The Beach!

Spending a few days at the beach was probably just about the best thing Paul and I could’ve done as a couple right after his graduation.

Last summer was terrible for us. We were on the verge of breaking up for most of it. Looking back, I attribute most of this to growing pains and distance–a whole lot of issues a regular couple would’ve faced sooner and more spread out came up all in a three month span, maybe even less. We worked everything out–and still run into problems–but hey, we’ve been able to make it work. Usually pretty damn well, too.

A peaceful, low-key summer would’ve been nice, but with him in school and my friends, we never really got the chance. I was working weekends all through June, so that shot the month in terms of visits, and I went up in July and August whenever I was free. Going from that to a few days together at the beach was really pretty awesome, and I think it did us lots of good. It certainly made us both disgustingly cheesy and romantic. I mean, we went for a walk down the beach while holding hands at sunset. That’s the definition of cliche. I highly recommend it for any couples, though.

The duration of the trip was basically being beach bums. We stayed with relatives of Paul’s, who are five minutes away from Bethany Beach in Delaware. We got in at night and crashed, then got up for breakfast and went to the beach. The day was cloudy, so we all thought we could get away with at least putting off applying sunscreen. Really, a few of us were expecting full-on rain, so a little built into a break in the clouds and our sandcastle, we all applied sunscreen. We were all too late and burned horribly. I’ve never gotten a sunburn so bad in my life. By the end of the trip, I had swelling in my face. Paul insisted I go to MedExpress, but I did the punk rock thing and treated with ice and Benadryl. I was fine. Miserable and trying to keep his mom from noticing (God bless glasses) but fine. And with the right Instagram filters, it was at least toned down.

And then Paul and some of his more daring siblings got me to conquer my ocean fear. I love the beach and I love playing in the ocean, but I’ve always been too afraid to go out beyond about waist-high water, even just jumping into the waves. In fact, all of us girls were afraid to, which of course meant that when Paul’s Uncle Dick dragged Julie in, Emily and I had to go, too. I spent the early moments yelling at Paul not to let go of me or drag me out too far–height difference became an issue there. He’s a foot taller than me. He can keep going where I can’t touch bottom.

We all ended up loving the waves, though, so much so that at one point, the boys all tired out and just us girls were left. And the cold water felt amazing on sunburn.

Other than beach lounging and wave diving, we did shopping and lots of eating out. Pizzas, frozen custard, a massive plate of spicy nachos, pina coladas bought mostly for he coconut souvenir mug…seriously, I chose my alcohol at dinner based on the coolest souvenir cup.

And Paul’s relatives had a gorgeous house and were very nice and welcoming. I was the only non-family member on the trip, but I didn’t feel that way. I love beaches, I enjoyed myself, and it was a much-needed vacation after a summer packed with drama but lacking Paul. It was probably really good for me, physically and mentally.

We were there Monday through Wednesday. I took off through Thursday, so I went to work Friday with a nice beach tan. Some may say working Friday was pointless, but I saw it’s perfect–you go in for one day after vacation, and then you have the weekend!

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