“To escape and sit quietly on the beach – that’s my idea of paradise,” declared Emilia Wickstead.
Plan a family trip and enjoy the journey—aaah. Savour the scenery. Make some memories. Get out last year’s swimsuit—oh, too small. Not enough time nor motivation to lose the belly bulge, so suck it in or let it out. Travel to fun and the sun. It’s a surf destination vacation.
Book a bash in Palm Beach, Florida and surprise grandma with a ticket to a Jimmy Buffett Margaretville concert. No wacky weed allowed due to her high blood pressure.
Or drive to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and see the sights. When granny gets grumpy, take her to the World Famous Blue Crab Festival. Maybe she’ll get the hint.
Visit Virginia Beach or the Outer Banks. Lots of room to roam. Granny and the kids can hike for days while you relax by the seashore.
Another option is to idle on an island in the Caribbean – Jamaica, Punta Cana, St. Lucia, Curacao, Barbados, Antigua. Or motorboat granny and the kids around the Cayman Islands or the U.S. Virgin Islands. “Granny, hold on to your dentures!”
Reserve an extra hotel room for grandma and her toothless dog. Put the twins in with her. Cousin Arty can tag along, but only if he books a flight and stays at another lodging. And carries a week’s supply of Beano.
Then let the beach hullabaloo begin. Slather the kids with sunscreen. No whining. No fighting. No crying. Vacation rules: No slime-pranking cousin Arty. Do not glue eggs into the cartoon. No putting fake cockroaches in grandma’s powered laxative container.
Make grandma wear a brimmed hat and sunglasses—and no bikini-wearing for the old gal. But do let her have a margarita and a cheeseburger. And she absolutely cannot skinny-dip in the hotel swimming pool. No nude nana allowed. “Grammie, keep your clothes on in the hot tub! You can dress up, sing, and dance, but only in appropriate apparel.”
Making vacation memories with family is priceless—well not priceless because you had to pay extra when granny’s dog jumped into the hotel swimming pool and released his yellow bladder fluid (pee). And the generous oldster really thought room service was free. “Grandmother, I know you ordered lobster and shrimp out of the kindness of your heart for the entire assisted living centre next door, but there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” And granny really didn’t know her pop-up beach tent and over-sized inflatable flamingo pool float would catch a puff of air and collide into the Tiki Hut.
Nonetheless, it was unforeseen that cousin Arty would rent a moped and crash into several shops on the boardwalk. On the bright side, you’ll enjoy the dented and damaged boxes of salt water taffy (that you had to buy) throughout the entire winter. Who knew there are over 60 flavours?
Conversely, the twins promised to pay you back for buying souvenir t-shirts for their soccer team with your credit card. And only one cell phone sank to the bottom of the ocean.
Isn’t vacation a hoot? Life is a beach.
Melissa Martin, PhD, is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in the US.