Once upon a time, there was a blended family who went to the beach each year with the Professor’s whole family. On one of those trips, the Lady and the Professor got married right there on the beach just 4 years ago.
These trips have had many many moments and memories . . .
Two years ago was the last time they went but no fun was had because one of the children required surgery and the Lady had to sit at the hospital the entire time listening to the bellowing child, it was hell.
There was no trip last year for the Lady and the Professor because taxes saw to the draining of the beach fund . . .
So this year was going to be awesome for this blended family but wait, let’s throw in about 653 sticks in their little spokes and see how they respond!
Yes, this is my story and every word is true, y’all and yes, I am the Lady . . .
The Professor’s style of travel is as laid back as styles come and I love that to bits because the last dude I said vows to was a freaking Nazi lunatic that didn’t believe in waking up leisurely, no, it would be more like 4 am to beat traffic and stopping be damned, I don’t give a crap if you pee your pants. True story!
So, the Professor and I go to bed late the night before having not packed and have made no preparations whatsoever with the plan to roll out of bed, pack, prepare, etc. and take off when we got everything together because we were alone on the trip down, here’s why.
My daughter was in Iceland for two weeks with her dad.
My son had taken the week off for a Young Life camp before the beach trip and having just gotten a new job, didn’t want to take another week off and push his luck at his work.
My eldest step-son was also working and taking classes at the local college so he stayed behind too.
The other two step kids had left the week before with their grandparents who stayed nearly two weeks total.
So, the Professor and I roll outta bed at around 10 am the day of departure for we had stayed awake entirely too late the night before but we were gleeful and excited about our trip to the beach, FINALLY!
We get everything together and take off around 11 am and sailed smoothly until after we passed through Birmingham and that’s when all hell broke loose . . .
Traffic came to a standstill or a crawl, not once, not twice, not thrice but at least 54 1/2 times, I am not kidding. Between the 9 or more accidents, torrential rain, road ragers, people trying to merge on from the on-ramp, and 18 wheelers who stayed in the left lane going 5 or more miles under the speed limit, you name it, we had it happen to us.
Now, it is an unspoken “that’s just how it is” thing that happens when we have to drive places, I always drive. It’s not because I’m a control freak, it’s just how it has played out and the Professor and all the kids prefer me driving so I drive everywhere when we all go out together.
I started out happy as a clam driving, singing, and just damn happy to be alive but that came to a screeching halt just south of Birmingham.
There were so damn many people on the road it was more than I have ever seen in my life going down to the beach. The Professor blurted out at one point, “Who the hell are all these people and where the hell did they come from? I didn’t realize so many people existed!” I had to agree with him.
So a trip that should have taken 6ish hours turned into 8.5 hours and I was ready to kill someone and was so stabby I feared I’d alienate myself from human beings altogether.
Well, by the grace of God we made it safe and I managed not to kill anyone but I did get a bit stabby about ordering pizza and when it arrived, managed to knock a few kids and old people to the wayside so I could have at least 5 pieces. Sorry Weight Watchers, but it was thin crust so there’s that.
By the next day, I had my happy back again as I looked out the window to a beautiful sunny beach day but the Professor was still asleep. As I ran through the condo taking my clothes off to get into my bathing suit, the Professor looked up at me and said, “What are you 10 or something acting all crazy to get to the beach?” I did a happy dance and said, “Hell yes, get outta that bed, let’s go!!”
We had exactly 2 decent beach days until . . .
Call in, Tropical Storm Cindy, not my new best friend at all . . .
Tropical Storm Cindy came in pissed as hell and ready to take beach folks out and blow them over with her furry. She was one pissed off woman-storm thingy.
For two days she blew in and dumped so much rain on us, many of the roads flooded and they ended up putting up two red flags which meant the beach was closed. The only unfortunate casualty that happened in this storm was a freak accident of a 10-year-old boy who was close to the water and a wave with a log in it came up, hit him in the face, and killed him. Pray for that family, y’all.
I, on the other hand, I was content for those two “Cindy” days. I liked watching the waves come in, liked watching the rain, listening to the thunder, reading 3 books, and watching the silly sausages that decided it was a good idea to be at the beach anyway, for example, the surfers who had no thought to ending their lives with a rip current or two.
Cue the Whistle Blowing Nazi Lifeguards . . .
After Cindy unleashed her fury over two days, the day after was perfect and so, as we all do, or me anyway, we ran through the condo undressing in a furry to get our suits on, packed our beach bags, and packed our coolers, by God, it was time to reclaim the beach and swim in the ocean, however, the Nazi’s had other ideas.
Now, in my opinion, no one “owns” the beach because is belongs to God and He gave it to all of us but when you venture into the ocean at shin level, you hear a screaming bleeping whistle blown at you followed by a rude teenager or early 20 something telling you to get out of the water that the beach is closed. Come again oh idiot one? You can’t close nature, you can’t keep folks off of the beach or out of the water, and shove that damn whistle up your you know what!
