We went to the beach today. Just for the day. We traded six hours in the car for six hours in the sand. Overall, I think it was worth it. The kids had a great time and were surprised when D and I spilled the beans this morning.
Since we weren't able to get our regular rental this summer, we punted on going to the beach in favor of our trip to Illinois and Williamsburg. I was hoping to get a couple of days in, but as the summer wound down, it turned out even a couple wasn't going to be easy. We had originally planned on going Tuesday, but the weather wasn't cooperative, so we postponed it until today. (Even still, the weather was overcast and on the cool side, although that wasn't so bad as we weren't baking in the heat and having to worry about sunburn.)
We left the house about 845a, just in time to beat most of the backup inside the Beltway on 66. We cut through the city and hooked up with 395 by the Jefferson Memorial and then linked up with 295 before getting on 50 on the other side of the city. Although it took us about an hour to make it to this point, the only portion where traffic was bad was on 66 outside the Beltway. The rest of the trip was smooth sailing (save for a couple points where construction caused us to have to slow it down). Our estimated time of arrival (according to Claire) was 1205p, which we pretty much hit right on the button.
After parking, we carted our stuff down to the beach and set up camp. After a quick bite of lunch, we did beach stuff. You know, played in the surf, built sand castles, etc. Not being satisfied with the sand castle, I built a sand anchor that I had to protect from wandering toddlers on more than one occasion. I was able to successfully protect it from the tykes, but not from the rogue wave. Right after I finished the body, a wave came up and smoothed it out for me.
But then, after looking at it, found that it looked even better than the way I had carved it! The rough edges had been smoothed out by the water and it looked more like a sculpture than a sand anchor.
After collecting a bucket of shells, we headed back to the car, where we changed out of our wet suits and into street clothes before hitting the stores for a whirlwind shopping trip and dinner. Afterwards, we stopped by TCBY for a cool treat and headed back to the car.
We arrived home about 9p, just over 12 hours after we left this morning. All in all, it was a great day. The kids enjoyed it (for the most part, save for the time spent in the car), as did D and I. Some might say that a trip to the beach for the day is a bit much, but if you're lucky enough not to hit traffic (like we were), it's worth the escape, if only for the day.