Every summer my family heads up to a small body of water in the northern Utah mountains called Bear Lake. Since it is at a high-altitude and consists mostly of snow run-off, Bear Lake is usually pretty chilly - even in mid-July. This was the case a week ago when my family reunioned there without me. I called my mom and she said she was sitting on the beach freezing. It's cold and you usually don't leave Bear Lake without a sunburn. We always say that it's just too close to the sun. I'm sure it has more to do with the fact that you don't apply sunscreen because you don't feel like you can get sunburned when your teeth are chattering.
Despite this less-than-perfect beach situation, Bear Lake is one of my favorite summer destinations because I have so many great memories there of good times with both my family and friends. I was sad to miss out on the tradition this year but our little family has come up with a beach tradition of our own, though at a beach much different from Bear Lake.
Each summer we face the risk of getting poked by a needle in the sand and head to the closest beach to us in Ocean City, Maryland. Our local friends wonder why we would want to go to such a trashy place. Yes, it's true that Ocean City ranks highest in hotel filth and features more naked lady tattooes on fat, tanned-to-brown biceps than any other place in the world. I'll admit, that's part of the allure for me. I am a champion people watcher and there are plenty of interesting people to see there. And it's not like we are anywhere near the Jersey Shore-esque bar scene. We just go with friends and enjoy the warm sand, boogey board on the rough waves and watch our children have the times of their lives. We went a couple of weeks ago to do just that.
Only, it was strange because it was really windy and we were cold! It was sort of a bizarro world as typically wave-terrified Ethan got in the water (and loved it) and the rest of us just sat in the sand and shivered. No one even swam.
But, just like my old family tradition in Bear Lake, I didn't need hot temperatures to have fun. The people-watching was superb. And the kids didn't complain once.