It was Monday morning and we had hoped to get away early to spend some time at the beach. We were all moving slowly and were trying to figure out which beach to go to since our "beach" trip the day before didn't turn out like we had hoped. Unfortunately, anywhere we went was going to involve a bit of a drive. We were considering Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood Beach and a few others. We finally decided on Hollywood Beach (just north of Miami and south of Ft. Lauderdale). We had originally wanted to leave at 9:00 AM, but didn't get out the door until 11:30 AM. We got stuck in Miami traffic and didn't get to Hollywood Beach until 12:45. We parked in a five-story garage that had a digital display telling us that there were 8 open spots available and were able to find a couple of open spots on the 3rd level. (This garage had sensors installed at every parking spot similar to what you might see on automatic-flushing toilets. A po-dunk Missourian like myself had never seen one like this before.)
The weather did not exactly cooperate for our day at the beach. It was 73°F. When we arrived, the beach was a sea of humanity (which was good prep for what was to come). We struggled to even find a spot to spread out some...oops! We forgot to bring towels. We had everything else though. As soon as we found a small patch to set up shop, it started raining. In about 120 seconds flat, everyone scattered and we found ourselves nearly alone on the beach. The instantaneous evacuation was amazing. While I was glad to have more space to maneuver, the poor weather was not to my liking.
The wind picked up. The skies were gray. It was raining. And we were at the beach. Bad things happen when the Bartons decide to go to the Beach. (In our two family beach vacations, both vacations were cut short due to hurricanes.) It should come as no surprise to you that we are just not big fans of the beach.
Vanessa (Clay's wife..Clay being Elly's brother) put up umbrellas and beach chairs while Elly went looking for a beach store to help us with our towel shortage. The kids and I hit the waves....or, what passes for waves here in south Florida.
I have memories of going to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as a kid and getting pummeled by waves that rolled and literally crashed on top of me. We saw no such waves here at Hollywood Beach today. What you see above is what the surf looked like. We played in the water for a while and then were done.
Even though the air temperature was cool, the water was quite comfortable. We hung out for a little while longer before returning to our car, which was one of the few cars remaining in the parking garage which was packed when we arrived back when the sun was shining.
We returned to Clay's house and had a nice dinner of grilled hamburgers and were looking forward to heading to Disney World early the next morning.
TO ALL OF YOU BEACH-LOVERS: What is it about the beach that we are missing? Both Elly and I have zero desire to ever have another beach vacation as all the hassle that it involves seem to be much greater than any enjoyment we get out of being at the beach. Please enlighten us.