Its strictly woman and children who come with us on these trips these days. It seems the men were voted out years ago and with the exception of my son, we kind of like it that way. We take over the house for a week, planning easy meals, ice cream for dessert, and plenty of laughter. In the evenings after a walk to the pier, you can find us at the dining room table playing board games, laughing and poking fun at each others answers, sometimes with the rules, and sometimes not- so- much!
There is an ease and a comfort in our vacation routine. Its easy and we like it like that. We are slow to rise and our mornings feel like a real vacation. There's no rushing to get to whatever adventures that are conjured out of boredom and no pressure to make a dinner we don't have the energy to make. We don't feel the need for too many activities and if we have spent a good few hours reading magazines and diving into a good book it is an afternoon well spent in our eyes. The TV isn't always blaring which truthfully is something that is music to all of our ears. When the need to be antisocial hits there are enough corners in this vintage boarding house where privacy isn't an issue. Then in a short time we emerge and are pleasantly rested and ready to play well with others again.
Our routine goes something like this, after what seems that everyone has risen, toasted themselves a bagel and we have had our second cup of coffee, we start THINKING about getting dressed for a day at the beach. Usually that's around 11 or so, once the clouds have burned off, and the summers sun is out to greet us. If its later in the summer we don't have the marine layer as much and could technically start our day much earlier, but we don't. Once it is felt all around it is time to hit the beach, we pull out the sandwich meats, cheeses, bags of chips, fruit and cookies with each our own paper bags and EVERYONE packs their own lunches, even the kids. Then the sunscreen is sprayed, beach bags packed, and flip flops are on, we start making the three block trek down the sand and lifeguard station one. With boogie-boards in tow, a shovel and bucket for sand crabs, we make our way to edge of sand, just above where the tides have formed a slight ledge and plant our chairs close enough to see our own children at the waters edge.
At the end of the day we head for a walk on the pier and look down to what are other's are doing on the very beach we had spent the afternoon on.
The girls are older now, craving even tan lines and littler and littler bikinis than the previous summer. There is a sense of pride I feel for them, for they work so hard in their various sports and have earned the right to show off their lean and strong bodies, yet I am often pulled by strong, protective instinct to shield the eyes of what seems to be droves of creepy onlookers at any given time. I have adapted though... sort of... but let the girls know, that not everywhere are people so comfortable with so much skin. One person missed on this trip was my oldest daughter...she now has a job...how fast things change and I am not always prepared for them.