Monday, September 6, 2010

A Labor Of Love

I know it's hard to believe, but I've grown up on the beach and don't love going.  I love the IDEA of the beach but when I get there, I spend more time trying to avoid the sun and get comfortable than I want to.  As I mentioned in my last post, k-ster cannot be satisfied with the beach down the road, so we must trek a half hour to the beach and then almost another half hour OVER the beach to get to the perfect spot.

Yesterday, we went with k-ster's family.  HA, if the whole family went, we'd fill the beach.  We went with some of his family.  Grandparents were involved.  Lots of cousins, a few aunts and uncles.  I went later because I had already planned to ride in the morning.  So this is what it looks like when everyone descends on the beach.

I know!  This is why it's such an ordeal.  You don't just pop your suit on and go.  Since you're there for the day, you must bring food and drink, which means coolers.  And with this group, you must bring a grill or you aren't really eating on the beach.  Then you must bring umbrellas and shade makers.  No swim would be worth it if you didn't have a boogie board.  And you bring towels.  And games to entertain yourself, like this.
Oh, you don't know what this is?  This is a game called Cornhole.  It's the dumbest game EVER.  Almost as dumb as Apples to Apples but someone is probably making a lot more money off of this.  I suppose some kindergarten teacher is laughing hysterically in her retirement as she rakes in the dough from her website(which I won't link to because I don't support this asinine game).   It's a beanbag toss.  Right, from when you were in kindergarten.  You have square beanbags that you have to toss at a board and get into a hole.  There are rules and regulations.  You  must make the hole the size of a coffee can.  The board must be titled a certain amount and must be a certain size.  And then the point system is very odd.  You cancel out each other's points.  It's like throwing horseshoes but I think it takes much less skill.  And I just don't know why it's fun.  They play it everywhere and those heavy boards had to go out to the beach too.  I don't know if you can see it, but there are actually 2 sets of Cornhole boards.  The one they are playing on is very fancy.  They are painted and varnished.  The other is very raw.  Not finished, just plywood.  I think it is far sexier takes more skills to get the bags on there if it's slippery with varnish.  They will play this for hours.  I will not.  You can visit the site and see just how much money you can waste on accessories, like a scoreboard which also had to make its way to the beach.  And to give you an idea of the state of affairs, the scoreboard has beer holders on it.

There were other games, like volleyball and bocce.  The volleyball net is great and I've had it for about 20 years and I've used it maybe a dozen times.  Last time we brought it out there, no one would play.  This time, it was fun for quite a while.  And when the boys played bocce, they truly were like little kids.  I suspect it was one of k-ster's uncles and not his younger cousin that kept suggesting the crazy places (on the hill, over the hill, once with obstacles in the way).

Since this isn't the regular beach where you park and walk to the sand and then see a snack bar and bathrooms, that means there are no bathrooms out on the beach.  Except the biggest bathroom in the world right in front of you.  Did I mention the water is 63 degrees?  And as you saw in yesterday's post, quite choppy.  So, when you have to go, you don't just want to hop in and go.  It's a long torturous event trying to get in just to your waist.  And if the tide isn't going out, the shoreline has rocks that are very sharp and the waves toss them at you. Good thing I don't work for the Chamber of Commerce or we'd have no tourists here,the way I paint this picture. One way to deal with this is the wetsuit that k-ster bought me one Christmas.  While I look like I'm going deep sea diving, it is a fantastic way to deal with the cold.  And then I can boogie board and get tossed onto the ocean floor and don't scrape up my knees.  It's also marvelous because I don't have to worry about losing my top or bottom, as k-ster's cousin kept doing.  I don't get boogie board rash on my front.  And the best part is the sun protection.  But, if I don't want to gear up and just want to go to the bathroom like a normal person\, I use this.  I call it the Potty Tent.  That's really what it's made for! The brand is Travel John but Potty Tent is much better, don't you think?  Inside is a portable toilet like you would use for camping.  This is a much needed relief out there.  But the wind was so bad yesterday that we had to tie the tent down in like 100 different ways and it was still questionable.  It's also a great place to change out of wet clothes or into a bathing suit.  I think it's time to buy a new one because it's getting quite beaten up and it's a pain to set up and take down.  Lots of bendable pieces.  I've seen others.

So why is my title A Labor of Love?  This is labor day weekend, the last weekend of fun around here.  It isn't really, because fall is fantastic around these parts, but this the tourist's last big hurrah as kids have to go back to school.  And though I hate all of the packing and unpacking and being tied up out there all day long knowing how long and bumpy the ride off is, I do love it when the waves are good, not scary, and I can boogie board.  We had perfect waves for the yesterday and it was lots of fun.  But today is the next day and we haven't even touched the truck to unpack yet.  I leave you with this picture because it cracks me up.  Two people are holding something behind the truck, can you see it?  It's a metal shelf that goes into the trailer hitch at the back.  You can carry more stuff on there.  At the time this was taken, someone was looking for the cotter pin, truly the lynch pin of the entire operation, because without that, the bolt doesn't stay in and the shelf won't stay on the truck so nothing gets towed home.  It makes me laugh that the two of them are standing there holding it, like it might run away if they don't.  They are tired from their day of too much fun and they are kind of like zombies standing there.  And you'll notice the truck in front of us has a lot of fishing poles.  They never made it out of the truck.  But you bring everything including the kitchen sink bathroom toilet because you'd hate to be out there and wish you had brought it.

I realize I have a lot of nerve complaining about living somewhere so gorgeous and having such a great place at my disposal.  But I just wish it was simpler.  I don't like ordeals.  I don't like having to think about everything I might want to have with me just in case.  I don't like that the water is so cold I have to either put on a wetsuit or risk turning blue.  But I do like the view.  And I love seeing the seals.  Especially when they pop up about 10 feet away while we are in the water.  This freaks out some people but I'm ok with it.  Now, if one of those sharks popped up with it, this would be a very different post!

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