Yesterday we wasted a day of our vacation taking care of business. We hit a bunch of cheesy shops and the arcade on the boardwalk of Daytona beach.  I had been trying to find new sunglasses all week, and had finally found a pair at a good, cheap souvenir shop yesterday –  only $9.99. Chaching! Ring ’em up.

Today, being the last day we could really hit the ocean, I slapped in a pair of disposable contact lenses, adjusted my new shades, and headed to Flagler Beach. The waves were really good – perfect boogie boarding conditions. After slathering on a liberal amount of #50 suntan lotion and lecturing my girls about the dangers of waves this big (accompanied by eye rolls), we headed out into the water.

My oldest decreed the water to be too cold and promptly headed back to the chairs and umbrella. I ran up and got the spare boogie board and decided to hit the waves with my youngest. I thought, screw it…it’s our last beach day.

Munchkin got a good wave right away and rode it all the way into the shore. I tried one of the subsequent waves and also was rewarded with a tasty trip to the sand. This was awesome!

It brought me back to my summers on Martha’s Vineyard, where as a 10 year old, like my daughter is, I would body surf at South Beach until it was time to head home. I never left the water. I had my fair share of battles with the ocean too…I got bamboozled at least 3 times a day.

But today, having a boogie board made me a tad too confident. I headed out far enough into the surf where the waves were breaking – 3-4 feet above my head. I saw one approaching, got into position to ride the crest to the shore in true Spicoli fashion and then realized something.

I was going to get smashed by this wave. I was not going to shoot the curl or hang ten. I was going to get bamboozled but good. Just like those days on the Vineyard.

It hit me and immediately shoved me under. As I tumbled like a sock in the spin cycle under the salty ocean, my brain repeated to my panicked body, “keep cool…it’ll stop in a second and you can stand up.”

And it did stop. I got my footing and stood up. Boobs still in suit? Check. Boogie Board? Oh, there it is. Check. Brand new sunglasses?

Ruh Roh. MIA.

Fuck. Not even 24 hours in my possession, and they are gone already. I took a quick look around, but with the ocean this rough there is zero chance that those bargain basement shades are going to tumble past me in the surf.

I stagger up the beach to my family and ask if anyone had witnessed my colossal fight with the ocean. Nobody had. My niece said, “hey your knee is bleeding.”

I look down and sure enough there is a quarter sized scrape on my knee that is oozing blood. Great. As if I didn’t look bad enough in shorts.

As I’m describing the event to my family, I realize everything looks a tad funky. I close my left eye….vision clear. I close my left eye…ruh roh #2. Vision blurry. I gently massage my eye trying to push the obviously dislodged contact lens back into place, but I soon realize that I have also lost my lens to the sea.

Great. Sunglass-less, bleeding and blind. On the beach. Our last day at the beach.

So what’s a girl to do. I sucked it up and hung out at the ocean for a few more hours with kooky vision. Then we came home, I put on my glasses, and played a killer pool volleyball match, where I realized I can still spike and block, even in the deep end.

I’m tan/burnt and half ready to go home, but at one point during this vacation, I felt like a 10 year old kid again…. tumbling and turning 6 inches under the water.

Advertisements