Fly fishing gear

What we did on our beach vacation (7 quick catches)

~ 1 ~

Last summer we were so busy we didn’t even have time to take a day off to spend with our family. This year I was determined to take a real vacation and travel somewhere together. We decided to spend the last week at Bethany Beach, and it was so relaxing.

I read five books, spent time on the beach, did a little shopping and cooking, and sat on our balcony watching the birds go by. I even saw an osprey catching a fish in the ocean. Some days we did next to nothing at all, and it was beautiful.

I’m starting to realize that taking time off is just as important as going to the dentist and endlessly more fun.

~ 2 ~

We had been enjoying nice warm weather all week and had just a little bit of rain. We had a great time watching the storm approaching. The sky has changed and clouds have formed above and around us.

We saw the rain fall from afar and admired the changing colors and movement of the ocean.

After the storm was over, a rainbow appeared over the ocean. It is so easy to feel the presence of God when you are at the beach.

~ 3 ~

One of my only concerns about our vacation was leaving our finches, our precious pandemic pets. They are rarely alone. A 15-year-old friend who looks more like family agreed to take care of them. He came to meet the birds and I offered a crash course in finch care and feeding. I typed in step-by-step directions and made food that would last the entire week.

My sister joked that I put more effort into preparing to leave the birds than she would to leave her children – and I didn’t have time to argue with her. I was too busy boiling corn, peas and eggs and labeling kitchen drawers with post-in notes for our finch keeper to find his way.

We missed the finches. When we got home, however, they were happy and healthy and hopping around the cage. And our babysitter’s mom sent us pictures and videos every day.

I really love these little birds.

~ 4 ~

Not everyone in our family is vaccinated so we mainly ate in our condo but did a bit of shopping. During one of our shopping sprees, one of my boys spotted a fly swatter that I don’t have in my collection yet: a fly sword.

We grabbed him and brought him home. Normally when I buy a fly swatter I don’t use it because I add it to my fly swatter collection. But we kept letting the flies in from the balcony so I ended up using this new fly sword. It was a great investment.

~ 5 ~

Every time we stay in a condo or beach house, I realize how much I appreciate my own pots and pans at home.

This time, however, I quickly developed an affection for the left front burner of the stove. You must have a favorite burner on a stove.

And when I went to get something to drain the pasta I found a yellow plastic fish strainer that was so sturdy and cheerful.

~ 6 ~

My husband took our youngest son surf fishing on the beach for the first time and they caught a fish on their very first cast. I watched them from the balcony, and I felt a bit like Jimmy Stewart in Rear window, live everything from afar. John sent me a picture of the beach flounder.

About an hour later, they hung something so big that they couldn’t roll it up. Our son tried, then his father took the cane. Then some of the fishermen fishing near them came to try to help. But the fish was so big and stubborn that they just couldn’t get it back. John finally had to cut the line and let it go. The fishermen with them thought it was probably a stingray, burrowing into the mud and refusing to be pulled into it.

I’ve asked the story over and over again, and I never tire of hearing how hard the fish was pulling and how everyone was trying and trying and trying to pull it. Fishing stories are fascinating.

~ 7 ~

At the start of our vacation week, I asked our kids what they absolutely wanted to do at the beach, and unsurprisingly, some of their requests were food related. Our oldest son wanted a funnel cake.

Seemed like a reasonable request, but somehow we couldn’t find a funnel cake. Finally, on the last full day at the beach, we went to get a funnel cake, landed a parking spot in downtown Bethany Beach, stood in line for half an hour and grabbed a funnel cake from Steve’s Sugar Shack, which has the best funnel cake on the beach, according to Funnel Cake Magazine– or that’s what’s written on a sign over there. I never read Funnel Cake Magazine. I’ve also never come across a funnel cake that I didn’t like. This one was hot, crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, and deliciously sweet.

Find more quick takes on Kelly’s blog, This is not high school, and take a look at the cover of Kelly’s book!

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