come back. I scared, I scared." It's as if she's been watching Jaws rather than Yo Gabba Gabba and princess movies.

So maybe I'm throwing in the (beach) towel? Is taking young kids to the beach is just more trouble than it's worth? I'll try again this weekend. Here's hoping for good weather, sea breezes, and patience.

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