Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Virtual Vacation! Join Me!

It's almost time for my long awaited beach vacation and I figure why not share a little of it with you (virtually). So grab a towel, some tanning lotion, and your tongs (the flip floppy shoes, not the bathing suit nonbottom) Sorry, but this is a family vacation ;)

The best part of this being a virtual vacation is you get to pick where we go. Maybe Hawaii, the Florida Keys, Jamaica, Canary Islands, the South of France... It's your choice as long as it's a beach.

Here we go...cue the sea gulls, salt scented breezes, and gentle lapping waves...

We follow a path through the tall, swaying sea grass. The path, made of sun bleached pieces of shells and rocks perfectly rounded and shined by the ebb and flow of countless tides, crunches and sways under foot. At the crest of the dune we are greeted by a dazzling light show of a million splintered sun rays reflecting off the endless ripples. Each new movement looks like gem stones dancing on the water's surface. Stunned, we pause here, take a deep breath and feel the first layers of stress melt away.

We walk down the path and get chills as our feet move from the hard, cool path onto the warm sand. At first, the temperature change is welcome along with the sand crystals that have spilled onto our sandals and under our feet. Very quickly the heat becomes almost too much and we are forced to run to the water's edge to cool off. The kids are already elbow deep in the wet sand, digging out the prefect foundation for their mermaid castle.

We find a spot a little further back in the softer sand and spread our blankets and sit back to enjoy the views; the children forming a water chain to fill their mote, the water swelling and gently crashing on the shore, dolphins playing in the distance...

At this point the word stress no longer has any meaning, besides to describe the lines on the binding of the book in my lap.

Ahhhh...... wasn't that nice?

Ok, so now that I've shared a virtual vacation with you it's only fair I share a little of the reality vacation too. For this one you will need: a towel, (if they're all not in a funky wet heap on the bathroom floor from yesterday's beach day) real sun block, (SPF 100 or higher, the real sun is a killer) a sturdy pair of water shoes (those rocks and broken shells are not a natural surface your tender feet are used to) and you might as well grab the thong swim suit. Chances are all of last year's look like a thong this year anyway ;)

We arrive on the soft, hot sand and still get chills, but this time they're from the blood curdling screams of the kids who are acting like we have just sent them across molten lava. We drop everything and rush them to the water's edge. Now it's our turn to scream. the water is so freakin' cold our ankles feel like they will shatter if we walk too fast. The kids start splashing and screaming wildly and we high tale it back to the warm sand. When we reach the pile of our blankets we see that they have been trampled into a gritty mess by the bus load of camp kids that just arrived.

We toss the blankets aside and sit right in the sand, take a deep breath, and look around. The kids are digging in the wet sand, oh and now they are throwing the little sand ticks and crabs at each other. The water swells up and crashes down on a poor unsuspecting man, who I now see is my husband. Wasn't he wearing sun glasses a minute ago? And that dolphin in the distance? Yeah, the life guards just blew the whistle for everyone to get out of the water. Stress is once again a living and breathing 5 letter word...SHARK!

Funny thing about the beach though, whether it's virtual or reality we find a similar outcome at the end of the day. That moment when you take a deep breath, shut your eyes, smile and remind yourself that any day at the beach is a good day :)

Thanks for coming along.

Kristin : )

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