Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Family Beach Stories: Not Much to Tell, Few Pictures to Show

I have a confession to make. The beach has not really been a very important part of my life. Why? Well, it's rather simple. When your skin is as fair as mine and if you forget to keep recoating yourself with 85 SPF sunscreen every time you get in and out of the water, you end up looking like my feet in this photo:

While I don't have lots of family memories from childhood beach vacations, I do have a few from my growing up years and several from my adult life.

My first experience at the beach that I recall was in June 1968 about 14 months before Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast. My cousin's father was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base. We spent the day at the beach playing in the sand and wading into the Gulf. Of course, we were young so my parents and her grandmother wouldn't let us venture very far. That night her little brother was born. The two of us wanted to go back to the beach some more, but, of course, there wasn't much more time on that trip to do it because of the events of that evening. I do remember my first glimpse of the Biloxi lighthouse, which is actually in the middle of the highway. I thought that was a very strange location for a lighthouse, but it was pretty unique. That lighthouse now decorates Mississippi's license plates. When Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I was so grateful that my cousin's family had moved a few months before. This photo of the Mississippi Gulf Coast was taken about five months before Hurricane Katrina hit the coast.

My family just didn't go to the beach that much. I do remember going to St. Andrews State Park in Panama City, Florida one year during my school's spring break. A neighbor went with us that year. The big story of that year was getting out of town. There had been major flooding in our area, and the roads were impassible in so many places that we had to drive way out of our way to get to roads where we could make it to Florida.

I don't remember lots of trips to beaches over the years with the family. I've visited beaches more often as an adult.

Here is a rare photo of myself at a beach. I'm wading out in the waters at Coronado Beach in Randy's part of the country. We only had a few minutes at the end of the day. The sunset was gorgeous that evening!

A few years ago, I went to St. Augustine with my parents. We stayed in a campground that was on the beach. I can't locate photos from that trip on my computer. They are probably on CDs.

On the last camping trip that I made with my parents before they sold their motor home, we actually went to the beach. We went to Topsail Hill State Park near Destin, Florida. The trip was made in March 2006 during our spring break at Carson-Newman. We had originally planned to visit the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but Hurricane Katrina made that impossible so I decided that this was a manageable drive for me since I'd be driving the RV. Here's a photo of our campsite, one of the quite choppy water that kept the warning flags out most of our time there, and a picture of the beach looking toward Destin on one of the clearer days.

Last summer, I saw a beach of a different type--one along Lake Michigan. It was at Holland State Park. We were only there a short time.

Of course, you can revisit my recently posted Bahamas beach photos.

I'm hoping that I'll have a chance to take some photos of the Boston harbor minus the rain pictured here.

This concludes my beach stories post for the 49th Carnival of Genealogy hosted at Creative Gene. My feet still look bad from that Bahamas trip, but they have begun to peel! I hope that I'll remember to RECOAT every time I get in and out of the water from now on with that wonderful Neutrogena SPF 85.

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  • Oh, your poor feet! I don't think my feet have ever been that sunburned! Love the info on the Florida beaches - my daughter lives in Panama City & she has been to both beaches (PC & Destin) that you mention! Thanks for sharing!

    By Blogger wendy, at 9:39 AM  

  • I love your beach photographs. Your red feet look very painful.

    By Blogger Janet Iles, at 7:42 PM  

  • Thanks for the sympathy on the feet. I'll have to admit that they did hurt, but I discovered that if I wore those green shoes that I could stand it!

    By Blogger Lori Thornton, at 8:41 PM  

  • You could be the poster child for the Sunburn Survivors Association :D Honesty...ow again.

    Being someone who also inherited the palest of white skin.... I empathize. Ow.


    By Blogger Janice, at 10:33 PM  

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