Once upon a time, Caitlin got up on a Tuesday morning.
She took a shower. It was enjoyable. She had a cup of coffee. It, too, was enjoyable. She got ready to go to the beach.
And that is exactly what she proceeded to do, along with her sister, her aunt, and two of her 3 little cousins.
They arrived at the beach, rented chairs with an umbrella, and applied sunscreen.
Then Laura, whose sunglasses had been regrettably left behind, ventured back across the street, accompanied by Caitlin, to the Dollar Tree. To purchase sunglasses, of course.
After standing in line, and checking out 3 items, none of which were sunglasses, they went next door to Publix.
Dollar Tree has unreasonably ugly sunglasses, and Publix has unreasonably priced sunglasses. But Laura found a pair that would do, and they finally headed back toward the beach.
The water was warm, and the waves were calm, so the cousins all had a lovely time swimming while the aunt sat in the shade and read a book.
A valuable lesson was learned this day - shade at the beach means nothing. Ample amounts of sunscreen are required wherever you may happen to be, due to the unfortunate reflection of the sun's rays on the sand. All members of the little party came away a much brighter shade of pink than when they had arrived. A much more painful pink shade of pink, I might add.
Caitlin was enjoying herself quite well, swimming in the sea, when Laura called her forth. "I have something to tell you!" she said. "We're going parasailing! Aunt Cindy has gone now to sign us up!" Something in Caitlin's stomach lurched a little. But it's not every day one gets to go parasailing. Moments later, a boat pulled up, and they were helped on by a friendly red man with a mustache and a long, long ponytail. And to make what could be a very long ramble into a much shorter ramble, a few more moments later, Caitlin and Laura were all harnessed up and ready to sail.
And so they did. Caitlin squealed with glee as the wind pulled them away from the boat, and then with terror, as she imagined horrible things happening if the cable should chance to snap. Once all of the rope was let out, and they were at least at eye level with the city skyline, she relaxed, and let go her death hold on the straps. It was silent and beautiful. Sadly, excepting the seagulls below them, the most interesting thing they spotted was a plastic bag. But it didn't matter, as the ride itself was amazing.
Once again on shore, Caitlin took another dip, had some snacks, then rested on the unoccupied chair under the umbrella. She feigned to be napping, but she was really straining to hear the party beside them. There was an adorable little boy, speaking in the cutest accent. Perhaps British? Caitlin was uncertain, and knew that it was silly to be intrigued... people are just people... but their accent was cool, so there.
Around 3 o'clock, they packed up and headed home, driving through quite a storm the last part of the way.
They arrived home, had dinner, showers, tidied up and such, and the little ones were put to bed.
Then Caitlin and her aunt proceeded to watch the last 3/4 of North and South. And for those curious minds who happen to recall that this was currently Caitlin's favorite film, you may or may not recollect that this was now her 5th time having watched it. Happy for her, she watched the lovely ending twice through, due to her aunt's premature slumber. The movie had ended, the credits were rolling, and Caitlin looked over, smiling to ask if the ending was satisfactory. Aunt Cindy's eyes were shut. "You've just slept through the ending, haven't you!?" Caitlin asked incredulously. Aunt Cindy rolled her head in partial recognition, but still asleep. Caitlin nudged her. "You've slept through the ending" she said. Poor, dear Aunt. She'd tried so hard to stay awake. And so, after many minutes of wrestling with the unwilling remote control, a satisfactory re-starting place was found, and the dear Aunt commenced watching the last 5 minutes. She was well pleased.
Of course, the Uncle would have to walk in and say something to the effect of, "oh, it was quite wonderful. All it needed was a Mr. Darcy." Objections were made to this mockery, but what are grown men for, but to tease poor women out of their minds when they simply want to enjoy a happy ending?
Nevertheless, all's well that ends well. Even with aloe-covered shoulders, quite a lovely day this turned out to be.