Alan and I are always dreaming up fun things to do together as a family, and our efforts are often met with …….resistence.
One of these fellas actually lamented, “I don’t want to go to the beach. I just want to stay home and hang out at the house.”
Sigh. Well, perhaps we were hasty in taking a beach trip the very second that school let out, but that’s life. Children are still at the mercy of the parents’ summer schedules. We are at the mercy of their’s the rest of the year.
When I was a child, I would have never said, “I don’t want to go to the beach!” I don’t think I ever did go to the beach until I was around 13 years old, and it was something I was exceedingly grateful for.
That just goes to show that the more accustomed to wonderful things that a person is, the less we appreciate those wonderful things.
Have no fear. The moment the reluctant boy sat foot on the beach, he never complained again. In fact, Alan took all the other boys to the pool after an hour, while I stayed at the beach with Joshua until I began to worry about our sun protection.
I was extra careful about sunscreen this year, and it paid off. I brought 0 sun-burned people home from the beach. Hallelujah! 5/6 of us are as fair as fair can be. This was an accomplishment.
My strategy was simple.
- Try to keep everyone indoors between 11am and 4pm.
- Re-apply every 1.5 hours.
- Wear a cover-up as much as possible.
- I wore a seriously ugly hat, and so did Alan.
- Put swim shirts on the kids.
Our other big objective this year was to spend as little money as possible on the vacation.
I think that’s always been a goal for Alan, but in the past I secretly didn’t care. This year I cared just as much as Alan.
Our strategy for this was also simple.
- Our condo was free. Alan’s grandparents let us stay at their place, and that’s why our family has gotten to go to the beach so frequently over the years. (Gigantic thank you to Alan’s grands!!!)
- Only eat out once, and that will be a lunch.
- Buy enough groceries to have plenty of snacks and easy to assemble meals so that no one will even ask to eat out. Success!
- The condo has a pool. The beach is right across the street, so there is no need to pay for any other activities.
- Rent a Redbox movie instead of going to the theatre. (Remember, we have to hide from the sun for several hours/day.)
Would you like our meal ideas that made this possible? It was so simple it’s almost embarrassing to list them.
cereal, eggs, and Pop-tarts
Since they are normally not allowed Pop-tarts, this is a humongous treat. I was curious if pop-tarts were any better than donuts, so I looked it up……They aren’t better, just different.
By the way: 1 Krispy Kreme glazed donut = 22g carbohydrates and 11g fat
1 Blueberry Pop Tart = 38 g carbohydrates and 5g fat
Cocoa Pebbles cereal = 25g carbohydrates and 1g fat
Eggs = 0.6 g carbs and 5 g fat
……Sooooo that’s why we don’t normally do pop-tarts. One of my boys gets crazy hyper from all that sugar. At least with the cereal, they get the protein from the milk to help my conscience. There’s no way I’m COOKING 3 times/day. Breakfast has to be easy.
Eggs are the clear winner, but not all of us can eat the eggs. I have a son with an egg allergy. Sad, right?
Lunches and Dinners
Micro-wavable hamburgers. We are sort of fanatical about these because they are delicious, they are real, and they are brain dead easy to make quickly.
We also served egg sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches, yogurt, and hot dogs while we there. It was only a 3 night vacation.
Next year maybe we’ll do a no-eating out at all policy because that would have saved us another $90, believe it or not. $90 was how much we spent on the groceries for the whole weekend, and yet that’s what it costs to take our family to a restaurant, other than fast food.
And by the way, it was a free of incident beach year too! There were no ER visit, no jelly fish stings, no rain days, and no sunburn. Ah, yeah. We fall more in love with Destin every year.
I’m 1/2 daredevil like Caleb.
I used to swim to the sand bar, and I CANNOT go to the beach without getting drenched from head to toe. It’s not possible. I don’t know how you do it. Moana was right. It DOES call you.
…..but I’m now 1/2 skiddish. I’ve been stung by jellyfish a few times, and y’all, that HURTS. Plus, I see fish and shadows, and I start to panic. Ah, if only I could have stayed young and dumb.
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k]neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.