How can we be 3 weeks from school starting? School just let out! good grief people, don’t take my summer away, there are still a gazillion things I want to do. Like many more weekends in our favorite little getaway spot, Cocoa Beach.
Commercialized, yes, but there are still pockets of pure, unaltered Florida sunshine. It was perfect. There is something so exciting and yet comforting about visiting the same vacation place summer after summer. We’ve been staying on Cocoa Beach since Daniela was 5, always at the same hotel. And here’s the thing, the hotel is old, and the rooms are kinda crappy, but there are two things that keep us coming back: the kids’ suite and the resort grounds.
The kids’ suite is basically just a wooden box partitioning part of the hotel room that’s painted to resemble a bright (and slightly blurry) underwater mural. Inside the little box is a bunk bed and TV. The girls go crazy for it every time. Inwardly I groan, wishing for a balcony and ocean view instead of a crappy air conditioner and noisy parking lot. But without fail, my heart lifts while the girls huddle in their little suite and whisper plans for the following day. Marco and I snuggle on the bed and listen to their giggles. The suite’s “privacy” makes them feel grown up and confident. But you know what? It also gives Marco and me a sense of privacy. We snicker and hold back laughter and speak in hushed, conspiratorial tones about how nice it is to get away. We feel younger and silly while the girls feel older and sophisticated. It’s a great start to a family weekend.
The grounds are simply awesome. The ocean is steps outside our room. There are two giant, heated pools and several tiki hut inspired restaurants all within steps of the beach and pools. Beach volley ball courts, paved walkways complete with banana trees heavy with fruit, and grassy play areas. The main attraction though is a “sunken” pirate ship pool that entertains the girls for hours. H o u r s. It entertains Marco too (: And better yet? This year they are sporting new lounge chairs! Down with the nasty white striped plastic/vinyl ones and Cheers! to the sleek new woven teak chaise lounges. Cocktail in hand, obviously.
And the ocean. Oh, the ocean. It doesn’t matter which coast I’m on (we live on the Gulf Coast while Coca Beach is on the East Coast) the ocean is always breathtaking. The water on the East Coast is freaking cold, but the waves are much better. Boogie boards in hand, the girls head for the water — ice water temps be damned.
Marco loves this time with the girls. (And I love watching from my blanket ) (: It’s always interesting to see how water personalities change summer to summer. This year, Marina was happy just playing in the water and dodging the big waves while Daniela, on the other hand, wanted to ride the biggest wave she could find. Polar opposite of their on-land personalities. Several times Marco wanted Daniela to wait out a larger wave, but she would get herself ready and take it on fearlessly. Usually it ended with her board shooting up out of the water and me holding my breath waiting to see a foot, hand or — preferentially — a cute little head, bobbing in the aftermath. She’s brave.
And as we were packing up to head home, Marco made an announcement: Daniela is ready to graduate from boogie board to surf board. Good Lord have mercy.
Daddy & daughter in the Ron Jon Surf Shop was animated to say the least. They fed off of each other’s energy and fell in love with a cute little fiberglass surf board. It’s truly adorable. While the sales lady went through all the rudderick of choosing the right board, I heard her mutter “a fall on fiberglass would ruin her face”. Sweet Jesus no. I like her face just the way it is, thankyouverymuch. After much foot stomping and arm folding and “But Mooooooom”-ing (mostly coming from Marco), I won this round. It’ll be foam surf boards and pretty faces for the foreseeable future (: