Sunday, July 22, 2007

Time Ain't on My Side

Another long pause between posts. This one was filled partially with an excellent summer vacation. Having learned some valuable lessons from last year's summer vacation, this year would be even smoother. I discovered - wait, I didn't discover at all - I only confirmed - wait, I've been confirming this in many ways for many years, so I guess this is the first admission. I'm incredibly anal retentive. I'm not compulsive (I don't think). But boy, I'm a stickler for certain things.

Here's the thing. I want everything to be like it is in movies. In movies, everything is always perfectly set up. In fact, directors and DP's go to great lengths to make the shot look just right. So when we go to the beach, I want it to be just right.

In order to enjoy a week at the beach, one needs convenient and efficient protection from the sun. Last year it was beach umbrellas, and to make sure they don't blow over when the wind kicks up, you bring in the umbrella pole auger anchors. You twist them and they drill/burrow into the sand and will hold your umbrellas. But I remember when the clouds came in and the winds kicked up - it was still hard to maintain them an entire day. Along with that there was the cabana. A little tricky to set up, what with the wind you get at the beach and all those "convenient collapseable rods, but it offered us a little space to store beach accoutrements throughout the day. Another drawback, this beach camp took about an hour to set up, and about the same to take down. Granted, we kept it up all day while we went back and forth from pool to beach, but I would usually get a good start on a burn just with the set up. A good workout though, with all the sweat lost.

So this year it was going to be different. Went to Wal-Mart, picked up one of those portable canopies - certain I could set it up and take it down by myself, a nice big-wheeled cooler and some more canvas chairs. Not as easy to set up by ones self as I had imagined, but I worked it out. (The canvas top acts like a giant sail with the wind coming in off the water especially at the end of the day.) And when all was said and done, it was easier to set up than last year. Set up time on New and Improved Beach Camp - 35 minutes. And easier to camp out in. This sucker wasn't going to blow away. We wouldn't have to chase down umbrellas.

For further protection from the sun this year and to avoid body boarding sand burns, we all got rashguard swim shirts - a GREAT investment if you're planning a week at the beach and you want to keep the impact of the sun down.

This year's beach camp was more convenient, relaxing and efficient. I was pleased and all the extra anal retentive work and planning paid off. I want things as picture perfect as possible, even if it takes a little (or a lot?) of extra work on my part.

This makes for wonderful and impressive outcomes generally, but it grabs so much of my time scheming, planning, executing, then inevitably troubleshooting when it doesn't go as I'd planned and now being too stubborn to give up, I end up spending way too much extra time solving the puzzle. And I almost always seem to solve the puzzle. I did this one.

Beach camp was cool this year. We had a great week. I wish we could have stayed longer. I think I'd be very content just to be with Morgan, Marina and Walker all day long. I like doing stuff with them - like living at the beach. Even being at home (our second week) and finding fun stuff to do is quite enjoyable.

I think I would make a good professional vacationer.

Don't be shy - crank up the volume for some beachin' tunes.