Fun at the Beach?

One of the best parts about living in Chicago is access to beautiful Lake Michigan. There are days when its color matches the Caribbean, and the lake is so vast that one could easily mistake it for an ocean.  Plus, I think the world’s best tasting drinking water comes from the Lake via our kitchen sink.

In the summer, we do our best to hang out at the beach with the kids at least a couple times a month.  We pack up the strollers and walk over in the morning before the midday heat reaches its peak.

The moment we arrive, the kids start asking for an ice cream treat from the stoic peddlers on the beach.  We always make them wait at least half an hour, which feels like f o r e v e r to them!

Little Vivian takes licks of mine (coconut, of course!).

And, even though the water borders on freezing, Evie and Mack can’t wait to splash with Dad.  Vivian, on the other hand, is content to watch from the sand.

After about 40 minutes, I’m finally starting to relax.  I trick myself into thinking I’m on vacation!  I smile and lounge and get comfortable.

But, inevitably, after an hour or so the kids get restless.  Vivian is ready for her nap.  Evie is too hot. The sticky sand irritates Mack’s toes.  After all these years, the #1 lesson I need to remember about taking kids on an outing escapes me: leave before the meltdowns begin.


If we wait until Vivian drops her face in the sand, we waited too long.  The walk home from the beach always sucks – Mack now has sand in his shorts and doesn’t want to sit in the stroller. Evie has sand on her flip-flops and wants to walk barefoot, but she’s freaking out because the pedestrian tunnel under Lake Shore Drive smells like pee. And Vivian won’t sit in the stroller because she’s tired and just wants mama to hold her. For the entire sweaty walk home.

Next weekend when we go to the beach, Chris and I agreed that 60 minutes is the absolute max. Unless we leave the kids at home – then we’re staying all day! Ha!


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1 Comment for this entry

  1. maggie says:

    OMG Yes!!! Just the thought of going there makes me anxious! Excited yes. but more anxious. You are right tho… I need to plan ahead and leave before it turns craaaaazy!

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