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Mastering the English Beach

A few weeks ago, we finally started having Summer weather we took my son for a walk on the beach.  English beaches are not always fun.  You have to go prepared.  A impromptu walk on the beach without the proper footwear, was not the best idea.  I was wearing flip flops and after just a few steps onto the beach, I realized my mistake, but it was just too late.  My five year old was excited and headed for the water.
I walked painfully through the pebbles and stones to the shore line. As my husband was wearing closed shoes, I asked him to take our son to dip his feet while I tried to find a comfortable place to sit to give me aching feet a rest (unlike sand, sitting on a pebble beach is no easy task).
My husband took his shoes off, took our son to the water and quickly gave up dragging him kicking and screaming away from the water.  I decided to try next and walked my son back to the water.  The pain of walking on the stones was awful and although I lasted a little longer than my husband, I soon gave up too.  My son cried and pleaded to stay.  I tried to explain saying, 'But baby, it's hurts!  It's horrible!' a passerby overheard me and said in an apologetic tone, 'Welcome to England!' I'm assuming he thought it was my first trip to a British beach.  I don't think I missed the Jersey shore more than I did that day.
The following day we decided to try to give my son his day at the beach.  This time we planned well.  We went to the store for beach chairs and a wind break (which is sections of material attached to poles that you stick into the ground to block the wind) - a must for an English beach! Then we packed a picnic and large bottles of tap water to use to rinse off the salt water (there are no showers on English beaches like they have on the Jersey shore) and old sneakers to wear to walk on the beach and into the water.  The old sneakers definitely didn't look sexy, but they certainly protected our feet and didn't allow pebbles to get into our shoes.
The last aspect to a successful trip to an English beach is knowing tide times.  We went at low tide which gave us large areas of sand and calm water that was nice and shallow for my son to swim (he's just learning).  We were able to walk out really far into the water which my son loved and he got to stay in the water and remain safe for hours.  We went at high tide once and the water was too choppy to enjoy.
Since that day, we've been back to the beach three times and have had some really nice days.  I'm keeping a chart of tide times so when we have nice weather, we will know the best day to go.  It only took me nearly ten years, but I have finally mastered the English!  I can now go without cursing the country and becoming home sick for the Jersey Shore!

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