Sunday, February 20, 2011

Beachology: what is it about the beach?

Long Beach outside Tofino, BC, Canada,
I've said it before on this blog: the beach is the best destination I can think of when you're going anywhere with kids, whether it's for a day out near home, or a long family vacation to somewhere nice and hot and sandy (like Maui).
DT Fleming Beach Park, Maui.
This past Friday, my son had a day off school and I asked him where he wanted to go: his pick. His answer "The beach!". I guess I taught him well. It was an unusually sunny, clear-blue sky kind of day here on the Wet Coast, especially considering it's still February (the rainy season). We parked a couple of blocks from Crescent Beach in White Rock (a real nice place for a walk and a view and maybe an eagle sighting if you're in the neighborhood), and walked down to the beach.
Tällön, Burvik, Sweden.
It wasn't exactly t-shirt weather, but within a few minutes, my son was in his t-shirt, jacket and sweater tossed off, and he was poking in the ground with a stick, turning over dried up seaweed with the toe of his shoe, and digging his fingers into the sand just to feel it. My daughter was picking through sea shells and rocks, putting the choice ones into her bucket, freaking out at the sight of a bumble bee, and clambering over the driftwood logs.
Third Beach, Vancouver.

And me? I just sat there, plunked down in the sand, leaning on a rock, with the sun on my face. Later in the year, the kids will be splashing in the water, running around in their bathing suits, and getting sand stuck in the sunblock I smear on their arms and legs. There will be picnic lunches on the beach, with sand in the slices of water melon, and some days that will be so hot I'll be wanting some shade rather than sunshine.
DT Fleming Beach Park, Maui.
What is it about the beach? For me, it's the fact that you don't really have to do anything. There's the ever-changing water to look at, the wind, the sky, the sand, the sun. And the kids finding things to do that do not require batteries, game controllers or blu-ray players.

2 comments:

  1. For midwesterners like us, I think a lot of it has to do with the ocean, at least when we are on Maui that is. Sure, we have Lake Michigan in Chicago, but with the crowds and the closures for ecoli and such in the water, its just not the same.

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  2. Yeah, the ocean is just magical to me. It just feels good to sit there and just watch it. And when you're in a place like Maui, the water is so inviting: clean, crystal blue, and WARM. Wow, now I have a major craving for a Maui-vacation...

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