Whether it's cold and we're wrapped up with salty, vinegary chips straight out of the paper or a flask of hot chocolate and a bag of marshmallows...
Or maybe throwing stones into the water, seeing who has the biggest, smallest, shiniest, prettiest stone or who can throw highest, furthest, or with the biggest splash!
Or whether it's a crisp Spring day and we walk along the promenade to the Pier...
And then there are the hot Summery days when we head with picnics, blankets, buckets and spades to the beach -
Despite, actually, in fact because we live so close to the seaside, we've holidayed in a caravan a couple of times there with my mum and step-dad...these have been our first family weekends away and it's been reassuring to be so close to home. It's meant that we've known we could come home easily if Mini has struggled at any point, and I'm really pleased to say that he's been fine, and the familiarity of it all has eased things for him. So much so that we're planning a holiday later in the year at another seaside, except this time we'll be much much further away from home and *eek* camping!
Each trips sees us bring home trainers full of sand, the odd shell, and always pockets and pockets full of stones. Days later, I find the washing machine sounding more like a machine gun as the forgotten stones rattle around and work their way out of those pesky pockets!
Whatever the weather, whatever the temperature, whatever the moods when we leave home, we almost always come home restored. We're often windswept, occasionally a bit pink, full of chips or swirly soft icecream, but restored.
For me, it's the space, fresh air, and the rhythmic waves lapping at the beach, giving me space to think or clear my head completely; I could watch the waves for hours. For the children again the space, but also the never-ending joy they get from creating castles, then smashing them down again, filling buckets with water and running up and down to fill the moats of those castles, the jumping of the waves, the fresh air and always, but always the swirly, soft icecream.