(Photo courtesy Vacationer Facebook Page)The beach. Ah…. I have little else to say besides “take me to one, immediately.” If you’re headed to the shore this weekend, or just wish you were, here are some things to do, buy and wear.
Swimming may seem like an obvious must for the beach, but not everyone knows how. Do you? I don’t, and according to the CDC, “many adults and children report that they can’t swim.” Often-quoted, although somewhat dated, research from NIH found that 37 percent of American adults report limited swimming ability. I can paddle around some, and float, but as far as real deal swimming? Nope. And while the beach is good for lounging, if you’re going to go into the water — ever — you should have some skills. Finding a class for adults near you is as easy as googling “adult swimming lessons in (insert your town here).”
In my area, the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington offers four adult swimming classes that range from Level 1 (for those who are afraid of the water or have never had a lesson) to Level 4 (for those who are able to swim laps and focus on form). Specialized courses like stroke improvement and the fancy Aqua Pilates can take you even higher. Manhattan’s AquaSkills offers several lesson levels for adults, including individualized programs for overcoming fear of the water (that’s also called aquaphobia, the only thing in the way of you becoming Aqua Woman).
Sometimes the best thing about the beach is enthusiastically doing absolutely nothing. If you’re looking for comfort while you’re sitting or lying on the sand, the Ostrich line of chairs is the way to go. And the breast cavity on the Ladies Comfort Lounge ($88, Amazon.com) that “expands and contracts to accommodate and support varying sizes”? Sign me up for a trial with that baby!
There’s also the Ostrich On-Your-Back Backpack Beach Chair ($56, Hayneedle.com) with face and arm cavities so you don’t smoosh your nose or lose your ability to turn the pages of your beach read. That one also packs up to carry on your back.
Finally, I’ve got my eyes on this three-in-one beach chair with five adjustable reclining options and a cup holder ($90 Hayneedle.com), Sold!
The jury is still out on this year’s song of the summer, by my current favorite beachy tune is one I loved for a while — Shannon McNally’s “Bury My Heart on the Jersey Shore,” an ode to a spot far away from her Delta home. I wouldn’t have expected one of my favorite roots artists to evoke childhood memories of summers spent in Wildwood, but she’s talented like that. The song is on her 2002 CD, Jukebox Sparrows, which I can’t recommend enough. Speaking of the shore, I’m digging the brand-new album Relief by the aptly-named, Philly-based electronic-pop group Vacationer. “There’s paradise waiting for us in summertime,” they sing in “Paradise Waiting.” Agreed.
I said I wouldn’t, but I absolutely fell down the ModCloth.com swimsuit rabbit hole. So much cute, so little time. If you’re willing to buy a bathing suit online — something I never thought I’d do but now I’m not so sure — they’re a great place to start.
I’m obsessing over this Bathing Beauty by Esther Williams Swimwear one piece in emerald green ($90, ModCloth.com), although the red is fabulous, too. Like much of ModCloth’s merchandise, it’s available in plus sizes too, because this company understands that one size does not fit all.
Finally, if I had $175 to burn on a beach tote, which I don’t but I’m California dreaming here, it would be this one from INTERMIX (Dezso, $175, intermixonline.com). As it stands I’ll probably go for this straw tote instead ($40, Target.com), because I love the green and the beads. Can’t go wrong with a few beads for accent.
Enjoy the beach this weekend!