A Day at the Beach

There is no place I would rather be than the beach. No two ways about it. If I had the opportunity to live ON the beach, I would take it in a nano-second. In fact, every once in a while when things get out of hand here and the stress level is too high, I pull out my fall-back suggestion:

“Want to sell everything and go live in a Tikki Hut on the beach?”

By now my family just humors me. They smile and giggle. They think I am kidding.

Last August we returned from a week on the beach in an RV. The drive was very long (though not hard) and I had a lot of time to think about living on the beach and the many things a family can learn by being together on the beach. I thought maybe if I explained myself my family would finally take me seriously…and we could investigate that Tikki Hut.

If at all possible, when traveling, stop in to see friends.

So here we are traveling along on a Friday night and my husband asks me to confirm our travel intenary. We are at a rest stop having dinner somewhere outside of Memphis and I pick up the map. As I glance at it, I notice the name of the town where my friend Susan has lived for about 6 years. Can it be possible? I tracked her down through a few different people and we ended up pulling our RV into her driveway at 11pm. It could not have worked out better if we had tried to plan it! It was such fun to catch up, have breakfast with her family and finally see her house.

Travel with music. It becomes the soundtrack of the trip.

I have no idea how they created this, but my family gathered all of our c.d.’s and down-loaded them on an i-pod. My husband then found this adapter so that the i-pod could play music through-out the RV. At times we all sang along and often we often explained to the kids who John Denver or R.E.M. were. Country Roads, High school musical and Teach Your Children were our favorites.

If you get turned-around, get yourself UN-turned-around.

Those were the years that we were at our absolute BEST when we traveled. If we could travel all the time, our lives would be uncomplicated and happy. Even though Triple A has been in business for many years and many travelers use their services, we prefer to roam the country freely. Often, we would look at the map or a road sign and say, “will this work?” Nine out of ten times it does. There are however, those times when the map was put down in frustration because we were…lost.

Get as CLOSE to the beach as possible.

In our many travels in the RV we have found glorious campgrounds ON beaches. There is something so special about waking up and seeing, hearing and smelling the ocean. This last trip in Sandestin, Florida we could see the ocean out of the windows of the RV. Yes, there is sand EVERYwhere, but the ocean is spectacular in the early morning as the sun comes up. And the sunsets? There are no words for a beach sunset. Just a really-good-that-we-did-this-feeling.

Have a good book, or two, or three.

I admit it; I am a slug when it comes to the beach. Yes, I like to play in the water and jump waves, but I also adore sitting in my beach chair, following the sun and reading a really good book. On our first day at the beach I didn’t leave for over 7 hours. I alternated reading with playing with the kids, but I had no desire to move from my spot on the beach. I was in heaven. Plus, I was reading an amazing book.

Yes, Virginia, there IS wildlife in the ocean.

Even where we swim. Okay, I like the ocean, but ummm, I do NOT like the ocean animals to bother me. Or, if they do, I don’t want to know about it. Yes, I LOVE wild-life, I just sort of don’t want them to touch me. (call me crazy!) This particular beach had more fish in the shallow waters than I can ever remember. Great, super. The kids loved using their masks and snorkels to check them out. This, however, just made me more aware than ever that we are not alone.

Be creative with transportation.

The R.V. we now travel in is a 35-footer (VERY long) so pulling a car makes it even longer. Instead we bring our bikes. And while I do not like riding on roads, we have been lucky to find bike trails and sidewalks that ultimately lead us to vegetable stands and fish markets. The kids love riding to the grocery store. It makes them feel as if we are living in a totally different world.

Even camping, chocolate is a must.

Before we left I stocked up on really fun interesting treats that we might not have at home so the kids would think of these treats as R.V. specialties. Never underestimate Nutella on graham crackers.

There is no place like home.

Our trip last summer was one of our best. All of the pieces managed to fall into the right place and everyone had a really good time together. The dog loved playing in the ocean, the kids loved camping and I loved that our family got to spent low-key quality time together in the great out-doors. But when we pulled into our neighborhood and we saw our house, we let out a collective sigh. We were home. Safe and sound. Our own little Tikki Hut in the middle of suburbia.

About Pam Wilson

I've been writing since I can remember. At heart, I am a story-teller; making sense of my world, finding humor and light through writing. Now I help clients to write their own stories. As I continue my own writing journey, my passion is to help clients write their own stories.