What’s in Your Beach Bag?

Given this weekend is the unofficial start of summer – and our very own Cate made She Reads’ list of most anticipated thrillers of the summer with One Little Secret – I’m wondering what will be in your beach bags? Besides books and Kindles 🙂

I burn easily so I always pack extra sunscreen and my favorite Hawaiian shirt to wear as a cover up (I’ll include a pic of the shirt). The shirt is rayon so no matter how much I wad it up, I just shake out the wrinkles.

Cate: I always pack goggles. I like to swim in pools and salt water, but my eyes are really sensitive. Got to preserve the pupils for reading!

Tracee: Absolutely sunscreen and a favorite cover up that lets me walk through hotel lobbies without hiding behind a newspaper. Most important, though, are the hats. Hats for in the water and just by the pool and for walking around the rest of the time!

Laurie: Always a bottle opener (for “emergencies”;-) and when at the beach, Twizzlers to take the edge off all the salt water.

Robin: I’m making a list of things to add right to my bag right now. Twizzlers is a nice touch. But that begs the question, red or black?

Laurie: ONLY red 😂

Connie: Summer for me means concentrated writing time. We spend much of the summer at our cottage on a lake in the north woods of Wisconsin. Few distractions. Few responsibilities. Just write, write, write. Since I am no sun lover, relaxing on our covered pontoon boat is my idea of summer bliss. So my beach bag would include:

  • My laptop, so I can polish that last scene while listening to the sound of waves and the call of the loons
  • My latest knitting project, a navy blue and silver shrug
  • A pair of binoculars for watching wildlife along the shore
  • A tube of red lipstick (can’t be without that)
  • Sunglasses and sun hat
  • Beach towel in case we decide to swim
  • My dog, Millie—okay, she won’t be actually in the beach bag, but she’ll be there

Cannot wait!

Twizzlers is a great idea. Black, of course.

Alison: For a day by the water, I need music, sunglasses and a hat, sunblock, books to suit my mood, and magazines. Yes, very retro, I know. If I’m lucky, I’ll have both a US and French Vogue, as well as something like Cook’s Illustrated. And some rosé.

Susan: I have to confess that I’m one of those people who gets light-headed when the temperature goes above 80. So I’m not a lot of fun at a beach. I either pass out or get really hungry. So I always bring a lot of water, granola bars, towels (to cover my legs), sunscreen, a hat. I do love to collect shells though, so I might bring a bucket.

Connie: I’m with you on the temps, Susan. In high school I tried getting that tan like everyone else, but I’d feel sick within ten minutes. Ah, well. That’s why we head north in summer.

Michele: I have lived at the beach my whole life! I am an “ocean person” who believes salt is the essential element in oxygen. When I set off for a day at the beach I always bring a notebook and pens, a laptop (if practical because salt water and computers seem to be incompatible I’ve learned), good reading sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm with SPF, my camera/iPhone, and binoculars because I don’t want to miss a single thing. The beach is not only an amazing place where I am inspired and write en plein air but it’s filled with beauty everywhere. The beach is never the same- there’s always something new and wonderful. How lucky am I to have lived in coastal Massachusetts, Connecticut, St. John, and now Outer Cape Cod?

Paula: I’m not a fan of hot weather, unless I’m on a beach under a big umbrella holding a drink with a little umbrella. Which doesn’t happen very often. Most of our summers are spent on the lake, paddle boarding and kayaking on the water and reading and writing by the water. Assuming I just don’t nap. All I need is sunscreen, bug spray, a pitcher full of spiked lemonade, swimming clothes, and a hat. Plus a good novel and pen and paper. Wake me after Labor Day.

Tracee: Ah yes, perhaps I should have said: beach? Oh I don’t think so! I’m more of a cool weather view the beach from the house person. Now a pool, with lounge chair and a good umbrella…. that’s a great idea! (I’ll expand this to include Paula’s lake. Actually now I’m thinking about other favorite lakes. Lac Leman in Switzerland anyone?

Connie: Yes! Any lake…how about the Lake District in England??

Alison: I’ll join you in Switzerland or the lake region in Italy or Lake Powell in Utah or pretty much any body of water (including rivers, frigid plunge pools, regular swimming pools—we keep ours at 80 degrees—and hot tubs). I love to swim and love everything about being outside with water. My dad took me swimming at a public pool in Edinburgh before I could walk…I guess I’ve always had a thing for H2O.

Laurie: And the Great Lakes! They’re incredible. I grew up on them, but it still blows me away that they have waves like the ocean, but it’s fresh water.

Robin: I live at the beach, too, Michele. California Coast so we have a fair amount of fog so I tend to vacation in warm climates. I have a fondness for the desert Southwest. My friends call me a lizard 🙂

Alison: Love the desert Southwest! …and I’ll hang out with you, Connie, in the lake region in England. And, of course, any of your beaches, Michele. And the Great Lakes with Laurie…and Paula’s lake…and…and..Anyone need someone to carry her luggage? I’m available. 🙂

How about you, dear reader? What’s in your beach bag this summer?

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