It wouldn’t be a spring break trip without at least one gallon ziploc bag full of seashells that I have no need for. But I have learned a lot over the years about collecting seashells.
Low tide is a must. Wearing polarized sunglasses helps you see the shells under the water (sea creatures, too). A couple different people today had children’s insect nets to catch the underwater shells–I will remember that for next year. Pack a few ziploc baggies to hold the collection at the beach and then a few dry bags for the trip home.
And if you are flying and planning to carry on a backpack full of shells, because they would put you way over the 50-pound weight limit, you will need to place each bag in the tray because the X-ray machine cannot see through the shells.
Today my husband and I revisited a beach that my boys and I went to five years ago (my sons would not appreciate the sharing of this photo). It is Coral Cove Beach in Tequesta, Florida. From five years ago, I remember this beach having a lot of really cool long finger-like shells. We collected there a couple times trying to find the perfect ones. Today we arrived to a plethora of shells (the second picture). Literally all one needed was a bucket and a shovel. I don’t know if there was a recent shellfish die-off or if there was recent dredging, but the shells were more than abundant. In wish my boys had been here; even as a college junior and a high school senior (their ages now), they would have loved to spend the day hunting for the perfect shells.
I did manage to limit myself to one gallon-sized baggie. But I plan to check it this time.
I love spring break; I need spring break. In education we make it through first semester with a couple three day weekends and usually a five day weekend at Thanksgiving. But it has to be because we are not trapped in our houses or trapped inside for indoor recess too many days before winter break. Those of us north of the Ohio River (north of Oklahoma?) understand; winter weather doesn’t seem to hit until winter break/January. But after being trapped inside for so many days in January and February, a week off in March is most needed.
I have always lived in places with essentially four seasons. My parents insist that Buffalo, New York (where I lived through elementary school) didn’t have a true spring; the weather seemed to skip spring because the snow and ice were on the ground so long. But there was a transition between winter and summer.
Growing up in St. Louis, I remember incredibly long summers. Hot, humid, sticky summers that lasted way too long. But, again, there were four distinct seasons.
So for spring break, most years, we try to skip that transition stage by vacationing in Florida. For me, it’s summer weather right now. I’m in shorts and sunscreen hanging out at the ballpark and the beach. There are no seasons here. I cannot imagine Christmas without at least the possibility of snow on the ground. And leading up to that leaves that blaze orange and yellow and red in Fall. And after winter, I cannot imagine not feeling the joy of seeing new buds on the trees and the crocuses and daffodils peeking through the soil.
My students understand the symbolism of the four seasons because we love it year after year.
After reading a number of slices from Friday, March 13th, in which many of us teachers had one of those weeks, I am especially thankful for spring break. And it’s at the perfect time–the week between 3rd and 4th quarters.
Since having children and living in Illinois, our family tradition has been spring training for the St. Louis Cardinals in Florida. This year college son has a different week off and high school son stayed home for baseball practice.
Today started at 4am; a very early alarm to catch a 6am flight. For the first time ever, I flew in first class–coach will feel even smaller next time. After landing, changing into shorts and a tshirt in the airport, and getting the rental car, it was straight to the ball field. We didn’t go to games last year, but I was surprised at the noticeable changes over the past two years. I did coat myself with sunscreen, but I have a slight sunburn on my right side.
We watched the game, then checked into the hotel. At that point, I needed a nap–seriously 4am is really early! Dinner was at an incredible restaurant that we do not have anywhere near us back home. The only activity missing was walking on the beach collecting shells. I’ll save that for tomorrow. Good night!