My sister’s family went to the beach this morning. How cool is that, going to the beach on the first day of summer? My parents went along to help out, and let’s be frank, to go to the beach. We went to the beach a lot as kids; mom and dad would pack up the car with a ton of really heavy stuff, and we’d leave at about six in the morning. We had an umbrella and a metal cooler. Inside the cooler was about 14 different fruits (peaches, plums, grapes) veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers peeled and sliced into spears), and either sandwiches or cold Kentucky Fried Chicken. For beverages there were store-brand (DeMoulas) flavored sodas – your basic grape, orange, and rootbeer.
Mom would also pack a knife, a salt shaker (with a piece of wax paper under the top so the salt wouldn’t come out in transit) and other kitchen accessories. Dad had, in addition to a big furniture pad/quilt thing for a blanket, our towels, the umbrella from our picnic table, buckets and shovels, and beach chairs. Looking back, he must have had 20 arms.
Dad loved to body surf, even if it wasn’t called that at the time. Mom didn’t always go in the water. We’d also look for starfish, shells, etc, and build castles. When it was time to leave we not only had to carry all that crap back to the car, we had to carry buckets of sea water, which were used to rinse off our feet in the parking lot before we put on shoes and/or got in the car. This same routine happened EVERY time we went to the beach. I’m pretty sure I don’t know how to go to the beach with only a towel and a bottle of sunscreen. (Not that this is why I go to the beach).