The summer is my favorite season of the year. It is the time when my entire family get together to have some fun since we rarely see each other during the rest of the year because everyone is working. It is a big thing for everyone. We all make sure that we plan months in advance and we put in our requests to be off from work if we have to. And since the beach house is already paid for the only thing we have to do is pack our stuff and get on the road.
Since we are going to the beach the most important thing that we must bring along with us are our bathing suits because you can’t go to the beach in jeans and a t-shirt. For girls you know we can’t just bring a bathing suit without any accessories. So of course we have to have sunglasses, a bracelet or two, a beach bag and one of those floppy beach hats just to add to the look. We also pack beach umbrellas and chairs. And one of my aunts has this huge tent that is almost the size of an efficiency apartment so that we all can fit under when it gets too hot. But most of the time we don’t use the tent since the beach house is right off the water and we don’t stay down there long enough to need a tent. Once everyone is packed and ready to go we all arrange to meet in a central location so that we can carpool with one another and follow each other to the beach house.
Going to the beach house is a two week event for us. And since the plan is for us to spend time together as a family my grandmother puts together an agenda for everyone to follow. The first week or so is considered our strictly family week. That means that regardless of what we want to do or where we want to go we can’t because we are having family time. Then the last few days are days that we can use to do something by ourselves or with our spouses and children.
Week one consists of early morning breakfasts with pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon, grits and loads of fruit. Then once everyone is done eating breakfast, first we all have to take a break because our bellies are full, then once we get dressed we play volleyball. All of my uncle’s get together to put the net up while all of us women sit and watch until they are ready. We usually break off into teams of boys and girls, but since there are so many of us to play a real game we rotate between players and we don’t keep score. The game is over when we all are tired of playing. While the grownups are playing volleyball the kids are playing board games or chasing each other with water balloons. Later that evening everyone sits around the television and catch up on things that we may not have told each other in the past couple of months or years. The rest of the week we play baseball, kickball and any other sports game that we can think of. And the last couples of days all of the individual families go off and do something together.
The last day of the trip is usually the hardest and nobody wants leave. Everyone is really sad because we have so much fun together as a family and we won’t be able to see each other together again until next year. We say our goodbyes, hug and get into our cars to go back home.