Aug 23, 2015

Family Vacation: Panama City Beach

I just wasn't made for the beach.  I'm fair, and to tan is to damage my skin beyond repair.  My eyelashes and eyebrows are nonexistent after the first wave hits my face, and I just look like I don't belong there, in that environment.  Like I was biologically not built to withstand any tropical climate.  Like I just look like I'm in pain just standing there on the beach.  

Then there is the issue of my chest.  I can never find a swimsuit that fits me up top and I feel like I am always popping out everywhere.  I do have this one bikini top from Victoria's secret, that was made in my exact bra size, except for it does this ridiculous push up thing that makes me look like I am trying to show them off, and I really just feel uncomfortable with how out there they are, or I should say, up there, they are.  I just feel not family friendly or something, even though I do not even feel all that attractive anymore in a swimsuit because I haven't exercised in about 2 years now, except for toting around a baby constantly for 18 months.

When I picture a woman that was made for the beach, I picture Mila Kunis.  She could completely be unprepared, and get in a bikini on a whim, and dive right in the water, and emerge looking even more attractive somehow, with non disappearing brows and lashes, and in any swimsuit top of her choice.  And her skin looks better with some sun, unlike mine, that just looks like it hurts.  But I don't envy her really, she is biologically meant for that beach life, I'm more of a Rose from Titanic kind of girl. Or any Jane Austin character.  Just let me roam around the mild rainy countryside in my long dress that extenuates all of my best features and an umbrella to protect me from the suns harsh rays because non suntanned skin is considered beautiful. I swear I am not meant for these days, or to go to the beach in the dead of summer. 

That doesn't stop my love for vacationing there at least once a year.  I lather up millions of times a day in sunscreen, put on the most uncomfortable one piece, that takes a circus act to get out of when wet, put a huge hat on my head, and head on out.  Because there on the beach I get to watch these beautiful boys experience it all, with so much life and energy and wonderment.  Their shiny blue eyes against the background of the white sand is breathtaking to me.  The salty breeze working its magic texture on their golden hair, their skin slightly bronzed and sun kissed. Cohen always concentrating on constructing some form in the sand, always wanting us to come see, and to help, and staying clear of the water. Then there is opposite Elliot and his daring personality, throwing himself into the waves, splashing and laughing, kicking and kicking when it is time to leave, and of course, waddling around in his little striped speedo shorts and floppy hat.  It all makes me forget how uncomfortable I am.  I crave the beach all year, but I really think I am an off season beach kind of girl. Regardless of my issues, we had the funnest time this past week.  I've been to Panama City Beach almost every summer of my life since I was born.  It's one of my favorite places, so much nostalgia, so much good there, that has lasted decades. And such a lovely lovely beach.  This year I spent more time than ever swimming in the ocean, the water was the prefect gentleness and temperature, it was hard to get out.  We played miniature golf a record three times, and of course Cohen has been building creative miniature golf holes all around our house since we've been home, using broom handles as his club. My mom and stepfather made amazing meals for everyone all week, and we ate out at two hole in the wall places that were the best places we've ever been to there, and ate all of the oysters we could.  I almost made my goal of trying all of the ice-cream flavors from Kilwins, but I did practice some self control. I will say, I can highly recommend butter pecan, chocolate peanut butter, salted caramel, cappuccino chocolate chip, turtle cheesecake, and of course, the cookie dough.  Yep, I did that, with some help from my husband.  The best beach tradition ever is going to Kilwins, its worth every pound I tell you.

I'm in love with these photo's of the boys, and I am so happy we made a little time to capture them at this age, in this summer of their lives. I hope to get images like these each summer at this beach, and look back over the years and watch them grow, and remember their toothy smiles and baby features and sunbleached highlights. We will see you next year Panama City, and hopefully every summer from here on out.  I'll bring the SPF 50.