You could say I’m a family gal – and a city gal – but I’m also a beach gal.  I’m not sure why.  Perhaps it’s because I grew up near Lake Erie, which was our sole entertainment.  Or perhaps it’s because I was born in the sign of water.  To look at me you would never peg me as a beach gal.  The bod is not bikini clad, I sunburn easily, my face is ruddy and red and I get freckles!

But I am drawn to the perpetual motion of the waves, the sound of the wind and the surf and the sea gulls.  It lulls me into peacefulness.

Tradition has beckoned us to gather at this lakeside resort for more than 60 years.  My parents came here years ago and a tradition was born.  I don’t ever recall missing a year while growing up.  We went the same weekend in July since it was almost always great weather for the beach!  My parents, siblings, spouses and kids meet here annually and our family has grown to around 30.  The only year we missed was three years ago.  My dad chose to die on this weekend, and we thought it was appropriate since tradition was so important to him.  And we were still together as a family that weekend.

This year we experienced the joy of the next generation discovering her shadow in the sand!

The first day was atypical July.  It was crystal clear with low humidity and winds out of the Northeast.  This makes for a perfect ocean day at the lake!  The winds are strong, the waves are big enough to body surf.  The sand becomes ingrained in every pore of your body and bathing suit.  But I love it.

We anticipate crazy high and fast rides and crazy dinners in the back room at one big, long table!

Evening walks on the beach, daily ice cream and a spectacular moon.

Sand castles and sand sculptures…

I even rode the Top Thrill Dragster for the first time!  Not bad for an old lady!  (Up and down that 400+ feet high thing in 17 seconds!)

What is it about the beach that keeps drawing me back?  Is it the memories of my childhood?  The shared experiences of family? The soothing rhythms of the water? I don’t know, but I find comfort there.