So, my family has been privileged to spend the week in a beautiful condo on the Emerald Coast of the Florida panhandle. I say that we’ve spent the week in the condo because, well…we’ve probably spent more time here than on the beach. Sure, we’ve had a couple of days of sun-n-fun on the pristine white sands of the beach gazing at the crystal-clear, sparkling water of the Gulf. But we’ve also had about 16 inches of rain in the last 48 hours.
Some might choose to complain about rainy days at the beach. Not me. The beach is the one place I truly relax and, frankly, the rain only reinforces the mandate on rest and relaxation that much more.
What does one do when it’s raining at a rate of an inch per hour with wind gusts up to 35 mph? Well, so far, I’ve read two great books, had some fantastic naps, and enjoyed time with family. We’ve ventured out in the elements – had an exquisite meal at a little bistro last night and saw our second movie of the week this afternoon. (Here’s a hint, Movie-goers: Much to my surprise, I’ll tell you to save your money on Man of Steel and go straight to The Lone Ranger. Depp is fantastic.)
As a great friend noted in an exchange of text messages yesterday, anytime you can check “two naps in one day” off of your bucket list, you’re livin’ right. (No doubt, he’s a sage advisor…sort of a pastoral Yoda.)
Earlier today, we heard a lot of yelling and laughing coming from just outside of our condo. Looking out, we saw a young Daddy with three young boys – the youngest appeared to be 2-3 years old and the oldest 7 or so – all jumping gleefully into the pool while a steady rain poured down around them. There was no thunder or lightening at that time, but let’s be clear – it wasn’t sprinkling or drizzling…no, it was raining…fairly hard.
The littlest guy was having an absolute blast. He didn’t even need to get into the pool, rather, he simply stood poolside gleefully holding up his arms toward the rain clouds while squealing with absolutely unfiltered glee. He jumped, danced, and splashed in puddles. I took it as behavioral confirmation that his mother doesn’t routinely send the boys out to play in a monsoon.
I paused and considered…perhaps the “tipping point” at which a Momma will send Daddy and her three young cherubs into the elements to swim in the rain has been determined. It this part of the world, it appears that the tipping point is somewhere around the endurance of 48 hours and 12 inches of rain in a three-bedroom condo. I like to believe that Momma was somewhere nearby enjoying a bit of quiet and perhaps a soothing beverage of choice.
They didn’t swim very long – just long enough for everyone to expend a bit of cabin fever. After about 30 minutes, the water-logged foursome disappeared. But I bet those kids will remember swimming in the rain for sometime to come. Memories were made.
So, yeah…we usually come to the beach in great anticipation of sun and sand. We still got to enjoy some time on a beautiful beach, even if it wasn’t the amount of time we originally planned. The good thing about the beach, though, is that the daily schedule is entirely adaptable. Rain-dampened beaches turn into naps and books. It’s the one place where it’s almost impossible not to relax – and the rules of the daily grind just don’t apply.
Like swimming in the rain.
I’ve long said that a bad day at the beach is better than a great day in the office. No doubt, the rainy daze of this vacation proves that theory true. Although Mother Nature hasn’t cooperated entirely, we’ve had fun being together without the usual pressures of our all-consuming daily routines. And that, friends, is what a vacation is all about.
Here’s to the little dude dancing and splashing in the rain. I hope he hangs onto that uninhibited spirit and celebratory attitude as long as he possibly can.
Cheers, Y’all – it’s all good.