I remember the perfect beach day because it occurred to me at the time that it was just that. Although I often traveled the 30 or so miles to the coast to take my kids for a day at the beach, this day was special. As I sat in the little flowing trough of saltwater watching the kids play, I felt that it was a time I would always remember. It stands out instead of blending in with all the normal beach excursion memories.
Getting ready for the beach is a chore, with sunscreen to apply, sandwiches, chips and drinks (lots of drinks) to pack. Fill the empty ice tea jug with fresh water to rinse the sand off our feet, and keep the car somewhat clean. Don’t forget to grab enough towels, the boogie boards, skim boards (and wax), folding chairs, beach toys, hats, t-shirts, flip flops, and sunglasses. Getting home means unpacking, rinsing, showering, eating (everyone is always hungry no matter how much food you bring to the beach), and wondering who got a burn? (It will really show up later on if someone missed a spot with the sunscreen.)
But once we hit the causeway bridge that crosses the Intracoastal Waterway and the water is in view, the anticipation heightens as we know it’s almost time to enjoy the ocean once again. I never got tired of it. And I was always jealous of those who were able to live so close, not to mention right on the shore. No packing up, just walk out the door. But, no matter, we were lucky enough to live only a half hour away, and we could enjoy the beach often.
Usually we went to New Smyrna Beach and drove onto the sand. Sometimes we’d travel further down to Bethune Beach where it tended to be a lot less crowded. There, we had to walk onto the beach and drag all our things with us. But this wonderful day I remember took place at New Smyrna, I believe. Truthfully, once you are on the sand and in the water it’s all the same. But the tide was low (my favorite) and there were little sand bars showing that held in enough water to make little flowing pools. And that was perfect for the young kids. I remember my daughter played with her friends “swimming” and digging and making sand castles. The older kids went boogie-boarding, while us moms lounged in the very warm “pool” and talked about something. It was a glorious day.
The beach is always different. I never stayed all day. We would spend 3 hours max because of the sun. I would watch the tides when planning our day trips, because if the tide was high, I didn’t like the fact that the kids would be playing in the sand very close to the area where the cars traveled. Low tide was best, and low tide with sand bars and little tide pools was excellent.
And that one perfect day, spent with my friends, watching our kids enjoy that magnificent beach, is the one that stands out above all the others.
(Photo credit: fartheststar at Pixabay)