On the spur of the moment, I took off for the beach with my four kids. My oldest daughter didn't have to work all weekend, and my youngest has been dying to go to the beach all summer. I'm not even sure how the six-year-old remembers so much about the beach since he hasn't been to one since we went to the Dominican Republic three years ago. Anyway, last Thursday I spent a couple of hours searching for hotel rooms that would accommodate all five of us. (My husband is still overwhelmed with work because of the oil spill in the gulf so he wasn't able to join us.)
After throwing a few things into some suitcases, we left early Friday morning for Virginia Beach which is about a three hour drive from here when you don't have to deal with the typical weekend beach traffic. I was thrilled that we made it all the way there without any significant traffic. We left around eight and by noon we were on the beach after already checking into our hotel and eating lunch.
My kids had a blast that first day. My son is normally shy, but he hit that water and was grinning ear to ear, playing and laughing without any inhibitions. My younger daughters made a couple of new friends to hang out with and my oldest happily tanned on the beach. Unfortunately, our sunscreen wasn't as waterproof as we thought and everyone but my oldest (who is already tan) ended up sunburned.
Everyone had different ways of dealing with it, but needless to say we all became good friends with solarcaine. My youngest two kids and I all put on T-shirts over our clothes to protect our tender shoulders and still went out and enjoyed the rest of our weekend on the beach. My seventeen-year-old decided she was in too much pain and instead chose to spend some time with her rollerblades on the boardwalk.
After an $8 purchase on our first evening, my younger two also had a new adventure to conquer: body boarding (although I always called it "boogie boarding.") I was really surprised at how well my youngest did at it considering he can't swim. His fear of the water seemed to melt away over the past few days and I'm curious to see if that will translate to a new comfort level at the local swimming pool. My youngest daughter also loved the new adventure and I was thrilled that she and her younger brother were so good about sharing their new toy.
So other than some sunburned shoulders and legs, we had a nice getaway. If only all of the sand had stayed on the beach.