It's a complicated relationship, that sun-sand thing and I.
Maybe it's seeing the awe on my kids' faces, or loving how they creatively entertain themselves for hours in a giant sandbox. Maybe it's the breeze off the lake (it's definitely some of that.)
I'm pretty positive it's the feel of my feet in the sand next to a beach fire and the sight of the sun making way for the stars to reveal themselves. (hashtag sandal tan problems.)
It's also the history. The really cool, interesting, and sometimes emotional tradition of being there when I was young, with different friends each year, and different wishes made on the same stars, and returning as a mom many chapters later. It's seeing the people's names and years carved into the woodwork in the cottages and wondering if we were there at the same time in the past.
It's the evolution of myself as I've returned each time. The memories I forget exist until I'm in the same setting again.
It's the way an evening dinner-time walk along the shore is a refreshing, rejuvenating, and almost spiritual experience after a day in the heat and light.
I mean, it's definitely, definitely in the sunsets.
It's in the French on the beer bottles, the Coffee Crisp for breakfast, the oddly flavored chips we can't seem to get enough of. It's totally in the Poutine. (When in Canada...)
This year was the first year my kids will likely remember enjoying the same beach, the same lake waves, the same putt-putt, the same ice cream stand, the same walk to the same little convenience store I've walked to so many times, the same filthy cottages, and the same view of Lake Erie that I had in my youth.
Sharing Long Beach with my kids this year was so fun and so exciting - even though I felt the need for a full hazmat suit every time I stepped in the bathroom.
Long Beach is the one place in the world where I am happy about the beach being BFFs with the summer. When you've got a belly full of poutine and budlight and a grocery store romance in your lap, there's nothing better than a Lake Erie breeze and a sandy s'more.
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