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Tag Archives: beach
Wrapping up this week’s string of guest post fabulosity is KLZ from Taming Insanity. Whether she’s torturing her her parents, tasting Chicago, or recruiting talent for the Nerd Mafia, she’s doing it with style and sharp wit. Her husband’s fake celebrity exploits, her son’s adventures… it’s all well worth your time. Go check her out, but make sure you bring plenty of quarter words, cause this woman’s a Don.
I’ll admit, I’m not the best beach companion.
Well, I suppose that depends on what your thoughts on “best” are. Or “beach companion”.
My husband loves the ocean and goes charging into it with a vengeance every time he sees it. When he is too dressed up to attack his love with all the joy he can muster, he pouts. He wants to wave jump, ride waves, sail, snorkel, scuba, shark hunt, you name it.
When these attempts start, I watch indulgently. Once in awhile I go in. But I freaking hate salt water. Salt water + sunscreen = hot, burning tears streaming down my face. Normally, I watch him for a few minutes and then try to quietly slink away to a poolside deck chair. Where I will read for all of 20 minutes before being interrupted.
“Why won’t you play with me?”
Again, this is my husband.
I sigh audibly. Why can’t I just read my book? All I want to do is read my book. This seems like a reasonable request but in reality, the second I finish one book, I’ve got another one cracked open. So really, on vacation if you’re not a reader you’re left a bit….isolated.
For David’s 30th we were in the Caribbean and the resort had catamarans that you could take out whenever you’d like. At least, I think that’s what they’re called. I pay no attention to boat types and tend to call them by their sail colors or size. Anyway, it’s David’s birthday. He’s begging me to hang with him. I try not to grouch too much as I put my book down and head out to see on a little boat.
Really, it was relaxing. David liked steering the boat and I would lay and sun myself where no one but my husband could see my flab. And he was so not paying attention.
I should say, it was relaxing until the wind picked up and it started to rain. Then, then I began to freak out. Like, a lot.
David looked at me gleefully.
“Don’t worry babe. I can navigate us through this rain no problem. In fact, the wind will help me! Don’t worry about this tiny little storm at all.”
I replied, not calmly whatsoever, “We have to go back! We need to get back to the beach.”
David sighed and steered us back to shore. It was hard to live with a wife afraid of tiny little storms but by golly he’d keep me happy if he had to.
I leapt from the boat when we got to shore. I raced to our belongings. David looked at me quizzically.
I picked up my book and shoved it under a towel.
David looked at me angrily.
“What?” I asked, trying to maintain my innocence. “I just didn’t want my book to get wet.”
Since my real life is very busy with sprinklers and parties and swimming pools and tiny surfer suits, my recently discovered long-lost twin (no, not really, but seriously? maybe…), Roxane, of Days, is here to entertain you. She’s funny, smart, sassy, and from actual Texas (not to be confused with Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, which is the only part of Texas I’ve ever seen)! Her family is adorable, her exploits silly, her heart huge. Her boys’ antics would defeat a lesser mom, and then slay her again with their cuteness. Go visit her when you’re done here. Do it!
First off, if you’re reading this, I would like to congratulate you for landing yourself here in this wonderful place. Isn’t it dreamy? When I was asked to guest post for Move Over Mary Poppins I just about fell out of my chair. For your information, you all get to watch me lose my guest blogging virginity. YAY! Well, actually I’m feeling slightly conspicuous now…Moving on!
So, the theme for the MOMP guesting marathon will be all things beachy. Boy howdy, do I have some doozies for this one.
I have never had a good time at the beach. NEVER. No, not once.
Trauma #1) I don’t remember where we were but it was somewhere along the gulf coast. My mom has worked for my step-dad for something like 500 years and she was one of the lucky people who got to go on “hot shots” (that’s a nice way of saying get the piece of pipe and haul ass across several states to get the part to an oil rig pronto). Well, I got to go this time because we wouldn’t be going out of Texas. Me and mom, on a road trip! How sweet! Not so much. We spent 20min max on the beach where I was viciously attacked by ravenous mutant sea gulls. See that picture there? That’s me (thanks mom for the awesome style sense) looking at the approaching beasts and thinking I was cool for luring them there with some french fries. Bad move.
Trauma #2) This one I REALLY don’t remember where or when, but I do know that my birthday was shortly thereafter. Which birthday? I SAID I don’t know. I think it might have been Corpus Christi, but don’t quote me on that. Long story short, I got stung by a baby jellyfish and afflicted with a monster case of pink eye from the red tide all in the same trip. That particular birthday, whichever one it might have been, sucked. Like a straw in a tofu shake.
