As mentioned last week, we had the pleasure of spending a week at the beach recently, thanks to the fact that my in-laws have a shore house in Ocean City, NJ. The week was fabulous - and for me to declare that "a week at the beach" is good, it really has to be good! After all - I'm not supposed to be in the sun, the heat and I don't mix, and I'm almost 27 weeks pregnant...all in all, not an ideal bikini season. But we had a blast, and Deirdre soaked up ever moment she had with her cousins.
We had to make a few concessions on spending every single moment with them, because a) she and I both nap, b) the sun was shining brightly almost every day we were there, and c) the beach is a little extra work (for both of us!) We're always pooped after even a couple of hours in the sand and surf...so I had to limit our time for everyone's sake. Here's how we managed:
We woke up, hung out with the family in the morning, then headed down to the baby pool in the back yard for an hour or two before lunch. Deirdre was in the sun (lathered up appropriately, of course), while I stayed cool sitting in the shade next to the house. I was spared the sun for those couple of hours and she loved running back and forth between the pool and the shade.
Most days, the cousins joined us poolside. But on those days when they headed to the beach, we just chose to hang back and plan our beach time later in the day. We'd head up to the house for lunch and naps...long ones, at that, given that fresh ocean air...and then around 4 or 5pm, we'd head to the beach. Sometimes it was later, sometimes a bit earlier, but boy, was it gorgeous in the early evening hours! The sun was much lower and cooler then, and Deirdre ran back and forth on the beach with her cousins for the last hour or so they were down.
Some days they went up shortly after we came down (after all- they'd been there the whole afternoon) - but Deirdre didn't mind too much. She'd settle back into the sand, digging, splashing, running away from the waves, and loving every minute of it. We usually wouldn't come back up until almost 7 or 7:30pm - a lupus patient's dream visit to the beach. Off-hours!
I think Johnny liked our schedule too. He fit in several rounds of golf while we were on vacation - so just as he was finishing up on the course, we'd be heading down to the beach. Sunset at the beach with family - how divine!
That said - when we DID venture down during the hot, sticky, sunny mid-day hours, my in-laws had erected a tent right there on the beach, shielding no less than 10 people at a time from the rays. It was great - and kept me symptom-free the whole time. Now that IS a good week at the beach!