Throwback Thursday: Four Years of Florida Beaches

Twilight beach family photo – this was the last night on Sanibel Island and our last vacation on a Florida beach.

Other than camping, some of our first family vacations were at the beaches in Florida. We drove down to Pensacola one year, (and I remember being really frustrated because we had a hard time trying to find something to eat. And that’s been our Achilles’ Heel ever since – finding places to eat on vacation and not having to spend a fortune to do so – that’s why we love cruising so much – food everywhere, all the time), Madeira Beach one year, St. Petersburg another year and Sanibel Island was our last beach vacation – believe it or not, we were all pretty burnt out on beach vacations by that time.

Look closely, we are all sloooooooowly melting in this picture. It wasn’t so much the heat, but the humidity … UGH

The thing about beach vacations – it’s pretty hard to hide every bulge and roll. The first time I went to the beach was on our honeymoon – we went to Cozumel Mexico, and I absolutely did not pack the right sort of clothes. Everything I packed was way too heavy – I remember this one shirt, it was green and white striped, I loved that shirt, but it was a heavy cotton and I nearly passed out from heat stroke when I wore it. And even the first few years of going to the beach, I still packed heavy summer clothes like capris and t-shirts.

Helpful hint: Get over your body image because feeling like you can breathe is WAY more important over trying to look better than you really look.

I finally got smart and started packing tank tops, spaghetti strap tees and flowey skirts and lightweight shorts.

And bonus! They look better on me, anyway.

I’ve told Kevin that my swimsuit days are over, but really, I don’t feel comfortable wearing a swimsuit in front of Roy. It’s just … disturbing. So if (when) you ever get me into a swimsuit again, it will absolutely be a one piece, in fact, I don’t ever recall wearing a two piece – ever. I tried those cutsie tankinis on once and I wanted to love it so much, but it did NOT complement my body, at all. (Hello muffin top)

I need to buy a new suit – it’s been YEARS since I’ve bought a swimsuit but let’s be honest ladies, swimsuit buying is even worse than going to the gynecologist, can I get an Amen??

I look better in sportier suits, the ones with the high necks. I’m planning on buying a new suit this year, Kevin and I are throwing ideas around on where we want to go on vacation this year, and we’re definitely leaning toward a beachey destination, but I think I’ll wait until this Fall when they go on sale.

The boys weren’t crazy about the beach. It was SO HOT. Of course, we went in the middle of summer and well, summer is hot. But we didn’t have a choice since they were in school the rest of the year. It was the cruise to the Western Carribean and we were traipsing the jungle in Honduras when we decided – WE ARE DONE WITH SUMMER VACATIONS. If we go on vacation, it will be in off season when it’s not so DAMN HOT. It’s hard to enjoy yourself when you’re literally drenching your clothes. (True story – I had to photoshop sweat stains out of my clothing in the pictures we took in Honduras because it was so bad).

I still have this outfit – too bad I can’t fit into the shorts anymore.

I remember the first time we went to the beach, Brandon couldn’t have been more than … four or five, and he would sit there and make a disgusted face because the sand was dirty.

Have I mentioned one of my first words was dirty? Like mother like son.

And I admit, I’m not crazy about sand, it’s so … gritty and gets EVERYWHERE. And I’m not crazy about the ocean, either. Oh sure, I enjoy looking at it, smelling the salty air, (not to mention, it does wonders for my skin), listen to the waves crash, but swimming in the ocean? YUK, NO. If I stick my body into any water, there better not be any mysterious creature/plant that brushes up against my leg.

Did we enjoy the beach? Of course, and we made some pretty great memories but I do wish I would have relaxed more and just let things happen – I was too much of a control freak and traveling out-of-town, (isn’t that what travel means? To leave one’s home??) stressed me out. I went ape shit if we forgot to pack toothpaste.

Um. Hello. Karen. It’s possible that other stores in other cities may, and I stress MAY, sell toothpaste and it’s possible, just stay with me a moment, to actually BUY a tube of toothpaste from said foreign store. (*GASP*)

Sanibel Island was gorgeous and I felt the most comfortable there, but I think the prettiest beach we saw in Florida was St. Petersberg. I remember the beach down there sort of taking my breath away. It was so pretty. I can’t remember – was that the year we stayed at a hotel and there was a wedding party that was so loud and obnoxious that none of us could sleep?

It’s hard to smile and stay upbeat when you’re sweating inches off your body by the hour and you’re so tired your head is too heavy for your body.

I think that’s the biggest reason I’m not a big beach person – because I don’t feel attractive when we go to the beach. I’m hot, sweaty, gritty, stinky, my hair is greasy and tangly from the wind … and then I’m forcing a smile for vacation pictures.

If we ever go back to the beach, it will be during off season, when it’s not so hot and unbearable. I love the beach, don’t get me wrong, it’s peaceful and beautiful, but I don’t like how it turns me into a walking sandcastle. It’s not fun or attractive, for me.

 

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Karen

Hi! My day job is a CMA in neurosurgery.. I'm a mom to two twenty-something sons. I've been married to the same man for 26 years. I have a lot to say about nothing. Lucky you.