It’s cold, rainy and windy (very windy) here in Vienna. My boys are sick. (Liam’s diagnosis is two separate viral infections at the same time — one causing diarrhea that he’s had for 10 days, one causing croup. Lucky kid.) I’ve been in the house, nearly constantly, for a week. Benjamin *might* go back to school tomorrow. Maybe.
So naturally, I’m fantasizing about the beach. Summer, sand, beach chairs, umbrellas, playing in the ocean, maybe resting and reading (I know the last part is complete fantasy). Actually, I’m also fantasizing about being home with my family. We’re going to try to combine the two this summer. We have “plans” to go home to see everyone this summer. (So far, “plans” means we’ve talked about it, and I’ve attempted to make sense of a variety of internet beach rental sites — but that’s it.) We’re thinking we’ll probably go home and visit friends and family for about a week, first. (I imagine there will be A LOT of visiting happening in that time — we miss so many people so very much.) Then, we’re going to try to get away to the beach with the family for a week.
Trips to the beach with my parents and siblings (in varying incarnations and combinations, over the years) are some of my happiest memories from my youth. We went to Ocean City for a bunch of years when I was little, and then, as a teenager, to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. In adulthood, we’ve even managed a few family trips (not ever with everyone at the same time, though) to varying locations. It’s always a good time. My family “does” the beach the same way I do — the main activities are sitting in the sand, playing in the ocean, and being together, with very little of anything else. I guess we all learned it together, and from each other, so we all do it the same way. It’s wonderful, and exactly my kind of vacation. I’m really excited about the prospect of this trip. I think it will be wonderful to get to spend such a big block of time together — I’m looking forward to getting a chance to really catch up with the people I’ve missed the most since we’ve been abroad.
I’m also really happy about the idea of bringing the next generation of our family on this beach trip — it’ll be Benjamin and Liam’s first family beach vacation. Benjamin is already planning sand castles and surfing adventures (I think I’d better teach him how to swim at some point) and I suspect Liam’s love of activity of all kinds will easily extend to surf and sand. It’s going to be a chance, too, for my family to really get to know Liam, who was so little when we left, and for them to reconnect with Benjamin, who is growing up so quickly.
I realize, as I peruse internet condo listings, that I’m already idealizing this trip in my mind — I want to be careful not to set the bar unrealistically high. So far, it’s all just fantasy and dreaming, but we’ll make it happen. I know it’ll be wonderful, because right now I miss everyone from home so very much, and the important thing is that we get some time to spend together, more than anything else. But, I’d better stop daydreaming and start some actual planning if I want this to happen — summer will be here before we know it.