Adventures at the Beach

Last weekend we went to the beach with our daughter and grandchildren. As usual, we spent an hour arguing about my driving ability and being lost for every ten minutes of enjoyment. It was a great time had by all. In fact, We're already talking about going again.

Having not been to the beaches of Florida for some time, I realized we'd forgotten some basic knowledge about beach-going. So, in grand JL Stratton fashion, I must propagate my pedagogy to the world so that you may learn from my mistakes.

First and foremost, if I could give you just one piece of advice, that would be:

Wear sunscreen.

Of course, this is followed my instruction that you should apply the sunscreen in places you would not think the rays of the sun might reach because, at the beach anyway, the sun seems to defy all physics and logical thinking to create sunburns in places one might previously thought of as "covered."


Bring a swim suit.

I know. One would think this is a given but apparently, not for me. Overcoming my lack of prior planning forced me to venture into the sea, holding my grandchildren-one at a time-tightly across the fat folds of my ever-increasing midsection, while sporting my plaid shorts. At least I had the sense to remove my shirt. Although I somehow was not fortuitous enough to gather enough wit to apply sunscreen to my freshly exposed aforementioned midsection while frolicking amongst the fish and waves. Sadly, I succeeded in making myself look like some kind of cross between a striped Easter egg and a fully cooked lobster.


Be willing to part with vast amounts of your money.

Thirsty? Want some water? Sure, it's available ... for a price. Again, a little forethought might have allowed me to avoid this, but that's just not my way.

Fortunately for us, we were traveling with our daughter who's been to the beach more recently and planned for such events. Plus, she's a mommy and has aquired mommy ninja skills. She seemed to have an endless supply of clothing for the children , and was right there with the proper toiletries when the granddaughter had to stop along the highway on the way to the beach for an emergency pee break, which turned into something else entirely.

I guess my wife and I had forgotten just what it took to prepare for a simple day at the beach with young children. It did make me feel better though, when I saw a young man struggling to make his way across the white sands with a stroller. Good thing is that, if this young man had any sense at all, this would be the last time he attempted such a treacherous journey over sand with the miniscule hard rubber wheels of a stroller.

Ah, other people's pain and suffering. Somehow, it always makes me feel better about myself.

Just saying.