Home away from home

I sometimes wonder what the children will remember from their childhood.  Which events will connect and anchor the timeline of their lives.

Some how I think sand, sunsets, pajama lounging with cousins, and wave hopping, will figure heavily in those childhood memories.

Every year we (my husband’s family) make the same journey.  The one that is proceeded by weeks of exited anticipation, that begins with loading the minivan to the brim and turning the car west.  The excitement builds as we turn onto the long road the cuts through miles of strawberry fields and ends at the beach house.

Then it is 4 days and 3 nights of fun, play, and food.

The children never sleep in as long as we hope, but who wants to sleep when there things to do, and cousins to hang out with?

We start everyday off with a big breakfast, and a little relaxing.

After clean up it’s children running through the house shedding p.j.s, wrestling on bathing suits, having to be wrangled for sunscreen applications… it’s a little chaotic but in a good way.  We load our arms with cumbersome beach chairs, blankets, snack bags, and sand toys, and finally make it down to the sand.

(the beach house we rent)

The kids are at that great stage, where the beach provides endless hours of entertainment and they are old enough that we don’t have to constantly supervise them.

The weather could not have been nicer.  Upper 60′s, low 70′s, all sunshine and only a slight breeze.  The weather is always the big unknown factor in our trips to the beach.  We anxiously check the 10-day forecast in the days proceeding the trip, wondering if we are going to be stuck inside with 8 wild children :)

Fortunately, we had lots of room to roam.

I love sandcastles.  Every year we make one.  I don’t even try to pretend that it’s for the children.  It’s all about me ;)

G spent hours roaming the beach collecting all kinds of treasures.

The little girls chatted happily and filled pail after pail full of sand.

E picked up any and everything she found.  Decaying sand crabs?  You betcha!  Slimy, stinky seaweed? Oh yeah!

They never got tired of running through the water and jumping the waves.

Uncle E. doing what uncles do best… horsing around with the kiddos.

When we weren’t on the beach Grandma W. made sure there were lots of fun inside activities.

Cardboard houses for coloring and playing in.  Movies for the afternoon, and play dough on the patio.

The very last day J worked up the courage to try the boogie board.  He was nervous and jumpy at first but once he got on and rode a little wave, he was totally hooked!  I wish he hadn’t waited until the last day to try it,  but there’s always next year.

The whole boogie boarding crew (minus Aunt Andrea who was riding a wave while this picture was being taken).

As we packed up and headed back down the long road that leads away from the beach house, I hear J say quietly from the back seat, “I wish we could live here forever”.  We smile and remind him that if we lived here it wouldn’t really be special, and he would get bored.  But in our hearts we wish we could too.

16 thoughts on “Home away from home

  1. foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown

    aww! that looks like the best of times! and, it makes me anxious for our own beach excursions this summer…i just love little people in swimsuits and playing on the sand! it is such a busy time with little people, but your son summed it up so well with his ‘wish we could live there forever’ comment. makes you know they loved it and will remember fondly!

  2. smilesbymiles

    How FUN!  I just love, love, love the ocean.  It’s like one huge, happy playground where you never have to watch someone to make sure they don’t bump into anything. :)  And how great that you get to do this every year … that will go down in your little ones’ memory banks for sure!

  3. redladybug18

    How fun! That looks so relaxing! It’s been years since I visited the beach but with this weather we’re having and your post, I wish I was there right now ;)
    Love the cardboard houses!  where in the world did you find those?

  4. ABAHM

    Such a wonderful trip.  So glad you had some of this fabulous January weather.  It feels more like summer than summer did! Memories with cousins are so great.  Ours revolve around the holidays.  Many family memories of pines and swings and the mountains with the boys for our summer vacations. 

  5. pettybunch

    Oh, it looks like such a wonderful time! I have to admit that I shivered when you said the kids swam in 60-70 degree weather! I’m a 90 – 100 degree swimmer!

    Fun times with cousins is definitely the best! It was wonderful to read of your tradition.

  6. fruitloops115

    *sigh of envy* that just looks like the perfect little extended family vacation!  And your house was right on the beach, how great is that? As Abbi gets older I am getting more convinced that the beach was made for kids and kids for the beach. She loves it in a way so very much, more then I, who am lugging all the stuff for the outing,  ever will  

  7. WildWomanOfTheWest

    You all look as though you had a glorious time!  I love playing in the sand, too.  But, I have to admit something, the only time I got to dip my toes into the Pacific was when I was twelve, and I tinkled my pants.Twelve!

    I guess that explains why I am such a land lover. 

  8. Richgem

    You are so blessed to have been able to go and have fun beach-family time! I aDORE the ocean and the beach. Being there has such a healing effect on me. I can almost hear the seagulls…I hope they were  there!


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