Thursday, August 12, 2010

Beach prep, details & changes

If you know me at all, you know I'm a planner. I love a fabulously organized binder, I love school supplies and I most definitely love me some lists. When I launch into an explanation of the amount of planning & preparation that my BFF & I do before going on vacation, some people look at me like I need to be heavily medicated. When I tell them that I actually enjoy doing this, they usually start to back away and mumble something about passing along the name of a good therapist.

Regardless of the number of therapists I may need or the large amount of medication that may help me out, we always end up well prepared for our trip and we love that once we're there, there's nothing to worry about. There's nothing left to do...we have created spreadsheets, cross-checked these spreadsheets & then put all of the information into a pie chart for easy reference.

I'm kidding about the pie chart. Maybe....

So, my dear readers, after all of this work we put in, I feel the need to share with you some of the things that worked well for us and other pieces of my infinite wisdom. I take thank-you's in the form of Wild Cherry Pepsis, cupcakes and cookies.

I did a fairly lengthy post a few months ago when I started getting vacation fever, which can be found here. That post covers must have's such as rented cribs, a beach cart, a portable DVD player (I would like to kiss whoever invented such a genius thing), portable booster seat and baby powder (for removing sand-trust me, it works).

I took most of my own advice and did everything that was in that post again this year. Here are some things we did differently that worked out well:

  • We brought along an inflatable baby pool. We saw a few people doing this last year at the beach, so I found one at the end of summer for less than $1 (thanks, Walmart!) and decided to give it a try. Definitely one of the best moves of the week; we strategically placed it under our large tent in the shade & used it as a bribe to get the boys out of the sun for small periods of time throughout the day. (see picture below) The bonus to that is that when both boys were in the pool, all 4 adults could actually sit down & relax at the same time.
  • We packed more snacks this year; while we were good to go on regular meals last year, we vastly underestimated the amount of chips & cookies 4 adults could pack away in the evenings once the kiddos were sound asleep. This year, we stepped up our game in this department & came prepared with multiple bags of chips, queso, salsa and cookies. There was not much left by the end of the week.
  • We drove all of our stuff to the beach everyday. Last year, we were close enough to walk....this year, it was close to 1/2 mile. I was nervous about having to get everything down there, but it was actually easier (and it saved us from having to rent a beach cart). The men would head down to the beach in the car and unload the stuff/set up for the day while Melissa & I got the boys ready. We would then put the boys in the strollers and walk to the beach, then stash the strollers in the trunk of the car. With kids who don't sleep past 6am, it was very easy to get a parking space within a block of the beach :)
  • Leap Frog TAG Reader: I have already mentioned that the DVD player was a Godsend once again this year, but we also got a lot of use out of the Leap Frog TAG reader in the car and it saved me from having to turn around and become violently nauseated from having to read to him while facing backwards.
  • MORE sunscreen: when you are a family of vampire albinos, you require an excessive amount of sunscreen. Last year, we almost ran out by the end of the week, so we packed extra bottles this year.

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