I've been fortunate this summer to visit several different beaches (all in the name of good reportage, of course), and I've learned there are certain immutable truths when it comes to that hallowed place where sand and water meet.
1. Kids are impervious to extreme temperature and the amount of sand stuck to them. In the course of a month, I've witnessed intrepid toddlers wade into the icy waters at the Cape to frolic unflinchingly while adults looked on from the beach, teeth a chatter. And I've seen kids at Long Beach, sand stuck to every inch of them, eat snacks from a sandy towel in a manner that can only be described as anteater-esque.
2. Potato chips taste better at the beach. There's a direct correlation between one's proximity to salt water and the number of Ruffles consumed. No sense in fighting it--you might as well try to defy gravity. At least that's what I keep telling myself.
3. I am the only person slathering on Coppertone SPF 60 for Babies like it's my job. While everyone else is getting Bain de Soleil beautiful, I'm acquiring the ghostly pallor of Casper. I am officially the only person on the East Coast who's actively getting paler by going to the beach. This is not an exaggeration--Guinness has phoned me. Ditto for Weekly World News.