fme-and-kids-at-beachBeach trip, nautilus dude! After weeks of planning, choosing a date and booking a hotel, my daughter and I loaded up the car and took the dynamic duo, Sunshine and Stormy, to the beach. Never on vacation together before, the kids were barrier reef excited. Holy mackerel, did we ever pack a tsunami of sun-tastic fun into those sand dollar days.

In fact, a split second after our suitcases hit the hotel room floor we fashioned footprints in the sand toward the surf. Being rather late in the day putting on bathing suits didn’t occur to us. Actually, we were simply going to sneak a breaker peek unaware of the delighted mayhem that would ensue. You guessed it. Fully dressed two exuberant young’uns sprinted straight into the surf with my daughter hot on their sand flinging heels. (Sigh…my three water bugs.) Shoot, seagulls can’t fly as fast as those little crustacean legs were carrying them and by the time I’d caught up their mom was rolling up her capris. Not exactly a water bug yet certainly not a party pooper, I rolled up mine and jumped in the waves too. Then nothing but lobster laughs and grouper giggles til sunset, setting the tone for a whale of a good time to come.

Early the next morning after my daughter drank her Starbucks, and I my V8, the kids slid into their bathing suits like a harp seal sliding off a rock. Dickens, I believe they would have slept in them if it would have gotten them into the water quicker. Unlike the night before, however, this trip down the elevator included beach chairs, towels, snacks, two Hefty bags full of sand-castle-making toys and butterfly nets. Yes, according to the duo there are butterflies at the beach. Ahh, a day of sun, sand, surf was going to be heaven.

Selecting prime beach front real estate we dumped our paraphernalia in a pile. Immediately I set up a ‘catching rays’ chair while the water bugs fulfilled their marine mission…get wet. Of course the kids were having a major blast as waves knocked them around like a hermit crab being tossed about in the surf. A little too much for my daughter’s peace of mind because within the hour she coaxed the starfish duo out of the ocean as we opted for the calm, inviting waters of the hotel pool, leaving our stuff on the sand, certain the coastal current would change and we’d migrate back to the ocean like sea turtle hatchlings before the day was over.

Besides, where we stayed was kid friendly on steroids so they had numerous pools to choose from. I even rode an inner tube around the lazy river…just once. I’m not the water bug they are unless there’s a hot tub within flying fish distance then I’ll flounder around in it till needed elsewhere, which happened to be the case that day.

Either a combination of sunblock, salt water or chlorine had the kid’s cheeks stinging like a jellyfish attacked. Poor little Stormy cried and Sunshine wasn’t much happier so we herded them to the room to wash their faces in cool water. As my daughter doted on her young dolphins I took a gander out the balcony window. Thought I heard a noise no one on vacation ever wants to hear…thunder. Blimey, a whale of a storm was upon us! Glancing left the beach was eerily unoccupied of all aquatic aficionados. Incredibly, the lifeguard battened down the hatches in record time.

Well, blow me down! Our bounty was still ocean front. Calling to my daughter we grabbed the sunbaked duo and darted toward the elevator; except the already sluggish contraption was endeavoring to liberate the exiled mob waiting in the lobby. Meanwhile we were frantically attempting to salvage $50 worth of beach chairs. Arrgh! After several agonizing thunder pounding minutes we disembarked downstairs and dashed outside. Sunshine and I were in the lead. Rain began pelting us as soon as our feet touched sand. The bottom fell out. Savvy? However, the scary part was lightening flashed all around us and I am so not a fan.

Dickens, my mind was racing…lightening…electrocution…only good if you’re a lightbulb. Shazam! Even though it was distant I tried desperately to recall any scientific fact about lightening traveling…how many miles? Or was that counting seconds after a thunder clap. Never mind, I was too consumed with getting us back safely and I held her tiny hand tighter than an octopus prying open a clam shell and kept running. Picture this: Everyone who was on the beach is now at the hotel. I, my daughter and two g-kids are running out into an approaching storm. Can we say, what the h*** were we thinking? Exactly!

For an encore, the next day we went to the best pirate show on the beach. Ahoy mateys, was it ever! All the billboards said so anyway. In fact, it was so good the kids thought they saw a movie. Well, shiver me timbers!

Can you imagine…catching butterflies at the beach?
Smile, sunblock looks good on you.

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