I never really dug the beach, for all the obvious reasons. Hot, sticky, sand in butt, burning body, sharks in water. In the early ‘90s, my friend Diane used to call me “Flip Flip Flip” because I’d haul a stack of magazines to the beach, rarely noticing the ocean, the waves, the sand; preferring instead a Stephen Saban club-life column in Details.
But then, something changed.
For the last seven or so years, I’ve been spending a week in July in the Outer Banks with my husband’s large, extended family. Kids and cousins, old and young pack into two beach houses in Duck, North Carolina. We take turns making dinners, we go swimming in the house pool, we drink his brother’s famous cosmos and we just laze about on a set of overly comfortable couches. Often there are at least four of us crammed around a kitchen table on our laptops — work doesn’t completely stop, of course.
In the beginning, I’d balk at spending a week (a week!) at the beach. What the heck would I do with myself?? Until I realized I could spend the entire trip without ever actually going to the beach. Yes. Long bike rides, karaoke with the locals, eating crabs at dusk. There’s a lot more to the beach than the beach.
This year, however, we’re not going; several folks in the family are taking a cruise instead and we decided not to do that (cruise phobia is a story for another day) and I’ve realized how much I’ll miss it — even the sand-between-toes. That week in July represents a time when we all come together and do the very same things: Duck coffee in the morning, bike ride, a swim, a nap at 3pm, cocktails, repeat.
It’s a much-needed annual recharge. So next year, we’re doing it come hell or ocean water.
This week in our Beach issue:
- Jennifer Hill tells us how to do Bermuda, the second-time around.
- Judy McGuire gets a blister in the sun.
- Susan Linney offers the facts and fiction on SPF.
- The TueNight Crew shares their favorite sunscreen.
- Heather Barmore wears a bikini and lives to tell.
- Jody Jones lives for summer and sand.
- And we’ve stocked a few beach-inspired items in our GREAT.LY boutique.
Enjoy the beachy waves!