Summer’s Already Gone?

1-IMG_0184This is the first summer in a long, long, long time that I can remember that we never did make it to the beach.  No sand between the toes, no salty ocean water, and no frozen chocolate malt cup with one of those little wooden spoons.  It’s a little bit of a bummer since we are less than an hour from the ocean’s shore.  But, things happen and life rolls on.  There will be many more summer’s at the beach.

This is me pouting a little, and stomping my feet a couple of times.  I have such great memories of going to the beach with all of my kids, and their cousins.  For a few summers we would go to the beach once a week.  We’d leave right after lunch and get to the  ocean’s shore around 2pm.  We’d take dinner with us.  Cold chicken legs, watermelon, and an assortment of chips and what not’s.  We’d swim and watch the sunset, and would not leave until it got dark.  Such good times and such great memories.  Sometimes I would have 5 or 6 kids in the car with me, along with all of the boogie boards, towels, lots of sunscreen, and food.  My Momster van would be stuffed to the brim.

For quite a few years we had an annual family picnic at the beach.  We would set the date so everyone could be together for a day of fun in the sun.  There would be tons of food, a few e-z ups for shade, lots of chairs, and a wagon to haul it all in.  Then there is a certain Travel Guy in the family who would get to the beach extremely early, I’m talking like 6 or 7 am.  He would stake out a fire ring, take a grill with him to cook on,  and get a spot all staked out for the day.  I’m sure I remember him taking some parking cones to help him stake out our “party zone” for the day.  He’d usually have a few helpers with him, who’d get treated to a breakfast cooked beachside.

Family members would trickle into the “party zone” throughout the day. There would be lots of eating and swimming,  swimming and eating, Frisbees, a few baseball gloves and a ball for the kids to play pickle, and maybe a kite or two.

By dinnertime we’d have a fire roaring in the ring.  Hot dogs and hamburgers roasting, salads galore, and all of the kids just chomping at the bit to roast marshmallows for their s’mores. Of course it wouldn’t be a proper marshmallow fest without a game of chubby bunny first.

We’d roast lots and lots of mallows, eat s’mores, laugh and kibbutz about all things family.  The day would end when  the beach closed, around 10pm, and then it was the long, tired trek home.  Such great memories and such good times.

It’s been a few years since we’ve gotten all of the gang together for a family beach day.  It gets harder and harder every year with all of the kids moving along in their own directions. It was a fun family tradition that hopefully we can revive again soon.

Now fall is upon us.  Here in Southern California we look forward to the cooler days and nights.  Many, many cooler nights.  We still can get to the beach a time or two, it’s just not the same as during the hot days of summer.

Does your family have a  favorite summertime get together?


  1. Donna Wennerstrom says:

    I remember going to the Antioch pool in the summers, Joe Zersen would take us and we also would bring lunch and snacks and just have a whole lot of fun, then at the end of the day, she would take this one road and go fast over the hill and our hearts would get so excited. I sure miss those days.

  2. Renee, we live very close to several sandy beaches, and I thought you might like to see some pics I took a few weeks ago. I hope they help you recapture memories you’ve spent on the beach. 🙂 :

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