As you know, we were on vacation last week. We DROVE 15 hours (all at once…) to St. George Island, Florida which is near Apalachicola and on the Gulf of Mexico (the best beaches IMO). It was wonderful.
I overpacked and under packed, as is my modus operandi lately. I could have used more skorts (I took this Prana pair I’ve had for years and LOVE) for walking on the beach at sunrise and riding bikes at sunset; they get wet sometimes, and sort of grimy after a day or two of wear. I brought more than I needed to wear “at home,” although I ended up wearing almost everything, but it’s just because it was there, you know? And I should have bought a smaller swimsuit.
That was the biggest pain, actually. The Beklina organic cotton swimsuit I bought last year in size medium is big on me now – not visibly, but it gaps a lot around the legs and bust so when the waves hit, or when I was in the water, it floated away from my body too much and I was sort of uncomfortable. My Hackwith Design House high-waisted bikini bottoms and top fit fine though, and they dried fast so I was able to wear that suit pretty much every day, but I like to have 2 to alternate. We go to the beach so infrequently though, and I hate to buy swimsuits so I’ll probably survive with just my one for now.
Anyway, I wore my sunhat every day constantly, to avoid getting ANY sun at all on my face. And I slathered myself with sunscreen so I didn’t get much sun anywhere else either. Success! I remember WANTING to be dark and tan all those decades ago (remember using Hawaiian Tropic sun TANNING oil??) and now, I just want to avoid the sun at all costs.
My sister was/is getting over her double pneumonia so she couldn’t walk much or do a lot outside the house, but we still enjoyed spending time together, along with 11 other members of our family LOL. It was overwhelming at times, and I had to retreat to the solitude of the screened back porch, but otherwise, we all got along and did well together.
I got up at sunrise every morning and walked on the beach with my mother, and whoever else decided to join us – this is our ritual when we go on summer vacation and I treasure every second. We also went back out after dinner to different beaches on the island – there is a state park at one end and a cove at the other so we had a few to choose from.
We stayed in a great, HUGE house with a pool in a gated community, and it was really nice, but one of the biggest selling points for us with the house is that it was close to walking trails and Apalachicola bay so we could do more than just the beach. Well that turned out to not work well at all. The mosquitos were HORRIBLE. And I know mosquitos. I have literally never been so inundated or frustrated by bugs in my life. My mom said it was worse than the Amazon. To even walk out the door you had to douse yourself in deet, but even so, every time we came back from our morning beach walk (we had to walk through a trail through the woods) the backs of my legs were polka-dotted with bites. It was awful.
Ah well. I was thinking as I took a long, solo bike ride one time, that St. George Island is really very beautiful and would be the “perfect” vacation spot, if not for the mosquitos. But then I caught myself, and recognized that such is everything in life: perfect, but for…
As much as I tell myself there is no such thing as perfect, I still seek it out. I would like to banish the word perfect from my vocabulary altogether; it’s a dangerous word, I think, and I use it way too much. We all do.
Everything is beautiful as-is. And what makes a thing/person/place beautiful are the “flaws” – the things you don’t expect – the annoying bits. I think I recognized at the beach that the key to my happiness and contentment is seeing things not only for what they are right now, but also holistically. The Big Picture, as it were.
Happy Tuesday! Have you been on vacation this summer? How was it?