My husband and I recently had a vacation day and decided to spend a day at the beach. Please understand, I do not “beach” with the comfort and ease of most. On the other hand, Tim’s family spent their weekends frolicking at the beach until they had their own pool. Then every weekend was a pool party. He and his sisters morphed into little tow-headed, nut-brown fish every summer. While I will never be a suntanned beach bunny (thank you for the freckles and pallor, Irish ancestors), I do my best to assimilate.
PALE GIRL BEACH CHECKLIST:
- SWIMSUIT: First hurtle, picking out a swimsuit. 1920s bathing suits are retro-chic, right? Burka perhaps? *sigh of defeat* Tankini it is. Don’t forget to pack a cover-up. A nice long t-shirt, perhaps a beekeeper’s suit.
- GROOMING: After trying on your suit, you realize just how much upkeep is required. Uncomfortable, razor-burn inducing shaving. No matter how thorough and careful you are, you *know* when you get to the beach and are laying there for God and the world to see, you will notice one stray patch of hair that eluded your razor…sombitch!
- Side Note: Guys, in prep for the beach, when you take off your shirt, if it looks like you are giving a chimpanzee a piggyback ride, you might want to get that pelt under control. Regarding chest hair: it is manly and desirable to a point. If you look like you’re auditioning for Austin Powers’ stunt double, you might want to do a little manscaping.
- SUNBLOCK: SPF 30 is the minimum. I spied a young gentleman sitting on the sand who was so pale he was almost translucent! Part of me was waiting for him to burst into flames like a vampire at dawn. I contemplated paying him to sit next to me all day so I could feel like a sun-kissed, bronze goddess instead of someone with only slightly more pigment than Edgar Winter.
- Another Side Note: Possible side-hustle of a spray-on sunblock booth for the pigmentally challenged such as myself. Just stand in the booth, arms raised and turn as you get hosed down with skin-saving block! Left to my own devices I always miss patches and end up with Rorschach-like red splotches.
- CHAIRS & ENTERTAINMENT: Comfy chair: check. Book: check. Ukulele: check. Knitting: check. Fully-charged phone: check. I now had enough to keep me busy while I avoid actually getting in the water, or as I call it, the Fish & Toddler Toilet. Pretty much the only thing that will drive me into the lake is sitting in a puddle of my own sweat.
- SNACKS: Well, duh! Snacks make EVERYTHING better!
Sandy Beach, Lake Mills WI was our destination. The beaches were indeed sandy and very clean. It was busy without being packed. We settled ourselves under a blessedly shady tree.
A DAY AT THE BEACH – OBSERVATIONS FROM THE SHADE:
- When you’re a toddler, everything needs more sand: your neighbor’s drink, your head, your sister’s head, your diaper.
- Toddlers seem to have two speeds at the beach: Full-tilt glee or epic meltdown. There didn’t seem to be much in between the two. Snacks and/or a drink would sometimes tame the gremlins. When that didn’t work I saw several families grab their paraphernalia and beat feet with a boneless, screaming tot dangling from their arms.
- Tattoos: placement is everything. I saw some beautiful tattoos, but I also saw some ink that had seen better days. Please note, that grand eagle on your chest, may someday more closely resemble a pterodactyl. Gravity works, folks!
- Sunshades on the beach: bigger is not always better. Someone had a portable sun shelter that was roughly the size of Delaware. When they unfurled this beast, everyone in the vicinity had to skooch over as they tethered it down. Presumably they used it later as a main sail for a pirate ship.
- Swimsuit decorum: I am all for body comfort. The glorious rainbow of body shapes, sizes and colors is to be embraced and loved. All I ask is that you exercise some caution if you are bending over with your butt-cheeks akimbo. Whether you have an itty bitty booty or some junk in your trunk, do a courtesy tug and keep those babies corralled. There are some things you just cannot unsee.
NO SUNBURN, RELAXATION ACHIEVED
Progress was made on my beach-hanging skills, thanks to my beach loving hubby. While I didn’t go swimming in the lake, it was still a fun day. The people watching was interesting. My uke got some play time. Finally, we ended the day with a tasty beer at Tyranena Brewery. I’m calling this a win!
Thanks for taking the time to hang out with me! Until the next adventure or DIY project!