Trauma #3) Cancun. I was 13 with really bad hair. No, seriously. Mexico is not particularly exciting for a 13 year old, so the highlight of the trip was the losers doing YMCA karaoke style at the “theater” in our hotel. I was attacked by piranhas, nearly drowned in a cenote (Look it up. C-E-N-O-T-E) when I flipped out because I could see all the way to the bottom of the very very very deep water-filled hole we were in, and all of us very nearly died in Mexico because we were stupid enough to drink the water. Ever heard of Montezuma’s Revenge? There’s something else for you lucky readers to Google!
I could probably give you a couple more, but this is a “guest post” you know. Moral of the story? Look away from the french fries, don’t get in the water if it looks like everything in it has died, watch out for jellyfish (they bite), don’t wear shiny jewelry when swimming with carnivorous fish, stay calm if you’re unable to use your lungs, and last but not least DON’T. DRINK. THE. WATER.
Thanks so much for having me, Twinnie!
My real life and I are still busy reconnecting, so today, Gentle Readers, I have another delicious guest-posty treat! Rarely have I been so quickly and completely drawn into the universe of a blog as I have been by Pretty All True. Kris is by turns biting, tender, wildly funny, beautiful and tragic–often in the same post. In addition to all of that? She generously engages with her audience, both in her writing and in the comments. She is seriously gifted, people, and I’m honored to host her. Go check her out, and stay for the comments–sometimes they’re almost as good as the post itself. Almost.
Tankini Girl – By Kris
We are headed to the beach. We have not quite made it out the door, but we are headed to the beach. I am ready to go, my older daughter Maj is ready to go, but my younger daughter has yet to appear.
And then there is Kallan, descending the stairs slowly so that we can appreciate the glory of her new bathing suit.
Maj looks critically at her younger sister, “You look ridiculous. I hope you know that a two-piece bathing suit makes no sense at all. Unless you are planning on having a bathroom emergency at the lake.”
Kallan stops her twirling admiration of her new bathing suit, “What? What are you talking about?”
Eleven year old Maj picks up her towel and speaks tauntingly, “Is that why you wanted a separate swimsuit bottom? So you could get it off fast in case you are having a potty-problem?”
Kallan smoothes the front of her tankini top, pleased to note that it does not quite meet the bottom half of the suit, “No, what I wanted was a bikini, but someone wouldn’t let me get one.”
Kallan is nine, by the way, and despite the fact that her friends are all wearing bikinis? Some of them with padded tops? Kallan has a cruel and heartless mother who is ruining her life.
She’s trying to make the best of it, “I look cute, right? Mom? I look cute?”
“Yes, babe . . . you look fabulous.”
Maj snorts, “All I know is that I am going to be all reasonable and swimming in the lake, and you will be over in the shallow part worrying about whether you look cute. That’s a stupid waste of beach time, if you ask me.”
Kallan picks up her bag, slings it over her shoulder, “And all I know? Is that you will be all dorky and uncool and swimming while I am over in the shallows being all cute and fashionable.”
Maj looks at her sister, “Being cute and fashionable is not a life skill, Kallan.”
Kallan is all pitying, “Oh, it so is, Maj. It so is.”
The lake is just a five minute drive from our house, and we pick a shady spot. I pull out the large bottle of aerosol sunscreen. My girls are pale and freckly, like me, and I am a little bit of a crazy person with the sunscreen.
Maj goes first, and she stands spread-eagled as I spray every bit of exposed skin and then help her rub it in. She reminds me to do the backs of her ears. She leans forward so that I can spray a bit of sunscreen on the part in her hair.
Kallan watches with a sad resigned look. And then it is her turn.
“Ok, so I know that this stuff is supposed to keep me from getting sunburned. But is there any chance that all this sunscreen is also keeping me from getting a tan?”
“Yes, I suppose that’s possible. Likely, in fact.”
“But what if I want a tan? All the other girls have tans . . . you know, that outline of where your bathing suit ends?”
Maj interjects, “People with suntans are stupid, Kallan. It just means no one is paying enough attention to them. That no one is making sure they are protected. They are all going to get cancer and die.”
Kallan ignores her sister and turns a pleading face to me, “So I’m not going to get a tan?”
“Not much of one. Nope, not on my watch,” and I start spraying her legs.
