Traditions Of Summer

Another happy Monday to all of you!

It’s hard to believe that we just celebrated the official first day of Summer according to our calendar and before we know it, it will be July 4th. I always remember being told that July 4th meant that Summer was half over; however, it just started. I don’t get it. Anyone else feel like this? Or am I in the minority on this one?

Also, quick side note before I get on to this week’s blog post.

I would kindly ask for all of your thoughts, prayers, and good vibes for my brother, his wife, and future Baby Girl Welliver. She was officially admitted into the hospital yesterday after having some very painful contractions. Her official due date is July 3rd; however, with the difficult pregnancies that they have experienced in the past, everything makes me extra worried. So, if you have a free moment to say a prayer or two or send a good thought their way, it would certainly be appreciated.

Well, let’s get down to business…to defeat the Huns. Yahsss to Disney songs getting stuck in my head.

Those that know me extremely well know that I’m a huge fan of tradition. I love creating new ones and I love celebrating old ones. I feel like there are so many that I’ve experienced thus far in my 31 years on this Earth; however, there is one that will forever always be my favorite. For ever and ever. Regardless of how old I get.

And that tradition is the beach with my family.

This annual Summer trip is something that has been occurring for literally as long as I can remember…and we are talking like wee little Mr. Sunshine days, so at least a decade and a half…I’ll have to check with Mama Welliver on my statistics.

One of my favorite things about the beach is that it can always both relax and calm your mind no matter how much anxiety or stress it is being put through.

There is nothing quite like hearing the waves crash on the sand or seeing the sun set in the distance over the water creating a picture that seems almost always too perfect for words.

Back in the day, we would stay at a hotel called The Lotus Inn in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey. It was one that my parents had always gone to when they traveled down after they first got married. The owners were the sweetest people and always made sure that their guests were taken care of properly with warm welcomes and smiles–two things that go a long way in today’s society.

I remember loving the water as a younger child and not being able to contain my excitement to walk across the street and put my feet in the sand. Mama Welliver always did a good job in making sure we were prepared with our sunscreen and water shoes. I was the kid who was not a fan of the water shoes though, so the minute I stepped into the water and felt something like a crab or other kind of sea creature at my feet, I would scream like a little girl and do high knee kicks out of the ocean.

I may or may not still do that…

Growing up, we would only stay at the beach for a short stay–usually 4 days and 3 nights, but it never mattered how long of a time period it was–it was always great to get away from life and spend some quality time with each other.

It was always a fun task when each of us had to either pick a place to eat dinner, play mini golf (a Welliver family favorite), or get ice cream to indulge our sweet tooth. My favorite go-to restaurant that I ALWAYS wanted to populate (and still do to this day) is called Bandanas. A cute, little Mexican restaurant with the best food. It’s one of those true gems that never disappoints. What we would call “a hole in the wall.”

Of course…as with everything…traditions change. And now, our annual beach trip takes place in North Wildwood for a week over the Labor Day holiday where we take up residence in our Cousins’ beach house condo.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate both the quality time aspect of being around people I love while also enjoying the get away from the “real world chaos” known as daily life. Well, known as adulting, actually.

As I’ve gotten older, I’m also become lesser of a fan of the water and more of a tanner with the sun. I’m also the person that puts on actual tanning lotion and not sun tan lotion. Yes, I know…you don’t need to lecture me.

Our week vacations at the beach are known to include several nights out to enjoy a delicious meal at some of our favorite local hot spot restaurants, cooking in for dinner and having a meal at the table in the dining room with conversation, lots of beach time, coffee and breakfast on the front patio, wine and game night that usually includes a pretty intense match of Catchphrase or Uno Roboto, and quiet nights of reading books or just watching a movie. Oh, and I can’t possibly forget the tradition of getting a hot dog from the retired veteran who has a stand set up right when you walk on to the beach. Nothing beats a hot dog with some ketchup, mustard, onions and an ice cold A&W root beer to wash it down with–the perfect beach lunch.

It’s truly amazing what a week at the beach can do for you. It’s a time to forget about your troubles, a time to relax and be stress-free, a time to recharge, rejuvenate, and rejoice in the simple things…quality time with those in your life that you appreciate.

By the time September rolls around, I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that I will be ready for a vacation. Heck, I’m probably ready for one now. Correction…I AM ready for one now.

So, celebrate traditions…both old and new. And learn to appreciate them for what they are worth. They are moments that will bring your soul the greatest joy and fulfillment for days to come.

Sprinkle sunshine always,