Going to the Beach…Is it worth the trip?

I live in Sunny Southern California, North Orange County to be exact and I have always loved going to the beach.  Today was 95 degrees at  home in my Anaheim Hills backyard that has a pool.  I thought it was too hot to stay home and wanted something more than laying in the non-heated pool all day.  To be fair, the pool is probably about 70 degrees and the spa can be any temperature I want it to be above that. I knew going to the beach would be a 30 minutes commute and would be 15-20 degrees less.  The plus side about the beach is there are no distractions and the beach I go to does not have internet reception either.

As my family arrived at Corona Del Mar we unpacked our car and headed out to find a spot close to the water.  Being that is was such a hot day, everyone and their mother was at the beach.  Literally, it is Mother’s Day and we were all there. It was crowded and almost had no personal space between beach towels, seaweed, and other people.  But we were at the beach, so how bad can it really be?

The weather at the beach was overcast yet still warm enough that you had to go in the water to get cooled off.  My first thought is why did I leave my backyard to go to the beach and go in the 63 degree water?  I think it is so funny that I will not go in my pool at home when the water is less than 80 degrees, but at the beach the water never gets warmer than 68 degrees and I go in.  Why do I feel it is less disgusting to go in the ocean to take care of number 1 rather than go use the public restrooms way up across the sand? 

Three hours of uninterrupted family time and the inability to check Facebook was great.  The people watching is wonderful and it is so easy to listen to other’s conversations which I thoroughly enjoy.  This time nobody had music playing, so it was us, nature, and 1000+ other beach goers.  It is also fun to see what bathing suits people think it is acceptable to wear and how confident they must be with their bodies to wear something so skimpy where their ass is completely hanging out. Who can resist watching the little kids build sand castles and burying themselves in the sand? 

When it is time to go home, it takes 30 minutes to pack up, rinse off all the sand, and get back in the car for the 30 minute ride home.  Once you are home, you have to take another shower and put away the beach gear. It seems like a lot of work.  The reality is that if I stayed home in the backyard I would have had to clean the backyard and the pool and it is Mother’s Day after all.  Going to the beach is just a nice way to do something different and get away from it all.

For as much work as it is to have a pleasant day out at the beach is it worth it?  Do other people not go in their pool water when it is less than 80, yet think nothing of going in the 63 degree ocean water? 

 

When all is said and done, the uninterrupted family time and a chance to get a little color is always worth it to me.  A change of scenery and a day out of the norm is a good day out.

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You’re Never Too Old to Make Good Friendships

It is funny how friendships change as we grow older. Growing up and through college I wanted friends that were at similar stages in life like me. I wanted friends that were my age and had little drama. After college came challenging years where I hung on to school friendships and then people start moving away and getting married. After I was married and my children had not entered school yet, my dream was to have friends close by where the husband and wife were still together, had children in the same age range as mine, and where my husband and I liked the other couple and not just the wife. This was a true struggle for a few years, but then the turning point hit when my kids started school.

As the kids were old enough to be in scouts and start playing sports, we have had the opportunity to make that dream of mine come true. We have met some of the best families through sports and scouts. I have to admit that it is easy to make friends when you have a pool and like hosting social gatherings. One invitation can lead to a lifetime of friendship.

It is wonderful to make new friends at middle age although I hate to admit we are in that range. At this stage of our lives, the friends we make are not pretentious, but are gracios and truly happy to accept the invitations especially when they don’t have to get a babysitter. It is so ideal when the kids hang out and the parents hang out and all get along. Also, the adults recognize what it takes to have someone over and all offer to bring something. We have had many gatherings where families bring appetizers, drinks, and more than enough side dishes or other food. We also recognize that we are all busy, nothing is perfect and the chance to relax with friends stress-free is golden. Because we are so busy some of the best times have been with last minute invites like one we were invited to at 9:00 am the day of the get together.

We have made the best friends through cub scouts due to the many family activities involved. Sports friends are easy to make as well by just going out for pizza after the game. The best part of the friends we have is that the invitations are not one way. If you get invited to someone’s home it is great to reciprocate and I think some people don’t get that part. Reciprocation can be in the form of an outing or time at the park, but it does not have to be in your home only.

It continues to be a wonderful journey in life when you open your home, open your heart, and reach out to new people. You never know when people may move away so you need to continue to make new friends every year. It is work that is well worth the payoff.

The Girl Scouts could not have said it better than in the first song we learned in scouting:

Make new friends and keep the old,

One is silver and the other is gold.

What new friendships are you working on?