Tankini girl is all sad and covered in sunscreen. I even spray the small stripe of pale skin that her tankini leaves exposed across her belly. She is aghast, “Really, Mom? Really?”
The girls walk together down to the water.
I watch them. Maj swims, ignoring all of the other children at the beach. Kallan lingers at the water’s edge and looks cute and fashionable, chatting with new best friends. She fingers her bathing suit, clearly accepting compliments and explaining how she would have a bikini, but someone who is named her mother is all unreasonable.
And several lovely hours go by. Is there nicer time to be spent than time at the beach doing nothing at all? I love how the heat melts the awareness of time; the day just passes, and there are no regrets at its having passed.
I love that sense of timelessness, of being outside of time.
Such a peace and tranquility to it.
And then I am snapped back into the moment by an urgent request from Kallan. She needs money! The concession stand is selling frozen lemonade for fifty cents!
“Can I have a dollar? I’ll buy two – one for me and one for Maj. Please? Please?”
Maj is running toward us with a determined look on her face, so I hand Kallan a dollar and say, “Take your sister with you to buy the drinks.”
But Maj does not stop to chat with us about lemonade. She goes racing past us at top speed. To the bathroom.
And then she is back.
And both girls sit with me and sip their icy lemonades.
Maj asks Kallan, “Aren’t you going to swim at all? All you are doing is just lying on your towel in the sun and talking to people.”
Kallan asks Maj, “Don’t you get tired of swimming? Don’t you want to come and talk to everybody?”
Neither girl gets a satisfactory answer from her sister.
Maj takes a sip of her drink, “I was right about one thing, though.”
Kallan turns, “What?”
Maj is sheepish, “A one-piece bathing suit? Is harder to get off in a bathroom emergency.”
And then they both giggle and roll on the blanket.
At the beach.
I’m going to be away from the blog for a few days, enjoying my real life, but I’m fortunate to have a wonderful community of bloggy friends picking up my slack. Today, I’m proud to host Natalie of Mommy of A Monster (I Mean Toddler) & Infant Twins. Head on over there for tales of her son, Tater, and her twins, Ms. L. and Ms. M., as well as recipes, sweet photos of her kids, and the trip from hell. Leave her lots of comments, just don’t forget to use your vocabulary, as she is a Don in the Nerd Mafia, and could have you tossed in the drink with dictionaries tied to your feet!
I absolutely adore everything there is to adore about the beach. The waves. The smell. The feel of the wind and salt on my skin. The sand in my toes and how it leaves a light, fine dust on everything. But the thing I love the most about the beach is listening to it. Do you know what I mean? Laying in the sand, burying my toes into its warmth, and just closing my eyes. Listening to the kids playing at the shore line. Listening to the sand crunch as people walk by. The birds circling above, calling to each other…or whatever it is that birds make noise about.
And of course my favorite sound to listen to is the waves. I could listen to waves crashing 24/7 and never get tired of hearing it. Whether they are gently breaking along the shore, or angrily crashing away on rocks, I can’t think of a more calming sound.
When I was pregnant with my son (who is almost three now), I had a hard time falling to sleep. So I used to put my iPod on and listen to a recording of waves from a CD my sister gave to me. Before the second set of waves began, I would always fall asleep. My husband and I used to travel quite a bit, and so the sound of waves always reminds me of being on vacation. Of being carefree. Of being lazy and relaxed. Of no real responsibility. Of sleeping in and staying up late. Of sleeping throughout the night, uninterrupted. These things are a thing of the past now that we have kids!
Waves remind me of a trip to Fiji that we took in 2004. We were on a small resort island. Our bure (it’s like a little hut) sat on stilts overlooking the beach. The entire bure had walls of windows, that went from the ceiling to the floor. We left those windows open the entire time we were there. So we awoke and fell asleep to the sound of the ocean every morning and night. It was heaven!
Every meal took place in the main dining area…a huge bure that also sat on stilts directly above the water. It had all these private, secluded decks so that each couple could have their meals privately if they chose not to eat in the main dining bure. And so we even shared our meals with the waves.
My husband and I scuba dive (or, more accurately, we used to scuba dive). Do you know that you can hear the waves and ocean moving under the water? It’s the most peaceful sound! I don’t even know how to describe it other than it sounds like waves breaking on the shore, but in slow motion.
I really love everything there is to love about the beach and the ocean, but by far, my favorite thing is and forever will be the sound of the waves.