My ancestors were coastal dwellers. One side of the family even had a fish on their coat of arms. My parents understood the call to the ocean. The old family photo albums I used to flip through as a child showed teen versions of my mom and dad hanging out at Myrtle Beach back in the black and white film days. They smiled in each image and to a child that means that the beach is a happy place.
This proved true as they carted their kids down to the beach every summer and we had wonderful adventures with pools and sand castles and miniature golf. As they got older, they seemed to go more often. My dad said he liked to sit and watch tv and explained that watching tv was more fun at the beach. The beach makes everything better.
Last week was our early summer trip to the beach. We packed up the kids and tons of stuff and headed down to a condo we stayed in for several years before we had kids.
This was the late afternoon view that greeted us from the balcony.
See? Just a day turning into night but notice how much better it looks at the beach.
And my morning coffee is a heavenly experience during the summer but morning coffee oceanfront is even better.
We have many favorite restaurants. If you're going, I can hook you up with some excellent options. This is one of them, just a short walk from the condo. We like to eat out on the oceanfront deck at the Conch Cafe. The beach even makes bacon wrapped, deep fried shrimp taste better.
Ice cream is also better at the beach. One of Blue's talents is being able to get as much ice cream on the outside of his mouth as he does on the inside.
Each trip to the beach requires G and I to talk about when we will eventually be able to move there. I've picked out this space cadet house for us in Garden City.
Ok, my sculptures may not be better at the beach, but they're more fun to make. It's funny and sad that I have to make the kids go play somewhere else while I make sand creatures for them to ultimately destroy. I did let them collect the seashells for the teeth and they got to place them where they wanted.
Jumping is always a good time but who knew that jumping over waves could occupy a 6 year old boy for 8 days?
This trip was dominated by wildlife. We had a couple of wild pet rabbits at the condo. We saw lots of sea hawks grabbing fish out of the waves and carrying them over our heads. And we found a few welk shells with the critters still living inside. This was a small one and he didn't spit at me. The big one we found later did.
Violet learned to be a good treasure hunter. She found her first shark's tooth. And she's adorable.
For her birthday, she had some Build A Bear gift cards. This means I endured a trip to the Build A Bear Workshop at Broadway. We stood in line and fought against the pushy bear upcharge militia. And I did it with a pleasant attitude, thank you very much.
We saw a rainbow at Bi-Lo. Blue wanted to see what was at the end of it.
Just an adorable couple of kids on one of our treasure hunt walks.
We spent a day at Huntington Beach State Park. We hoped it would be less populated and we'd get a shot at better seashell finds. Lots of other people apparently had the same idea. The shells were not easy to find, but there were lots of critters. The image above is "sea pork". I have no idea what that is, but one of the park rangers told us that and all I could think of was bacon.
A flounder flopping in the surf. He looked delicious. We also saw lots of crabs, alligators, fish, birds and a nice little 5 foot shark visited us while we were jumping in the shallow water. The kids loved seeing them all...except for the shark.
The jetty is one of the coolest things about Huntington Beach. It's a long walk to get to it and I wasn't smart enough to bring my sandals. Violet and I made it 3/4 of the way out the jetty before I had to turn back. The asphalt is like a thousand tiny daggers stabbing into your feet with each step and she was adding a few pounds of pressure to each step.
G took this with her fancier-than-mine camera. Murrells Inlet on the left, Huntington Beach on the right.
Sky, jetty, sand.
We left our mark on the place before we headed out.
Violet loves to eat breakfast at the beach because they give her a coffee cup to drink her chocolate milk. She likes to pretend she's drinking my coffee.
A sand head.
One big event last week was the purchase of Blue's first ever sketchbook. He's seen mine for years and he always asks when he can have his own. Now he does. I can't tell you how proud this photo makes me.
This was another big event of last week. Apparently hurricane season began and the first named storm of the season wanted to see us on vacation. We had a lot of wind but not much rain. When I got up to run on Friday this was on my phone. I looked out the window and saw it wasn't raining hard so I went for a run in a tropical storm.
The wind was hard enough to almost trip me a couple of times but it didn't rain a drop until I got back. This was what it looked like when the center of the storm was closest to us. Still beautiful.
And this....the blurry part at the bottom was the sand being blown up the beach.
And a couple of hours later....a perfect day again.
I'm not teaching my son to be a vandal. This was done on an official table cloth for drawing with official crayons provided by the restaurant. But I was proud to look up and see Blue spreading the Mighty S. Even if it was a little backward.
Adorable kids on Surfside pier.
G won the shark's tooth contest. The largest one was hers. I did find the smallest one, though.
And....the open studio sale is this Saturday. I feel like I have to say that. Info is in the previous posts if you need it.