Beach Mornings

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Last weekend Bug announced that we were going to the beach for bagels. She didn’t ask anyone if that’s what we wanted to do. She just announced it.  It’s a thing the girls and I do from time to time. We get bagels on our way to the beach and then sit on the lifeguard tower or on a towel on the sand and enjoy our breakfast while watching the waves. It’s not a bad idea really. But I’m not so sure how I feel about Bug dictating the day for the rest of us.

So we hashed it out. We didn’t really have any plans. Everyone threw out all the things we wanted to do and finally by the end of it we admitted that Bug’s idea was the best idea. Also the cheapest. So off we went! All four of us!

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I took my camera along because I am trying to be more responsible in generating content here on this blog AND hey, what do you know, some of these shots might work out really well for the end-of-the-year calendar I like to make as a Christmas gift for the grandparents! Hot diggety! Also it gives me something to do besides going in the water. I’m kind of a curmudgeon when it comes to going into the actual water. It was supposed to be a “morning” at the beach not to be confused with a “Beach Day.” Well, you know how that went.

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When we left it was cloudy and we only thought we’d stay a few hours. But then the sun broke through and it turned out to be a perfect beach day!! Why didn’t I wear my bathing suit?!! Because I’m a curmudgeon that’s why. Grumble, grumble… I really should know better. I am a beach expert. There is really no going to the beach and not getting wet.

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Bug was in her element. She’s a beach kid through and through.

I love that she grew up on the beach and doesn’t get grossed out by a bit of sea weed. You can tell when someone is from inland, they won’t get near the stuff. Sand between their toes? Nope. But us, we sleep in sandy sheets and think it’s normal.

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The waves were decent so the girls tried to brush up on their body-surfing skills. Let’s just say we need to go to the beach more this summer. They need some practice.

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I took a thousand pictures. I love this beach so much. I do miss not living by it anymore. I miss all the changing colors with the weather and the geography of the rippling rocks, bending to whatever plate tectonics we have going on. It’s just so beautiful and changing every day.

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At one point Bug snuck up and threw some seaweed on me while I was bending over taking pictures of a shell or something. Insert rolling eye emoji.

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Eventually we had to cut the girls off. I hate doing it. I want to be that parent who can stay at the beach all day until the sun goes down and they exhausted and sun-kissed but I had things to get done. You know how it goes.  Phones are dying, stomaches are grumbling for lunch, the laundry needs to get done before the week starts up again etc etc… So we packed up our towels and beach blankets and slowly made our way back to our boring regular every-day life. Next weekend we have the girls I vowed that we’d do it again and this time pack a lunch and plan to stay all day. Next time!

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But a beach morning is better than a no-beach morning. So we kissed our favorite view goodbye and promised we’d be back soon.

Plein Air Field Trip

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Bug’s class had a plein air field trip to the beach this last Monday. You know I signed up to chaperone that trip! I’ll skip the mile walk to the farm in the sun, the overnight trip on the boat with pirate ghost stories and even the sing-along at some fancy schmancy concert hall but I am NOT going to miss out on a trip to the beach with painting.

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That is MY KINDA field trip! I was supposed to schlep water to and from the bathroom to the children’s painting stations and supervise a bunch of rowdy kids on the beach who weren’t supposed to be getting wet (heh-to-the-heh on that) but when one of the teachers said I could sneak off and paint some too I was on that like a fly on… well, you know. I was ON IT!

I love love love painting outside and what could be more beautiful to paint than a foggy day at the beach?plein-air-painting-3

It’s funny. So many people moan and complain when a day like this comes along. Where is the sun? Where is the blue sky? Where are all the vibrant colors? How am I supposed to wear a bathing suit and get a tan on a day like this?!  You know what I say? Where are all the hordes of tourists?! Shut up and be thankful and consider this your one way ticket to your own private beach. How often do you get the beach to yourself? Not often!!

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Personally, I love the colors of the beach when it’s foggy. I say this all the time and my long time readers will probably know what I’m going to say before I even say it. The beach is different every day. I used to walk it every day, Bug and I and our big fat jogger stroller. Every day it was a different ombre paint stick of beauty. Soft blues and grays, shades of lavender and beige blending with softness and then the next day zillions of bright red tiny lobsters might show up out of no where. You never know what you are going to get. The sky and water are constantly going back and forth in a playful battle over who’s going play the biggest color or lack of color card. You come to appreciate the subtleties when you see it every day. The foggy days are more personal, like a soft moody hug from nature.

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But back to painting. We all had so much fun. They had different artists from the community helping the kids in groups of ten or so. It was a brilliant plan and you would not believe how the kids ate it up. The squirrely boys who can’t focus their attention span on anything that isn’t bouncing or loud, were quiet and focused. The shy girls who usually fade into the walls were shining with talent. It was just a great mix of involvement. Nobody fails at plein air painting. It’s an emotional experience and no painting is wrong. It’s how you interpret the colors and your palette. I was amazed at how good their paintings were. Blur your eyes and you might even think their works of blurry art were photographs.

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I think they learned more about creativity and their own potential on this day than they probably did all year. I’m always for kids getting outside and learning. They will never forget the memories they made on this day.

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Of course my beach girl was in her element, showing off her billy goat climbing skills like she learned to walk on the beach or something (she did).

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It was just really fun. I am loving these years. Bug and I had a picnic lunch together and pretended that our peanut and butter sandwiches were fancy French pastries. Because that’s not really a stretch for us.

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Her class had a blast. I imagine some of them haven’t really been to the beach that much, if at all. It’s always good to see kids let lose and have a little fun. You should have seen so many of them jumping in the waves, shoes and all. They had no fear of cold feet or the bus ride home with itchy uncomfortable sand in their shoes. They were just there in the moment full of joy.

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Maybe we all need a little more foggy joy in our lives. I apologize for the nice neat bow ending but you know what I mean.

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