For the two good beach days we had left at the end of our trip, the Nazi’s came in on three 4-wheelers, 1 Sea Doo, 2 lifeguard stands, in one helicopter, and on foot. If I ever hear another damn whistle blown again, I may just tackle the person that is blowing it.
Kids and adults would get in, not too far because we knew it was bad we aren’t idiots, and here they would come screaming and blowing their whistles at you but here’s the thing, no sooner after they extracted you from the water and walked/ride/fly away to go tick off someone else, everyone would get back in. It was quite the losing battle for these lifeguards but they kept on at us.
At one point, I was talking with some folks who had been accosted by the whistle- blowing and screaming lifeguard and I said, “We need a signal and when it goes off, every single stinkin’ one of us needs to rush the water! What in the hell can they do?” That got quite a laugh.
A lot of folks got mad at one point and started yelling back at the lifeguards that if they wanted to be in the water and risk their own life, well, it was their American right and I had to agree with that. Ya know?!
And oh y’all, there was so much flesh shown this year, I felt like I was at a Sports Illustrated shoot. Unfortunately, some of these folks weren’t in the best shape and probably were showing entirely too much as it was a bit unsavory. I’m not saying you can’t but . . .
The people watching was prime this year, especially when the lifeguard would get on them about being in the bloody water, body language is so cool!
So one night, the fam decided to go to this fancy restaurant, which I had not prepared proper attire for but I didn’t care and off we went. After dinner, my father-in-law wanted to take pictures outside on the docks well, it was so stinkin’ windy, we almost lost my mother-in-law into the water and nearly lost one of the kids as well. This Cindy just can’t take a hint, move on sister, you’re done now!
The Professor and I had Thursday and Friday to ourselves because the others went home Thursday morning and that was awesome. He and I have such crazy fun together and I swear we both think we are still in our early 20’s or something, no joke, and no, mom, the honeymoon period is NOT over, not by a long shot. I’m one lucky girl!
So, let’s recap:
It took 8.5 hours to get down to the beach when it should’ve only taken 6.
We had 2 good beach days at the start and then Cindy swept her mean self in and we lost 2 to rain, wind, and lightening . . . oh, and tornado’s, though we didn’t see any ourselves.
We watched surfers try to drown while surfing the very big for our area waves.
The Nazi brigade came out and “closed” the beach, what a freaking joke.
We saw a lot of flesh at the beach some of it was a bit unsavory.
Oh, I failed to mention while at the beach, we celebrated 2 birthdays and 2 anniversaries, that’s a story in and of itself but I’ll digress.
My mother-in-law and a child nearly blew away from Cindy’s apparent still pissed off presence.
Two good beach days and 2 days to ourselves.
Cue the nausea and tears . . .
So, I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner the night before we were to leave and the Professor is on the balcony just drinking it all in before we shove off the next day. It is still a two red flag evening but folks were getting brave and the Nazi’s were gone . . .
The Professor screams into the condo and yells, “Get your phone, you may have to call 911, there’s a dude screaming for help, and I think he’s drowning!” Oh crap, maybe the Nazi’s were right.
I grab my phone and scream out to the balcony and this is what I see . . .
I see a dude about 14 or so in the water further out then he should have been and he is screaming this primitive gut wrenching extreme fear “HELP.” I almost threw up at the sound of the fear in his voice and started crying. I dialed 911 and explained to the lady where we were and what was going on. I was on the 14th floor otherwise if I had been on that beach, my ass would have been in that water saving that baby boy as I remember my lifeguard training from years ago and have managed to save exactly 3 kids over the years at the beach.
But, by the grace of God, a brave beachgoer jumps in, swims to him, and pulls his ass in thus saving his life. In the meantime, the sheriff pulls up as well as another dude with a lifesaving foam thing but he was too late as this man brought this poor kid in. I observed his mother and sister run up to him and they all fell into each other’s arms sobbing. Oh, my heart, y’all. I’m not sure what happened that he ended up out there but it was obvious he got plum tired trying to get back in and needed help. Bless him.
The next morning was departure time and I was ready to be home. I missed my home, my dogs, and my son. But alas, the trip back was as bad as the trip down.
Cue the torrential rain with zero visibility . . .
Long story short, slow or stand still traffic, a shit ton of hard rain, and a growing stabby sensation in my chest but, thank God above, we made it home safe.
If I had to critique the trip in its entirety, it was good, y’all. Being with my family and my husband was great plus the beach was the added bonus. Those two days of rain were good too because for once in a long time, I relaxed and didn’t run around with my head cut off studying, writing notes, doing laundry, grocery shopping, and all the other 4 billion things I do when I’m home. Plus, I had the Professor to myself for 2 awesome days. Glass half full, y’all.
I hope all of you have safe trips to and from your locations this summer and even though those sticks will get stuck in your spokes, enjoy the good parts, really enjoy them because those joys makes life worth living. Ya know?!