Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Pros and Cons of Going to the Beach Out of Season (and With a Baby)

Finally!  A long 2 weeks since my last post, but we have all been super busy! 

Because I am a teacher, since 1985 I have not celebrated the new year in January.  It is always at the end of August/beginning of September.  I have had pretty much the same vacation schedule every year.  Maybe a trip at Christmas. Possibly a week-long trip in March or April.  Definitely a week-long or more vacation in the summer.  A vacation in September when the school year is just starting?  NEVER.  What about May, when the weather is beautiful almost anywhere but lodging prices are still relatively cheap?  Too close to exams/SOL time.  I think I have gone to a beach almost every year, but unless we are traveling at least 1000 miles south, we don't even think about jaunting over to the OBX for a week unless the calendar says June, July, or August.  This year, though, for the first time in 26 years, we have been able to plan a bonafide beach vacation for a non-peak time.  It was definitely a different experience than our past beach vacations and it wasn't just because at this time normally I was whining about my school's two Back to School Nights we had to attend...

So here are the pros of going to the beach in September (with a baby).

1.  It is soooo much cheaper.  Okay, it certainly helps that we stayed at my parents' condo and didn't pay a dime.  But, if we would have had the whole Swift-Sheldon crew and rented one of those large houses with the hot tub and elevator it would have cost way less. 

2.  Virtually no waiting at restaurants.  This is a double bonus because even though CJ is usually great going out, he does have a time limit.  You also don't have to sit next to the table of 20 with 10 kids running around and screaming at each other.  This has happened before.  And probably will be us in 10 years.  

3.  The weather is in theory beautiful.  There was such a drought this summer down in North Carolina that even Hurricane Irene did not bring the area out of it.  However, the week that we were visiting Mother Nature decided to give the Outer Banks some much-needed rain.  I guess this is a con...

4.  No traffic!!!!   Again, a double bonus because CJ also has a time limit riding in a car. 

5.  Many cute picture opportunities for babies.  I can't wait until CJ is older and looks forward to playing in the sand. 

 Surprisingly, CJ did not mind the pool.  Yes, we did get ONE good day (a couple of hours) of swimsuit time.


1.  When the weather is beautiful, it truly is quite pleasant to sit on the beach (so I've heard).  However, there is more of a chance of a hurricane or cool, crappy weather in the fall.  See above.

2.  I cannot be antisocial and read 4 books sitting on the beach for hours when you have a baby.  Even though we spent a lot of time sitting on the couch inside, I actually didn't read much of anything.  Sigh. 

3.  You have to pack the car like you are moving to the beach.  Along with all of the general baby products that are needed to travel, you also need baby beach gear. Once CJ gets a little older and we throw in all of the toys to keep him and Kevin amused (so I can read some good mysteries again, yay!!) we are going to be really packed to the brim. 

4.  SAND.  This won't be as much of big deal when CJ is bigger and bathing him is easier.  No matter what we did, though, we couldn't keep the sand off of him. Along with making sure he was under the umbrella I wanted to try to keep out of the sun as well, because I know he would not appreciate traces of Coppertone and sand in his milk.  I still got burnt and sandy.

Pros and cons aside, CJ did great away from home and we had some wonderful family time- even though we did not come home with killer tans. 

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