Oh, that's right, no money. Nevermind.
This weekend was so delightful, I want to do it every day - and no, I'd never tire of it.
The beach was perfect. Perfectly perfect in every way. And I'm sorry, but Fort Lauderdale beaches cannot begin to compare to ours, here in the Redneckistan part of the state.
The beaches are far wider, and far less crowded, even on a gorgeous hot June day. We did not pay to park, or walk for another 15 minutes and navigate crossing a heavily traveled A1A hauling all our stuff, and there were bathrooms and showers to get the sand out of Miss D's drawers before the less than an hour drive home. Our baycation house in Fort Lauderdale was delightful, but there really is no place like home.
The sand is smooth and soft and goes on forever, and feels cooler underfoot. It's also far superior for digging, and can entertain a 2 year old for hours.
The water was not QUITE so bathtub calm or QUITE so crystal clear, but was very lovely, calm, and clear. We had no problem wading out beyond the gentle breaking waves into hip-deep water, so Miss D could bounce in the incoming swells with mom. The bottom was as smooth as the marcite bottom of a swimming pool, and free of seaweed and sharp things. We spent a lot of time in the water.
By the end of the afternoon she wanted to SWIM in the ocean. We explained that she had to be a good pool swimmer first, before she could do that on her own. The sight of several very small children, maybe 3 or 4 years old, on kid-sized boogie boards like this: Boogie Board Child Sized 17 x 11x 3", various patterns definitely intrigued her. One dad had his maybe 10 month old son balancing on one like a surfboard (don't call the authorities; the water really was THAT calm and he had a firm grip on the baby, who was loving it).
It was the maiden voyage of the Sport-Brella Umbrella,Blue,and it performed just as advertised, after Lucy and Ethel fumbled around with it for a few minutes trying to figure out how to get the telescoping pole out. Shaking it didn't work, and we were ready to give up when I rapped the side of the shaft in frustration and the pointed end of the pole slid into place, nice as you please. It was very quick to set up after we got past our mechanical stupidity, and one person with the mechanical aptitude of a spider monkey would be able manage it with ease. Next time, no problem!
We did have an issue with the wind; the umbrella stayed in place, but the bottom of the pole would lift out of the hole in the sand just a bit in a strong gust of wind. (The Rio Sports Sand Anchorwas too much work in the solidly packed wet sand). I was sitting under the umbrella when I noticed - oh, hey, it has WINDOWS! Duh! I opened the window flaps, rolled the side windows neatly into place, and the problem was solved. It was a perfect place to park Miss D to dig in the shade, after we deemed she'd had enough sun exposure, even with Waterproof SPF Gazillion applied liberally every hour. Less than $50 well spent.
We spent about 4 hours on the beach and didn't want to leave; even though it's an hour away, we fantasized about a "weekend place." We'd use the hell out of a weekend place at the beach.
But alas, there was no winning lotto ticket for my birthday, so it's back to work tomorrow, to see what new insanity erupts.