Wowza. Can’t believe it’s already the first Saturday in June. Summer is here! I mean, not officially, but feel that sun, drink that iced coffee, am I right?! I woke up feeling a little bit bummed this morning and I realized it’s because I would rather be at the beach! I don’t want to be home. I don’t want to be doing work. I don’t want to be cleaning my house. I WANT TO BE AT THE BEACH! After pouring myself a large iced coffee and talking myself off my I don’t wanna do this, I don’t wanna do that ledge, I decided to put on my new bathing suit and do a little bit of daydreaming down memory lane.
Chincoteague Island, Virginia has been the Schu family’s summer destination for as long as I can remember. Each summer we would pack up the trailer and cars, attach a bunch of bikes, kayaks and maybe a sailboat or two and drive the six sizzling hours (I always rode with my Pop in the truck that lacked air conditioning) to the beach. Once we arrived, our excitement would aid us in setting up all the tents, unloading the airstream, slathering on the sunscreen, filling the cooler with sandwiches (as we got older beer. so. much. beer.) and hitting the hot sand on Assateague Island. If it wasn’t a beach day, you could find the Schu crew in the canoe, crabbing, clamming or fishing our way to dinner time. As a little one, there were plenty of moments that I thought our canoe, with its birch bark paint job, was going to capsize from the wake of passing speed boats. As I got older, I learned to differentiate between hairy moments and life threatening ones, there were a lotttt of hairy ones.
As the summers came and went, so did our old airstream trailer and dry-rotted tents. We started renting a house and inviting even more family and friends to join us on our beach adventures. A few years ago, my parents bought a house on the bayside in a sleepy little town called Saxis. Now our summers are spent near the beach whenever we manage to break free of our work constraints and make our own individual pilgrimages to the beach. Unfortunately, it’s rare that the Schu family spends two uninterrupted weeks at the beach together like we did as kids, but if we’re lucky, we visit more than only fourteen days each summer.
As a kid, I remember waiting all summer long for our beach trip, as if all the other carefree sunny days were insignificant compared to the time I was going to have at the beach. They certainly weren’t. We had a blast hanging out at the community pool, inviting friends to come play on our farm or just lazing away in the grass for hours, but something about the tradition of packing up and heading to the same beach, year after year, made each beach expedition legendary. How do you thank your family for such a feat? For making a single spot on the map absolutely magical? You make time, plan a trip and recreate those moments as adults, not just for you and your memories, but out of gratitude for your mom and pop and for the sake of tradition for the new little ones in your clan.
How did you spend your summers as a kid? Did you also have a vacation or an activity that you looked forward to all year long? Was it a tradition or some new outing each year? Take a moment and revive those childhood memories, I want to hear about them 🙂