Hi there! It’s Sarabeth. While Alison is off gallivanting around the mountains, I’ve been preparing for our upcoming week at the beach. Getting ready is half the fun, and it made me think – hey, I could be some help to other people headed to the beach. Not as helpful as packing lists and menus, mind you. I’m less planner, more cautionary tale. So here, friends, from personal experience, are the 5 things you absolutely must avoid, as they will wreck your beach vacation.
Pets: No, I’m not talking about your faithful family companion (should you have one and choose to take him or her to the beach. Not judging here, but there is no WAY our dog will ever accompany us to the beach. Or anyplace else, most likely. Corralling my husband and 3 kids is more than I can handle most of the time). Friends, I’m talking about those cute reptiles your kids will try and get you to buy from the beach store. Don’t be deceived. Those turtles you bought back in 2008 thinking they were so cute are still around. They are 6 inches long and live in a 50 gallon aquarium THAT NOBODY WANTS TO CLEAN.
At least that’s how it played out at the Jones house.
ID: More accurately, the losing of it. This really only applies if you are headed to a more exotic beach destination than Florida or Alabama (although I’m sure you could get in plenty of trouble involving IDs in both of those places too, but that’s a story for another day). Let’s just say you’re headed to Jamaica, for example, and you get distracted by the beauty of your surroundings, and forget your ID when you head back to your cruise ship. It might, maybe, cause some problems. Or so I’ve heard.
Instagram: Let’s talk about Instagram at the beach. I love Instagram, and I love the beach. And I love you, too. Really. But I know how it is. You get outside, you listen to the waves, you start to feel that all is right with the world and that it’s all good to post pics of yourself in your swimsuit. Maybe that’s not the best idea. Or maybe it is. That’s really up to you. Here’s what’s not a good idea: posting pics of someone else (namely, ME) in their swimsuit. Unless your picture makes me look 10 pounds lighter and 10 years younger and you have obtained my enthusiastic permission. Then, of course, go right ahead.
Emergency Rooms: Suffice it to say, while homemade guacamole is a very good thing, holding the avocado while slicing and talking is not, unless you enjoy getting stitches far from home. I still can’t believe that our one Jones ER trip at the beach was me, and not my husband, but I guess I can be grateful that there is no box sledding by the ocean. See also: Red flags and lifeguards.
Boundaries: Maybe it’s deciding to have a talk about the birds and the bees with your child while staring out at the ocean sunset. “I know that’s what your friend said, but…” you find yourself repeating. Or, maybe it’s that interlopers have set up too close to your beach canopy with their jam boxes, beer coozies and Nascar tents. Perhaps your family has decided to collect creatures from the sea and then house them on your porch, or lay their wet swimsuits on your bed, or eat the last Haagen-Dazs ice cream bar. Regardless, it’s a question of boundaries: you need to set some before you lose your mind. Good fences make good neighbors, and hiding the ice cream behind the frozen lasagna is never a bad idea.
I sure hope you have a fun beach trip in your future! For serious, here are some of the favorite packing items folks shared with me on Facebook: sunscreen, aloe, a big hat, extra sunglasses, a rolling cart or cooler, books, earphones/earplugs, baby powder for removing sand (who knew? I’m trying it!), and a babysitter. If I were going to add something, it would be my favorite beach chair. Happy beaching, y’all!