He'll protest and he'll say, with a defiant tone, "I don't hate the beach..." And then he'll add, "I just hate the sand." And this, of course, makes no sense at all because beach pretty much equals sand by definition. So, yeah, he hates the beach.
Last Tuesday was our first beach day. Last year, we had rented two kiddie carts. One for the beach stuff and one for the kids-- so we were able to go to and from the beach together. This year, having only one kiddie cart presented a challenge.
Bill drove the van, with all of our beach stuff, and I rode the bike, with all of our kids. Liam had gotten used to riding solo, while Will was on the tag-along, so he wasn't exactly thrilled.
Here was our set-up on the first day. There's a fairly large cooler, a beach bag, and a blanket stashed in the cart in hopes of keeping them clean and dry.
Tuesday was the only day that we made such a big effort. Because, as we soon learned, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
There's Bill and Will playing in the sand and surf. And then there's Liam, keeping clean and dry, at a safe distance. Also, looking completely miserable.
After about two hours, Liam wanted nothing more to do with the beach. Will probably could have stayed all day, but after two hours, he had done a fair amount of swimming and sand castle building himself.
We could have let Liam nap under the umbrella, but the idea of tandem naps on vacation is not a pleasant one. We've been having the kids nap together back at the condo. They sleep for two to three hours and Bill and I have some well-deserved downtime.
So we decided to scale things back for the rest of the trip. All of our next few beach visits were shorter and simpler. Bill and Liam could not be happier and Will and I just go with the flow.
Now that we're packing much lighter, we're able to go to and from the beach together on our bikes.
This is our new set-up. We only carry what we can squeeze into the cart, behind and beside Liam.
We stay for about two hours or so and then we ride back for lunch and naps.
The ride home from the beach is a tough one. Everyone is tired, sandy, hot and hungry. Here's a snap from last year, when the kids shared a cart. We convinced Will to calm down long enough to take this photo, but he was not exactly thrilled about being a pillow for his little brother. Remember-- hot, sweaty, sandy, exhausted-- not exactly the best circumstances for a cuddle.
And here's a snap of us arriving home this year. Will, riding on his own, has been relieved of his 'big brother' duties. He couldn't be happier. Poor Liam on the other hand...
Some more beach photos...
Bill and Will working on creating an ocean side pool.
Will and I.
I thought I wanted a bikini-beach-body this summer.
And then I realized that what I really wanted was ice cream every night.
Will tags the beach for me.
The entrance to the public beach, which is totally FREE.
New swings and benches recently added to the beach entrance.
The blue chairs and umbrellas are rentals.
They have fold-up footstools and are so comfortable.
This is how we used to roll-- with a bottle of water, a book and a towel.
The sand here is hard packed.
You can ride bikes on it and water pools on it as the tide rolls in and out.
You can find crabs and jellyfish on the beach when the tide goes out.
You can also find starfish and sand dollars.
For now, we'll be happy if we can find some nice person to take a family photo for us.