We have had a tradition for a few years now where on Tuesday’s we meet our friends at the beach. It’s not really a beach, it’s a man-made lake in a Park Reserve. It’s a pretty long drive for me, but it’s worth it. The children have so much fun and I get to spend time with my friends, visiting. Here’s how I get ready for a day away.
Pack a LOT of food!
Being outside and swimming makes for hungry children. I actually dread this part of getting ready, but I’m always happy when I’m done! For this trip I made about 12 sandwiches of the turkey, cheese and pea shoot variety. We had peanut butter balls that Blue-Raspberry made especially for our trip. Carrots, sugar snap peas, cherries, and potato chips. I brought a slice of cheese, graham crackers and a peach for marshmallow. She’ll also eat the cherries.
All the food goes into the cooler, I have the kind with wheels and a handle. I also pack paper plates, napkins, plastic wear, cups, a target bag for trash and our picnic table cloth. And I’m always thankful when I remember to add a knife and a little cutting board.
I try to pack light, because it’s hard to keep track of everything once we get there. In the white and pink bag are the kid’s beach towels. The teenagers have their own stuff that they are responsible for, so I just have stuff for 4 of the children in here. There is also goggles and sun hats in that bag. The Trader Joe’s bag has a change of clothes for all my little people. I actually have them change before we leave the beach. I just do right there in the grass, I keep them covered up with their big beach towel. It’s so much nicer than waiting until we get home, then all the sand falls out at the beach, not in the truck or at home. The bag then becomes the wet bag and holds everybodies wet suits for the drive home. The little bag there is my beach diaper bag. I normally use cloth diaper, except on beach day. So this bag has a couple diapers, some wet wipes, the sunscreen, and some Bee Spray (for owies).
When the kids get up in the morning they put on their swimsuits right away. And we try to put on a layer of sunscreen then too, but we don’t always remember to do that.
One of my older sons loads the truck up for us. See our big water cooler? That butterfly bag holds the sand toys. I have two chairs that I bring, one for in the water and one for out. The stroller is a life saver when Marshmallow is eating lunch or needs a break from the water, plus it’s a good place to stash my purse and her diaper bag and the sunscreen.
The Park Reserve has lots of nice grass to play in, the kids love to play baseball and ultimate frisbee and other things…
But their favorite place is definitely the water!
When we get home, the whole process is reversed. Everybody helps unload. Everybody has a job whether it’s starting the laundry, unloading the cooler or putting away the beach stuff. We have a pretty good system which makes it so we can keep going back. Being organized keeps all the effort it takes to get there a joy instead of a burden.
I hope you are enjoying your summer too!