What is the point of SPF 50 sunscreen applied every 30 minutes if you are still going to get burned?!?! I mean, we were vigilant! But nothing can withstand the demon sun against our delicate northern European skin. All of us got pink. Red in some spots. But not so terrible. It was definitely manageable.
That is until I developed a freakish sun allergy. When has that ever happened? Never. I've been able to frolic in the sun my whole life, with proper protection. But now suddenly I'm like Dracula. (I'm going to write a post about how this has been the year to say about my body, "Well, THAT'S never happened before." Which officially makes me 80.) By Tuesday night I got this weird rash on my neck and arms that would inflame any time the sun hit it. Which was all the time. And it itched and burned and turned me all splotchy and I felt kind of miserable. That was a bummer. And I ended up going home on Thursday which was an even bigger bummer. But then I was in a Benadryl haze for most of Friday and I slept in my own bed and showered in a place that had not been peed in by thousands of humans and I was feeling much better.
But the time there, even cut short, was lovely. So, so lovely. I've mentioned before that one of the things I love about beach camping is that it is expected that you look like a beach bum. There's no need for make-up. Your hair is always in a ratty ponytail. You're either in your bathing suit or stretchy pants all day long. You have sand in your ears and dirt on your feet. You and everyone around you smell like camp fire and salt water and roasted marshmallows. It's heaven.
Things of note:
1. There were dolphins every evening leaping out of the water and riding on the crests of the waves.
2. We have this old, old, old table tent cover thingy that was the bane of our existence as kids trying to put it up. All we wanted to do was get down to the water but we couldn't until the whole site was set up. I have many memories of standing around that tent with all of my siblings, holding up a pole while my dad fumed over it. Instead of doing the sensible thing and borrowing an EZ-Up from someone we decided to bring the old beast. And Katie, Lindsay and I had it up in about 30 minutes. And none of us swore. And it stayed up the whole time. We felt like superheroes.
3. I earned my fire-starting merit badge. And hatchet-wielding merit badge for chopping up kindling. I'm not even a girl scout.
4. The ISS flew overhead one night as Lindsay showed us constellations. We all waved.
5. You know when you catch a wave on your boogie board and your legs get all floppy in the surf? That's one of my most favorite sensations in the world.
6. Limited access to technology. Because the only outlets to charge your phone were in the bathrooms. Gross.
7. Hours of leisure time. We read and played games and sat and looked at the waves crashing or the fire burning for endless hours. With plans to do the same thing the next day.
8. Falling asleep and waking up to the waves crashing below. You can almost imagine that you're not in a tent.