After a series of challenges in nailing down dates for an extended family trip to the coast this summer, we managed to schedule and then re-schedule a family weekend to the beach in October! After a few missteps we managed to get things together at the last moment as the trip meant much to our daughter, and we'd had to bag it back during Labor Day Weekend due to logistical concerns.
For me, the weekend was nice, relaxing, mindless. We enjoyed some good food, courtesy of Papa Jim (always game for a nice seafood dinner, where as Mom elected, as is her custom at fine seafood restaurants across this great nation, to order the chicken sandwich) and time for just...well, doing nothing. Which we all need, now and again.
I spent some extended time on the beach, during which I carefully applied SPF 30 to all exposed parts of my body except the bridge of my nose, a splotch on my forehead and a place on my cheek, all of which are rather red. There are two lines down my forearms which did not receive the sunscreen, and those places are bright red as well, given I spent a couple of hours holding my book up in order to block out the sun.
Saturday was 90 degrees, very warm and muggy, and frolicking in the surf was the order of the day. I managed to read the 1920 novel "The Mysterious Affair at Styles," by Agatha Christie, her first novel and the first appearance of her famed detective Hercule Poirot. (Incidentally, the final Poirot novel, "Curtain," is also set at Styles, an English estate, and narrated by the same character, Hastings. "Curtain" was published in 1975 but, interestingly enough, written during the 1930's).