Friday, August 23, 2013


What is it about the beach that makes it such an attractive destination? The "call" of the water? The sand? The awesome view of the sky? The "land's end" of it all?

It may seem cliché, but it just doesn't seem like you can truly say you've had a "summer vacation" until you've had at least had one good long visit to the beach.  

So, we packed up the kids, the dogs, and the car and headed to St. Simon's Island for a week. A WHOLE WEEK!  I think this was the longest vacation we've ever had with our little core family unit all together in one place.  Surprisingly, it didn't take us very long to unpack, unwind a bit, and slip into "vacation" mode.

Some people really are authentic "beach people" - others, not so much. Whether you don't like a single grain of sand in between your piggies -  or if you'd prefer to dig, splash, and make sand castles all day - you have to admit the scenery and sounds around you ain't half bad! 

It never fails, the minute the ocean comes into my view, the same thought pops in my mind:  I wonder how many submarines are out there, hiding under the surface? How close are they to us and what is their crew's mission? Are they friend or foe? Armed with weapons or not? 

Yes, folks, I'm actually a military spy novelist in my other life. And yes, I fully realize that any deployed submarine is usually not within eye-sight of the shore. But go with me on this, mmmmm-kay? It's MY mind's internal workings, not yours.  (Lucky you!)


I could get all poetic and tell you how the ocean brings out the lyricist in me, but to be perfectly honest, every time I go to the ocean, I have the same darn song running through my head the entire time:
“Got a whale of a tale to tell ya... A whale of a tale and it's all true, I swear by my tattoo. There was Typhoon Tessie; met her on the coast of Java. When we kissed, I bubbled up like molten lava. Then she gave me the scare of my young life. Blow me down and pick me up, she was the captain's wife! It's a whale of a tale and it's all trrruuuuuuue!”

If you haven’t seen the 1954 movie adaptation of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, please do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s got a young Kirk Douglas who plays a harpooner named Ned, who gets captured and taken aboard the (“ocean monster”) Nautilus submarine by Captain Nemo and his crew. 

One of my absolutely favorite lines from the movie is when Captain Nemo is explaining why the submarine crew should not venture out into the island of New Guinea by saying: “The natives over there are cannibals. They eat liars with the same enthusiasm as they eat honest men.” 

Morbid, yes, but it always makes me laugh a little.


No cannibals here. Just some yummy soft serve yogurt. Yogurt with a boat load of toppings that we ate in very large quantities on a daily basis.

Abbott has never been a big fan of sand. But by the end of the trip, he actually found an affinity for the tidal pools and the areas of hard-packed sand.  None of us ventured out further into the ocean water than anything deeper than our waists  - which was fine with Evie, since she was perfectly content to run around and "stomp" the waves as they crashed ashore.
It also didn’t help that we scheduled this trip for the week immediately after “Shark Week” had been airing on TV. Nothing like going to the beach right after watching documentaries on shark attacks, massive feeding and breeding grounds, and all the fun nightmare-inducing episodes that Shark Week brings to our attention. 

Not that we had any plans to do a lot of deep water swimming, but we were only a few miles away from a well known hot-spot of shark breeding. So, as long as the amorous-feeling sharks stayed on their side of the island, I was perfectly content to stay on our side.  Not a lot of shark lovin' over here. 

Sharks can't get me up here, momma!

And you know how it is - once a vacation is over, it always takes a few days to get back into the swing of the daily routine of work and school. And laundry.

I may have to cook up some fish for dinner and have some soft serve yogurt for dessert tonight just to bring back the beach memories.


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