As far as I'm concerned, sea water beats lake water by a long shot. The simple presence of salt -- a miracle mineral -- is one reason. More than a flavor booster, it's a buoyancy enhancer, a preservative and, as spa-goers will attest, an effective exfoliant. Plus it is an age-old healing agent, which explains why doctors make such ample use of saline solution. Nevertheless, it's the interesting stuff the sea delivers to my beach daily that really sets saltwater apart from fresh.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh knew where to look for coveted seashells: after all Captiva (her destination of choice) and its sister island Sanibel are magnets for conchologists. Some 400 species have been identified there, including the shell hunters' "Holy Grail" – the Junonia. Treasures, though, can turn up almost anywhere. Here are a few tips to get you started.
By this point in the summer I am so relaxed that I'm virtually comatose, yet the impending arrival of grade-school guests is enough to push my reset button. Part of the reason I slip back into an A-type frame of mind is that I'm concerned for the young ones' wellbeing. I fear underactive Xbox addicts and TV junkies may be pushed over sanity's edge on this off-the-grid island. On the other hand, I fear that overactive kids (like overactive adults) might unwittingly put themselves in harm's way, considering that my beach house has poison ivy to tumble into, highs bluffs to trip off of, boats to tip over... you get the picture.
Angelenos would have you believe that we are and will always be car people. We tell you we like our freeways long and our tops down. But, like the Tinseltown dreams our main industry peddles you, this image is a slight fabrication.
Some of us are bikers, careening down park trails, daringly darting in and out of traffic and coaching kids with training wheels around suburban subdivisions.
I am not one. But some of us are.
By 1807 William Wordsworth was already lamenting that "the World is too much with us;" that crowds and commercialism and other facts of contemporary life were leaving us "out of tune" with nature. Fast forward 200-plus years and we're even more out of touch, so one of the upsides of beach house life is that it gives us easy access to nature again.
Of course, one of the downsides is that we're not always sure what to do with Mother Nature when we come face to face with her. These tips will help you stay safe.
From boardwalks to board games, fab food to family bonding, there are many reasons why we love beach house living. Of course, proximity to nature also ranks high on most people's lists -- mine included. About the only thing I notice growing at home is the mold in my basement. But at my Pictou Island vacation home, where I'm more attuned to my surroundings, I monitor Mother Nature with uncharacteristic interest. As summer unfolds in its usual way, I mourn the wilting of irises; then applaud the blooming of Queen Anne's lace. The arrival of wild blueberries is cause for a cork-popping celebration.
So when flora merits that kind of attention, you can imagine the excitement fauna generates among locals and summer residents alike.
We caught up with Alexis Bellino from The Real Housewives of Orange County for the inside scoop on her family day at Laguna Beach.
It all started with my truck -- or, to be more precise, it started with my truck's refusal to start. Although those of us who love waterside hideaways tend to see them as enchanted places where everything automatically goes right, the truth is that beach houses are not immune to mundane problems. Things can -- and often do -- go wrong.
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