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All You Old Hairspray Users are Killing My Traditions

When I was a kid, we spent a lot of our summer at the beach. Mostly day trips, but in good years, we shared a cottage with friends and family for a whole week.

We would leave super early and be one of the first ones on the beach. After swimming, lying on a blanket reading, taking walks, eating fried chicken out of the cooler, and building elaborate sand constructions, we’d pack it up around 6:00, shower and change in the bathhouse, and go to Paddy’s Wigwam for dinner before driving home.

I wanted to share that tradition with my own family, but it has become impossible! We were in Williamsburg, VA, for vacation, and spent “a day” at Buckroe Beach. “A day” amounted to about three hours.

We used SPF 110 sunscreen. I made everyone spray down before we left, then when we got to the beach, then get out of the water and replenish twice. We stood in the shade for half an hour eating lunch.

And we STILL all burned.

Thirty years ago (gah, did I really just say that?!), in an entire day with no sunscreen, I didn’t burn as badly as I did in three hours last week.

Anyway, despite that, we had a great vacation. We did Jamestown

and Colonial Williamsburg

and Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. We mostly avoided huge crowds and long lines. The kids saw the Glee movie, and Jim and I went to Captain America, which was great. (Like Thor, it had a slightly weak ending, because all these movies are prologues for next year’s The Avengers. CA has a trailer for TA after the credits, and it was awesome!)

Overall, it was a great vacation. With Number One heading into her junior year, that becomes ever more important.

So, what was your vacation like this year? Any memories or traditions getting stomped on by environmental irresponsibility? πŸ™‚ What was the best thing and worst thing about your summer?


12 Responses

  1. Natalie, it’s just so MUCH hotter this year than in the past! Gah. the kid goes outside and after a couple minutes he’s saying, “it’s too hot for this”

    We spent all our summers in Tampa, FL area. Never burned. My sister and I ran from the sunscreen requirements and we never burned. just turned golden brown. πŸ™‚ This year we went deep sea fishing. just a few hours out, *with* sunscreen and I was burned bad over my thighs. My face didn’t burn, but it was still so hot that my face ended up peeling anyway. I guess from the heat?

  2. Nat- I’m pretty sure your burn today (versus thirty years ago) may be due to the thinner ozone…so yeah, it’s all the hairspray users’ fault.

    No vacation this year. We talked about driving up to Montana and using up Kari Lynn’s electricity and water, but in the end, it became a money issue, as in we didn’t have any extra! However we’ll head to Florida at some point during winter to get out of the cold weather.

    I do not lay out in the sun. I used to when I was younger but nothing like my peers. I hate it. I get sun now when I mow or work outside in the beds around the house or go out on the boat. Otherwise, me and my pasty white legs and arms are in the air conditioner!

    Your picture of you reading your Kindle on the beach made me smile. One of my favorite books of all time is M*A*S*H. My copy still drops sand when it is opened. πŸ™‚ I was probably in junior high when I read it and it’s not really a YA book. πŸ™‚ But awesome book nonetheless.

    But I do like that you used 110 SPF! Good mother.

    • I’m sure a change in my body chemistry is a factor, too. But mostly it’s the climate/ozone layer change. I can’t say I’m all pasty white. I have tan knees, a farmer’s tan, a V-neck tan with some bright-red striping due to a lower-cut bathing suit, burn on the backs of my arms, and raccoon eyes. I look RIDICULOUS.

      LOL on sandy M*A*S*H!

  3. Natalie: I’ve already talked about my summer cruise/Miami trip, but the sun is the bane of my existence on any trip, even though I need those sunny days. I’m the sunscreen Nazi in our house. I’m less worried about burns than I am about skin cancer, especially after growing up in AZ and never using sunscreen unless we took a trip to the beach.

    Like Cyndi, I’ve reconciled myself to pastiness. πŸ˜‰

  4. Well, I’m pretty lucky because my skin tone help protect me from the sun more so than most. I usually turn a toasty brown during the summer, but when I go to the beach, I use 85 or 75 spf for the first few days cutting back to 30 by the end of the week. We usually go to Fl. beaches on the gulf which are white sand and reflect even more than normal beaches so you burn easily there.

    This summer we spent a week in Pensecola Beach and a weekend in New Orleans. Had a wonderful time and wish we could go back! Next weekend we’re heading to Dallas for a weekend getaway – and the LSU/Oregon game. Geaux Tigers! and then later the hubs and I are going to Vegas. I love those fun weekend get aways as much as I like a week long vacation πŸ™‚

    • I’m jealous of your skin tone, Liz. πŸ™‚ When I was a kid, I got golden brown, and it was a nice tan, too. But now I just burn/peel/freckle. Except for the parts that are always exposed, like my forearms.

      Sounds like you had and are looking forward to some great vacation days!

  5. If there is sun, I burn. LOL We took the kids to a water park I used to visit as a child. Lots of new stuff, like slides and the big tidal wave pool, was added but all the old tube shoots were still there along with all those wonderful old memories. πŸ™‚ We hope to go back again next year!

  6. The best thing about my summer has been the fact that my Hubby has had A LOT more time to spend with our boys and me. The worst thing is, the reason my Hubby has been with us more. He lost his job.

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