I’ve determined that I am a beach bum. The beach is my happy place be it the height of summer or the dead of winter. There is something calming about the sound of the waves and sand between my toes. It is a place where I can “hear myself think”. Given the Zombie Apocalypse of 2020, I’m finding it to be my remote work refuge. A place to contemplate and work and, better yet, the view is amazing!
With the upcoming holiday, I am setting the week aside as vacation. It’s time for some pleasure reading, beach walking, and general out of office time. I’m packing the beach bag with goldfish for a snack, my kindle loaded with beach reads, my iPod with audiobooks and a playlist and I’ve ordered a case of sunscreen from Amazon.
2020 beach reading list (no reviews as I’m just set to start my reading binge)
- Feels Like Falling, Kristy Woodson Harvey
- Hello Summer, Mary Kay Andrews
- Chanel’s Rivera,Anne de Courcey
- Sex and Vanity, Kevin Kwan
- Drawing Home, Jamie Brenner
2020 audiobook playlist (no reviews as I’ve just started listening and walking)
- The Summer House, James Patterson
- The Mirror & the Light, Hilary Mantel
- Firing Point, Tom Clancy
- Resistance Women, Jennifer Chiaverini
- All the Ways We Said Goodbye, Beatriz Williams
- True Evil, Greg Iles
Packing list for the beach bag
- Sunscreen – 30 and 50. My go to is Coola but I couldn’t find the unscented this year so I’m opting for Supergoop.
- Beach towel – I’m still using monogrammed bath sheets I ordered from Neiman’s years ago but I keep eyeing the ones from Weezie. I love their makeup towels.
- Tech – iPod, kindle and AirPod Pro (the pro are amazing at noise reduction. I highly recommend)
- Cooler with drinks and a spray bottle of Evian to cool you down
I love the beach and pool and opt for any chance to spend time there. Recently I decided it was time to replace some of my favorite pieces. After years of constant wear they’d seen better days. That begged the question – what to replace them with? I’m also very conscious of the sun. My father suffered from skin cancer and was my partner in crime when it came to the beach so I opt for sunscreen, hats, and sun shirts when I’m thinking out side. For more on my sunscreen odyssey see my post at Sunscreen plus the hat! As an update I’m going with COOLA!
The swim suit. I love Tory Burch’s suits and have worn the ones I have out. They hold up well even after years of use. I wanted something new though. I tried a new one made by Marysia. I loved it enough to purchase a second. One tip I got from a friend was to purchase the same suit in different colors so the strap lines are in the same place. I’ve taken that tip to heart. I have the same Tory suit in navy and black and now the same Marysia suit in white and black and a two piece with the same top.
After settling on a new swimsuit, I decided I needed a refresh on my coverup. They were also showing signs of wear. I decided that I wanted a sun shirt. I purchased a lovely swing style one from Mott with a 50 spf and I found a men’s long sleeve sun shirt in the tennis pro shop that I’ve co-opted. I wear it with a terry polo mini skirt I’ve had for ages. The mini skirt needs a refresh but I’ve not found a replacement for it – yet! Although not a sun shirt I also found a lovely tunic style shirt to wear for yoga that I’m giving a trial run as a cover up. My favorite new addition, however, is a lovely tunic from Gretchen Scott. It is hand embroidered and simply lovely.
My beach attire would not be complete without a hat, flip flops, and sun glasses. I usually take both a large floppy hat and a baseball cap or visor in my bag. The cap and visor are great when the wind whips up and the floppy hat goes flying. The floppy hat with a wide brim is my preference though to keep the sun off my face. I’ve used a black hat for many years but at the end of last summer I discovered Peter Beaton’s hats. I have a lovely new one with a wide brim, black blow and pink under rim. It is amazing. I opt for Channel sunnies. There is something about the lens they use that makes them perfect for use outside. For flip flops I am addicted to Tory’s basic black. I have the traditional ones and the wedge ones. The wedges are amazing and add a little something to the outfit.
