Making years of beach memories

Beach trips are bound to create many fond memories for families. (Contributed)

Beach trips are bound to create many fond memories for families. (Contributed)

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

Some folks love Gulf Shores and Orange Beach while others go to Pensacola Beach or Panama City.

If you are planning to deep-sea fish then perhaps you would choose Fort Walton or my personal favorite, Destin, Florida.

Let’s see – first you have to get on the Internet and “find” a place to stay.

After hours of searching through hundreds of available sites you finally secure one within your budget (you hope!).

The kids want to know how far the room is from the beach, does it have a pool, is fast food readily available and last of all when do we leave and can we carry a friend.

Before the planned trip you must get the car serviced – you know tires, air conditioner, oil change, etc, etc.

Next, on to Walmart for insect repellent, sunscreen, floaties, noodles, beach balls, rafts, floppy hats, sunshades, car games and 40 other items you happen to see and needed (or at least wanted).

Be sure to mow the yard the day before your trip so the neighbors don’t complain that you have the most neglected yard in the subdivision (actually a grown-up yard attracts mischief in more ways than one).

Call to temporarily cancel paper delivery, ask a trusted friend to get your mail, and write down info as to where you can be reached in case of emergency (leave with same trusted friend or relative).

The children get antsy as the big day approaches. Mom and Dad are stressed out just from the preparations – all that last-minute checking and rechecking – Did you get this and did you get that?

Once the car is loaded, the kids buckled in armed with sippy cups, snacks and at least one electronic personal device.

We’ve all done those beach trips and many of you have dozens ahead of you. Lucky you!

Take my advice, laugh, chase kids down the beach, play ball, take a nap, sunbathe (in moderation), savor that seafood and watch the sun set over the horizon.

Wish I could do it all again!