Tag Archives: beach

Nobody’s Leaving This Fun Family Vacation

Oregon Coast. MomsicleBlog

I have romantic images of family beach vacations swimming in my head. My siblings and I would play pretend in the dune grasses and find sand dollars at low tide. We would ride our bikes down to the village for ice cream, and at least once every trip we would go in to the city to buy saltwater taffy and seafoam—that crackling, airy, sugary delight—dipped in chocolate.

The Instagram filter of my childhood ocean vacations is sutro, that one where the colors are faded but deepened, brightest in the middle and soft around the edges.

Now it’s my turn to immerse my children in the salt-water sweetness of the Oregon Coast.

I had images of the boys in bathing suits with ice cream melting down their faces in my mind as I loaded up the car with our supplies and the used bike-trailer-stroller that would wheel everything down to the sand for 4th of July week.

But, as many of you already know, gremlins may turn psychotic when removed from their normal routines and surroundings. They snatch candy from holiday parades and hide it in secret corners of hotel rooms. They scream and yell and claw at you when you are helping them make memories, and instead of napping they may rearrange furniture to create launch pads to hurtle themselves onto beds.

Once after college I spent a summer in Houston and went to the beach at Galveston for the day with friends. I looked on derisively as beat-up minivans backed onto the sand close to the water, then unlatched their trunks–giant coolers, cases of soda, children, and boom boxes tumbling out.

This was not the classy, eclectic magic of the Pacific. This was an anarchist explosion on the shore. I was happy to leave those trashy images behind.

Oh karma, you beautiful beast.

Ten years later I am unlatching the Velcro of my hand-me-down bike-trailer-stroller and letting coolers filled with pepperoni and beer tumble out, setting up a Bedouin tent city for our assault on the beach, camp chairs and a giant shade umbrella anchoring the set-up, a $19.99 blow-up boat and a garage-sale kite keeping company nearby.

Each day we would shove our bike-buggy near the freshwater creek heading to the ocean, just far enough off the beach path so that others could get by on their way to long, romantic walks. We weren’t ambitious enough to turn the corner to where we could see the waves. Instead we looked across at our hotel, where we could run to when we had forgotten a bottle opener, or a gremlin needed to use the bathroom.

Fun Family Vacation. MomsicleBlog

And the ice cream.

By the time we remembered the ice cream, the gremlins had been banned from sugar for the rest of the trip. So my mom and I snuck off during nap time and she bought cones for the two of us. We ate them on the ledge of a planter by the general store, hidden from passersby, lest our secret be exposed by a wandering family member.

The next day, it was my husband’s turn. He left to get a scoop of Tillamook marionberry pie ice cream while I stood guard back at the room.

And those were the best ice cream cones we’ve ever eaten.

I don’t mean to leave you thinking there wasn’t magic in this trip. There was. It’s just that the image I often have in my head about what something should be like is just that. It’s an image reflecting a set of expectations that may not be realistic.

I always think of Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, as his romanticized holiday is going up in flames and the family is starting to jump ship: “Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together… We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f*cking Kaye.”

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Sauvie Island, Portland, Oregon (Summer Wordless Wednesday)

 

Sauvie Island. MomsicleBlog

 

Sauvie Island. MomsicleBlog

Sauvie Island. MomsicleBlog

Sauvie Island. MomsicleBlog

Sauvie Island. MomsicleBlog

Sauvie Island. MomsicleBlog

Taking Your Kids to the Nudist Beach on Sauvie Island

K-Pants has a pal we call Luke. You may remember Luke from his enormous, camouflaged brain. Or you may not.

Anyhow, Luke’s mother has a sardonic sense of humor, which I love. After finding out about a recent beach trip where their crew ended up hanging out at a local nudist beach, I asked her let me share the story.

Exposing Your Kids to Sauvie Island (by brita)

Sauvie Island Nudist Beach Guest Post. Momsicle Blog

[Editor’s note: This is Irna, Luke’s sister. She’s very into fashion. I thought you should meet her. Okay, on to the story….]

You can really see a lot of Portland on display if you visit Sauvie Island. Particularly if you inadvertently end up at the clothing-optional beach.

I followed a friend’s recommendation and since the clothing-optional and clothing-required beaches are adjacent to one another, it’s easy to land in the wrong spot.

In our defense, I’ll say that when we got there it was overcast, windy and everyone there was fully clothed.

Of the many things I’ve learned about public nudity, the first is that it is an activity people ease into. Secondly, nude beaches seem to appeal exclusively to men over fifty. Thirdly, it involves a lot of standing around, presumably to 
avoid sand entrapment in unfortunate places (but given that the problem 
could be remedied with a bathing suit, I can only guess the purpose of
 standing is to obtain the full effect of the resulting exhibition).

The kids didn’t much notice, although Irna (our own resident nudist) 
would occasionally look up from her work, laugh–and say, “Naked.”

Sauvie Island Nudist Beach Guest Post. MomsicleBlog

I think
 it actually was a great beach, but I spent most of my time politely averting
 my eyes.

By the end of our outing, the clouds had burned off, and the sun was 
out, and suddenly, we were outflanked by… flanks.

We packed up our
 gear, the kids bringing half of the beach’s sand with them, and
started for the car.  As we left, some of the more inhibited patrons 
began dropping trou–probably having spent the last two hours wondering 
why we were there and what social convention dictated when a fully clothed family takes over your nudist beach.

Sauvie Island Nudist Beach Guest Post. MomsicleBlog

I asked Irna at bedtime what her favorite part of the day was and she
 mimicked a “thinking about it” face, complete with, “hmm” expressions.

It’s adorable, you should see it.

Anyway, she gave a three word
 reply, “Park.  Naked. Grandpa.”

So, yeah.  We’ll be more careful where we set up shop next time.

***

A note on Irna’s name:

The online pseudonym for my daughter came to me in a dream following
 Evelyn’s invitation to post on her blog.  My dream self was very 
insistent that the spelling was I-r-n-a and pronounced “Eirene,” like a
 character in the HBO series Rome (and according to Google, the Greek 
goddess of peace). This proves that, at least in my specific case, the 
subconscious mind is neither imbued with any particular wisdom nor is 
it a super great speller.