My final mention is to Buckhead Betties for my suit bag. There is nothing worse than carrying a wet suit. I discovered a travel pouch designed for carrying your wet suit at Buckhead Betties. The lining is waterproof and perfect for a wet suit (or your wet hair towel).
Growing up summer at the beach included egg salad sandwiches for lunch. I have fond memories of Mom boiling eggs and turning them into deviled eggs and egg salad sandwiches. She knew they were a favorite we shared. Egg salad, chips and a coke and lunch was served. I have so many fond memories of those lunches. White sandy beaches, heat, heat, humidity and fun.
Although I never thought about it, the egg salad seemed to be seasonal. The sandwiches would start appearing after Easter and end sometime after Labor Day. These days I look forward to my egg salad at the Masters. There is something about their version of the egg salad sandwich that takes me back to Mom’s. I’ve been trying to decode their recipe for years now. Today as I mixed my egg salad for sandwiches on the beach, I finally came close!
One dozen eggs – hard boiled and dumped into an ice bath to make pealing easy.
Peel eggs, slice and mash
Add salt and pepper to taste
Mix in 1/4 of mayo to start, add additional as needed. I used lite mayo,
Add a tablespoon of mustard. I used Frenches
Spread on bread of your choice and enjoy!
My love affair with the beach began while I was still in diapers. Born in Eastern North Carolina with a Dad who grew up spending summers frequenting Cherry Grove, Myrtle Beach and OD and a Mom who spent her childhood summers in pluff mud, salt marshes along Sullivan’s Island and Folly Beach, it was natural that I’d be whisked to the Atlantic Ocean before I could walk. So what do I pack for a day at the beach?
The chair is key. I love a good sand chair, one that is perfect to sit in the water with the tide. Umbrella and straw mat are other necessities. I typically grab a grass mat at the local beach store. They tend to cost around $3.00 and are great for lying on to sunbathe. They also serve as a place for the cooler, beach bag and other assorted items to avoid dumping everything in the sand. As gorgeous as the Carolina coast is with that sugar white sand, I try to avoid bringing it home with me.
Next up is a cooler packed with ice, drinks, sandwiches and a spray bottle of water. There is nothing better to cool off with than ice water. I love Evian but there are multiple options that include just a drugstore pump spray filled with water. I keep a bottle of Evian in the refrigerator so I always have one cold for tennis and the beach or pool.
My beach bag filled to the brim with all those things one needs – sunglasses, sunscreen, towels, goldfish, my kindle and my iPod. This year I’ve got a new beach bag, the Goyard Belharra. I am loving it. It is easy to stuff with everything I want for a day walking along the beach, reading in the sun, and swimming in the ocean. See my post from last summer for What’s in My Beach Bag.
Do you have a go to sunscreen? My favorite sunscreen has not been available for the last few summers and I continue to seek out the perfect sunscreen. I’m fanatical about applying sunscreen. My Dad was the quintessential southern outdoor guy – hunting, fishing, golf, tennis, gardening – you get the idea. He also had several skin cancers removed when I was a teen. From that point on, hats and fifty sunscreen with titanium dioxide became the routine.
I’m no expert on sunscreen and know next to nothing about what makes one better than the other. The titanium dioxide was a recommendation for my Dad from his doctor. I am also prone to what my Mom calls sun poising – little bumps around my knees and on my hands after prolonged time in the sun. Given my love for the beach, pool, and tennis court, prolonged time in the sun was a given for me in the summers. I quickly discovered there were some sunscreens that seemed to exacerbate this condition. I also tend to like a product specifically designed for the face for my face. This means I typically purchase a 30 and 50 for the face and a 30 and a 50 for the rest of me. I also like a spray rather than a lotion. With this in mind, I recently went shopping at Blue Mercury. I opted for two old but goodies, and two new to try.
