31 Days of Life in my Hawaii Day 8:: Beach and ocean: Hanging out

So since today is sort of, but not really a holiday, what might we be doing today?

Many opportunities present themselves, but going to the beach will always top the list.

And there’s a potentially endless list of activities that one can engage in on and near our island beaches: fishing, tidepooling, surfing, body surfing, body boarding, snorkeling — I’ll just stop there, because, as I said: potentially endless.

One of the things I like to do most at the beach is … just hang out. I guess I don’t feel like I need a specific reason — one of the things from the above list — that is my purpose for packing up a bunch of gear, heading out to the beach, and then doing something when I get there.

Maybe it’s because, when I was a kid, the carpool moms would pick us up after school, drive us to the beach, drop us off and come back for us a few hours later. And there we mostly just, you know, hung out. I’m not kidding. Of course nobody does that anymore, just leave their children alone at the beach without adult supervision.

In middle school and high school, we rode our bikes or the bus to the beach, or caught a ride with a pal who had a license and wheels. The Coach tells about how when he first got his license, all his buddies hit him up for rides to the beach; they paid him back by giving him gas money and buying him Dunkin’ Donuts on the way home. So that worked out good for all concerned.

And then when you get to be a grown-up, going to the beach to just hang out is a great way to decompress on your day off. Just sitting there, watching the waves, going for a dip when you get too warm, maybe having a picnic lunch — best stress reliever there is.

When the kids come along, you introduce them to the practice. When they’re tiny you can put them down for a nap in the shade:

Hanging out at the beach with my seven-week-old baby, and my friend Barbara

Then when they get a little older, the beach is their playground. They don’t do a lot of hanging out, but they’ll come in for a cold drink between boogie board rides:

Maybe they’ll even take your picture:

In my experience, women are better than men at hanging out at the beach. Or rather, they enjoy it more. Men are much worse at doing “nothing,” and would generally rather be be out in the water than just sitting next to it:

The Coach, humoring me. Just sitting at the beach is not his favorite thing.

Me? I could do it for hours. Wait a sec while I go grab my suit; it’s a perfect day to hang out at the beach.

This is the eighth post in my series, 31 Days of Life in my Hawaii. Click here to get the links to the other posts in the series.

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