Posted by: drrozkaplan | August 11, 2010

Why I Don’t Like Beach Vacations

Okay, before I upset anyone, let me say that I am not complaining about being on vacation.  ANY vacation is good, including this one, which happens to be at the beach.  Any time I can hang out with my family and/or friends, sleep when I want to, exercise when I want to, read, and write, is a good time.  We’ve got good weather, no rain (a little hot, but it cools off at night.) So there’s really not anything to complain about.

BUT, and there is a ‘BUT’ here, being that I am at the beach, I am reminded why we don’t do beach vacations.  This is the first one in many years.  We sometimes do a couple of days at a beach location, or visit family (specifically my husband’s parents) in a beachy place.  But we don’t ordinarily choose ‘down the shore’ as our perfect vacation.  Why?  Well, there are a lot of reasons.  And no, I am not going to complain about wearing a bathing suit.  Actually, considering my age, I still look fairly good in a bathing suit (yay, me!- of course I did say ‘considering my age’).  No, there are a variety of other reasons:

1.  The Sun.  No, I don’t hate the sun as a general concept.  We all need a little sunshine, some Vitamin D, but lying in the sun on the sand several hours a day for a week is a serious recipe for melanoma when you have skin like mine or my kids’.  My skin is fair.  My son’s is one shade paler than fair.  My daughter’s is what I would refer to as translucent.  Even with our Neutrogena SPF 100 with Helioplex (the skin cancer experts are recommending that one this year), we don’t stand a chance.  We are going to burn.  All over the beach I see a sea of people who are either white as sheets and about to become cooked, already burnt to a crisp, or brown and leathery from chronic exposure.  We are all doomed.  Even if we don’t get skin cancer, we will have wrinkles, spider veins, and crepey, mottled skin.  My only hope would be to stay inside, in which case coming to the beach would have been a complete waste.

2. Bad Hair.  Nobody’s hair looks good at the beach.  But mine is a nightmare.  Usually I can control my curls and keep them from being frizzy with good products, even in Philadelphia summer humidity.  But I have not yet found a product that can overpower ocean air.  Ugh.  No matter what I do, if I’m at the beach, my hair will be FRIZZ.  Hopeless.  And yes, I am vain.  I think I told you that before.

3. Sand.  Sand has many lovely properties.  Its whiteness, its ability to be molded into castles, the way you can squish it between your toes….I try very hard to keep sand out of the house at the beach.  We all rinse our feet with the hose outside.  If anyone is really sandy, they get a full outdoor shower.  Still, sand invades the house.  It never really comes off your feet completely all week.  I find it in the crotch of my bathing suit even after it has been washed.  Why? How?  How is it that sand even travels home in the suitcase even though everything has been cleaned?  How is there still sand on the floor after vacuuming and sweeping?

4. Lack of Green.  I like trees.  There aren’t any here.  Hardly any at any of the Jersey beaches I’ve been to except Cape May.  My ideal relaxation moment is sitting under a big tree in an Adirondack chair.  Somewhere where there’s grass.  Blue sky with clouds moving fast in the breeze above.  That’s the inspirational setting for me.  The one that gets me thinking, daydreaming, writing….

For a lot of people, that inspiration is sand and surf.  The ocean breeze.  The sound of the waves lulling them.  But I would rather be in the mountains.   It’s flat here.  Everyone walks to the beach, where they sit on towels under umbrellas, and then they walk back to their houses.  I’m always looking for something to climb, somewhere new to go, something to explore, my tree, my Adirondack chair, and it’s not here.

Oh well, when in Rome… I’m going to work on my sunburn.

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