How often have you said, “We should do that one day”? I may hold the world record for that one little phrase. It is often months before I even remember thinking of that particular adventure. Occasionally, however, it actually makes it onto the calendar and into a plan.
I love daytrips. I hate daytrips. Oxymoron noted and intentional. I have this pattern, this ridiculous tendency to get really excited about something, then to start thinking about the effort involved in making it happen. Sometimes it’s a lot of work, sometimes it’s just getting out of bed before dawn. Given that I am not a “Woohoo, let’s start this day at 5 AM!” kind of girl, that’s the one that usually derails me. 🙂
I grew up in Florida, a full two hours from the nearest beach, but that drive didn’t stop us from making regular treks to the sandy shore as often as we could find a free day. A beach towel and a swimsuit worn under shorts and a t-shirt were all that were required. Sunscreen? Water? Only if we happened to remember it. (Science has smartened us up just little bit, so those items are now also tossed in the bag.) It may, however, have seemed so easy to me back then because it was my parents doing the work of planning, packing, and driving.
This week Michaela and I piled in the car at 7:30 AM and took off for Ocean City with a friend and her girls. We didn’t get home until after midnight! It is, after all, a three hour drive. That’s right: SIX hours in the car for ONE day at the beach! Are you wondering if it is worth it?
My answer is unequivocally YES, it is worth it, and YES, you need to make it happen!Take that #daytrip! Get it out of your head, onto the #calendar, and into a #plan! Click To Tweet
We did this one day last year as well, and those memories are forever associated with certain things:
Grotto Pizza — A new one just opened near our house and we love to go there. And everytime we do, we think of our friends, who took us to this pizza place for the first time after our day on the beach in OC last year!
Pictures of the pier — You see these pictures everywhere. You know, the ones taken under the pier looking out to sea. Now when I see them as I scroll through my Instagram and Facebook feeds, I instantly think of my friend. Because, yep, we took those same pictures, too!
Ocean City, MD. Photo by Michaela Staton
The Boardwalk — For the most part, the beaches I visited growing up did not have boardwalks. Ocean City does. Everyone talks about it, all the time! Thanks to my friend, I know what they are talking about, and guess what? You got it! I think of her everytime I hear someone mention the boardwalk!
Thanks to a few hours of driving this week, I now have several more things to add to my memory banks: ridiculously high waves, over 100 lifeguard saves in one day (not kidding; we witnessed 4 of them right in front of us!), some pretty creepily realistic sand sculptures, really, really good talks — because nothing is more therapeutic than salt, sand, surf, and catching up with a good friend!
Have you been thinking about a quick daytrip to the beach, but couldn’t muster the energy to actually do it? “Why Not?” call a friend, get it on the calendar, and make it happen!#Daytrips are a great way to enjoy #summer! #WhyNot make one happen this week? Click To Tweet
If you find the work of packing and lugging the beach “stuff” requires more effort that the trip is worth, consider these tips to minimize the prep and maximize the play:
Pack as lightly as possible. Be realistic about the amount of drinks and food you will actually consume. Do you really need 3 bottles of water per person? Okay, yes, you probably do, but will you really drink that much? If possible, plan to eat at the beach if food is available and it fits in your budget. Besides, the lemonade and boardwalk fries are half the fun! If you do take food, keep it simple (sandwiches, chips, and cookies, anyone?). Side note: packing too many refreshments and bringing them home is not only more work, but not always a great idea — I just ate some Doritos left over from our trip, and they had almost as much sand as nacho cheese!
Just one or two people dotting the beach in Ocean City. 😉
Before loading up chairs and boogie boards for each person, think about if they will really be used. Will the kids want/need a chair, or can they spread a blanket in the sand — or a towel on the boogie board when they are not riding the waves? For that matter, do you really want to lug a chair yourself? Accept — no, embrace — the sand, people! It is the beach! 🙂 (That said, I usually think a chair is worth lugging if I plan to be there more than a couple of hours. I love the sand, but it does get a little hard…)
Wear your swimsuit under your clothes on the way; change before coming home. I know it’s not the most comfortable, but neither is changing in those public bathrooms! The fewer times you have to do that, the better! And if you had time to dry off before heading home (and if you didn’t get a suit full of the bottom of the ocean!), just throwing your clothes back on over your suit works fine for the return trip, too; it makes the shower feel that much better when you get home! 🙂
A bag for the essentials: sunscreen, towels, sunglasses, hat, lip balm, dry clothes for the return trip, a few bottles of water, and maybe a snack. If you have kids, throw in a bucket and shovel. Assuming you are already wearing your swimsuit and plan to splurge on boardwalk fries, pizza, and lemonade, you may not need another thing for a great daytrip to the beach!
The final two things are essential, so don’t forget them: a friend (or two!) and an adventurous spirit. Trust me, it’s not as much work as it feels like beforehand, and afterwards it is worth every ounce of effort!
Summer is already half over, so “Why Not?” take that daytrip to the beach (or lake, or river, or spring…whatever your favorite swimming hole!) in the next week or two! Remember, nothing is more therapeutic than sun, sand, and surf, and we all need a little therapy now and then!
How often do you take a daytrip to the beach in the summer? What are your “must haves,” and what is your system for packing them? Please share your tips in the comments!
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