For the past couple of months, I have really wanted to take the babies to the beach for their first visit. I went online and ordered the Ozark Trail Sun Shelter (tent), and two cute little rash guard swim suits for the girls. So with necessities in hand, we were ready, right?
There were definitely some thoughts that passed, which said this may not be as fun as it was in my mind, but I was adamant that the beach was going to be a wonderful idea. My husband, probably a little more hesitant, agreed, so off we went!
First, let me tell you about my “vision” of going to the beach. We arrive at the beach early in the morning, so it is not too hot. We park next to the beach and walk down the sand to the water. The kids hang out in the sun tent, stick their toes in the sand and play with their beach toys. Mom and Dad even get to sit in their beach chairs and enjoy some sun! We walk down to the water to feel the ocean for the first time. It’s a little chilly, but the girls sit in the sand at the edge of the water as the water ripples up against their toes. We all enjoy a little lunch and after a couple hours of fun, we pack up camp and head back to the car as a family.
Now, let me tell you about our actual trip to the beach. We did not get as early of a start as we intended and honestly, we really had no idea which beach was the best beach to visit with babies, so we drove around aimlessly and finally ended up at Huntington Beach.
After paying $15 to park, then parking at the opposite end of the lot, I walked what seemed like a mile to pick up an umbrella rental for another $15. Upon parking, the girls started screaming because they were ready for a nap and hungry, so, we gave them a bottle in the car and crossed our fingers.
The girls were starting to get very antsy and my husband asked me if I wanted to be near the water, naturally I said, “Yes,” not realizing that the water was a half mile walk across the scorching hot sand. Seriously, why don’t I remember the water being so freakishly far away?
Daddy carried the first load down to the water including the beach tent, blanket, beach chairs and our humongous umbrella rental!
I started getting the kids all lubed up with sunscreen and changed them into their swim suits. They did enjoy reading a copy of OC Family while we waited, which kept them entertained for a few minutes, but then they decided it would be more fun to try to run around and climb in the van. I guess that would be pretty fun.
Finally, Daddy gets back to the car after a jog back and burned feet. We are ready for our final trip to the water. We each carried a baby and some gear and started walking down the beach. The sand was about 200 degrees and the walk to the water felt like an eternity, especially carrying more gear and a toddler. I had to put my flip flops back on, so my feet would not melt, and every step I took kicked sand up into my beach bag.
We get to our camp that Daddy has set up, and decide to take the girls down to the water. The waves were monstrous and Katelyn was not so sure she liked them. If we were not holding onto them and picking them up each time the waves came, they would’ve been knocked over. There goes my vision of sitting in the sand on the water’s edge.
After about 15 minutes of hanging out by the water, we decided to let the girls play in the sand. They played for a few minutes, but decided it was more fun to climb on the beach chairs, or run inside the tent and knock it over. I can definitely say Mommy and Daddy did not sit down and enjoy the sun. I never even got my sun dress off, Daddy never got his t-shirt off, and neither of us ever found the time or extra hand to put sunscreen on ourselves. Yes, we got burned.
After a couple hours (one hour of which may have been getting to/from the car), we packed as much as we could carry and took a load and the girls back to the car. I got the girls changed and dressed in the van while Daddy worked on packing up the rest of our stuff and made his way back to the rental place to return the awesome umbrella.
Dying of dehydration, because we were so concerned about making sure the girls stayed hydrated, we forgot to drink anything ourselves. Once in the car, we found our warm Gatorades in the beach bag and started to chug! Warm gatorade never tasted so good! We did not even get to the parking lot exit, and the girls were sound asleep.
Overall, the experience was, well, an experience! I think the girls enjoyed the beach, and it was fun watching them play in the sand. They did not eat as much sand as we expected which is a definite plus! It was definitely a memorable first beach experience!
Will be return to the beach again? Absolutely! I just think we picked the wrong beach for Camp Crazy, and will have to be more strategic in our next beach adventure…so stay tuned!