A Day at the Beach

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“One, two, three, four, little fairies shut the door.”

We spent one Sunday recently at Sandy Point State Park, fulfilling an Aria Summer Bucket List request to visit the beach this summer. I would have liked to make that a West Coast experience, but that wasn’t to be this year, so on a whim one weekend, we decided to visit this little gem on the Chesapeake Bay. The park is large, with docks for launching boats, a couple beaches, a small nature center where Ani touched her first snake, and some shaded, grassy areas to picnic (among other things). It was just what we needed, relatively close by (just over an hour’s drive) with few bugs on the beach itself (though the woman at the nature center said ticks are a huge problem right now on the trails) and lots of appeal for the littles.

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Being our first time there and only having the afternoon, we stuck to the beach and had lots of fun playing in the waves and sand. The near-constant breeze kept us cool in the hot sun, though if we go back at some point I think we’ll rent a beach umbrella/tent to provide some shade (there are concessions for this and snacks very close).

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The waves were choppy, causing the water to become murky and hide the quickly-sloping bottom; the coarse sand contained more pebbles than seashells, though those were found, too, and covered us in a fine film of orangey dust. In the late summer, hotter months, jellyfish are common in the water here, some with tentacles around 5′ long, others without tentacles (and therefore unable to sting) and we saw both kinds. The little ones pictured above (without tentacles, I believe) washed up on the shore several times, allowing us to show the girls and explain the different kinds. Keith got a small sting on his arm, which, thankfully, didn’t bother him too much; otherwise, we went unscathed by the jellies.

Overall, we had a great time. We got a taste of the salt air and water that I often crave, and did so spur-of-the-moment. Even more importantly, we got to spend some quality time as a family, a rarity lately. Outings like this, I find, recharge our collective batteries and our relationships quite a lot, giving us energy to get through the weeks of long hours and traveling (for Keith) and fond memories to ground us and keep us together even when we spend so much time apart.

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