For the new – Moroccan Oil 50 – This one is a spray lotion. It sprays out but you have to rub it in. I like it but it is much more lotion than spray. The other new is Soleil. I purchased the spray version in 50 and a lotion version in 30. I love the spray. It has great coverage and stays after swimming. The downside is that I went through a bottle a day on the beach. That is a bit pricy given how much sunscreen I go through.
The tried but true include Coola and Supergoop. I love the Coola spray. The face lotion and lip balm also get a thumbs up from me. Supergoop (no TD) is another go to from last summer but I’ve only tried the lotion version. I just picked up a spray mousse version that has strong possibilities. So, what is your favorite sunscreen?
Whatever else, remember the sunscreen and the hat! Protect yourself!
I don’t believe that I’ve ever anticipated a summer as much as I anticipated this one. Snow in April was my undoing. I love all four seasons but I was ready for a spring that never quite seemed to arrive. This made me long for summer and it is here!
Hot days, warm nights, long walks on the beach and visits with family and friends are all on my schedule for this summer. The pace seems slower in the summer; time to enjoy life in a way I don’t seem to manage in the rest of the year.
I’m prepping for the summer. Here is my checklist:
- Mani/Pedi in preparation for flip flops and shorts
- A case of new tennis balls as I plan to spend hours on the court.
- 50 sunscreen – I’m serious about sunscreen. I go with 50 for most of the summer and titanium dioxide as an ingredient. I love to spend time in the sun either walking, playing tennis, or spending time on the beach or at the pool but I don’t want to risk skin cancer so it is time to lather on the sun screen.
- Sisley Lavender body scrub for the shower. Nothing like it to make you feel great post outing and make the bath smell wonderful.
- A visit to the bookstore and audible for beach reads. Audio books are a must as it is a drive to the coast.
- Review beach gear – suits, hat, and bag to see if new additions or replacements are required.
- Trip to the farmer’s market for fresh veggies!
What is on your summer prep checklist?
I occasionally get to travel for work and recently I decided to take advantage of a presentation I was making on a Monday and spend the weekend in south Florida at the beach.
The Waldorf Astoria Beach Resort is a beautiful hotel designed by Addison Mizner as part of his plan for Boca Raton. The resort is divided into two by the intercostal waterway. The original hotel is designed in a mediterranean cloister style with a more modern hotel on the beach side. You can take advantage of the beach, multiple pools, golf, tennis and a world class spa. I also recommend walking around the grounds. The grounds are manicured with lush vegetation.
If you elect to stay in the “old” part of the hotel you can take advantage of either Mizner’s Dream, a boat to shuttle you to the beach club, or the resort shuttle. There was something so fun about taking a five minute boat cruise down the ICW to the beach club.
I took advantage of both the pool and the beach spending a lovely weekend day submerged in the Atlantic and the pool. The ocean was so clear that I could see my feet. I was fortunate to have a calm ocean with gentle waves but just enough to make it fun.
Since I’ve not met a resort spa I was willing to pass up, I booked my weekend with the Sip, Sun, and Spa package. This gave me credits for the spa, dining, beach chairs and a free drink at the Monkey Bar. If you are a gin drinker, try the homemade infused gin at the Monkey Bar. I’m not, but a friend is, and they highly recommended the home infused gin. I opted for the Southern Hospitality at Bar Luna.
The spa package included a “ritual bath” that was to die for. My favorite parts of the ritual bath are the sorbet and the plunge pool with the rain shower. I think I could have remained in the plunge pool for ages. The entire spa experience was out of this world. I followed my ritual bath with time in the steam room, the inhalation room, and an artisanal massage. The facility was beautiful and the staff lovely. They also have a private pool and waterfall jacuzzi. I arrived at 9:30 spent the morning in a lounge chair under an umbrella with sporadic dips in the pool. Around noon, I opted for lunch by the pool. If you need to pamper and indulge, I highly recommend a visit to the spa. It was the perfect prelude to a long day of work on Monday in the wonderful conference center!