De Su Mama

Legacy of Multiracial Motherhood

Travel Traditions: Exposure To Beach Life And Culture

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I love traditions. As Daddy D and I continue to rear our children, reinforcing our value system through travel traditions is something very important to us. One such travel tradition we have established since the birth of our first born is visiting our hometowns for an extended vacation during the summer months. {Staying with Mom makes this trip affordable and possible!}

Growing up by the beach is as part of my identity as being Latina or speaking a second language. I wonder about the Latina I would have been had I grown up near the Atlantic instead of the Pacific in this Personal Identity Post: Where You From?. Maybe I would feel more whole in my Cuban skin had I grown up in Miami? Alas, I’m a Latina of the Beach Boys variety, versus Miami Sound Machine, and the stretches of beach that run along the Southern California towns of Redondo, Hermosa and Manhattan are where I call home. My babies are desert born, but exposing them to these beaches is something I ache to do each year.

Exposing my children to the beauties and wonders of the ocean and beach life is a priority to our travels as a family. Especially because we live in the desert, recalling childhood summer days spent on the warm sand always rush to the forefront of my mind as soon as the weather warms up. And so, in order to facilitate as much beach time for my kids as possible, Daddy D and I began the travel tradition of going back to our hometown. Of course we long to see family and friends too, but our first order of business is usually to head down to the ocean…

The first year we started our travel tradition, Alina was a mere 6 months old. Last year was a mellow visit, with me being pregnant and Alina still quite young. Each year we spent some time at the beach, but not a lot. This year however, with two babies in tow, we drove 300 miles from Las Vegas to, not only see our family and friends, but to purposefully immerse the babies in all the beauty that is our beach home.

I loved watching Alina strut her tiny self down the same strand that I had on similar overcast days many years before. I love knowing that, although born in different States and living different lives, I can share with Alina my love of the beach and the culture of where I grew up. I loved having lunch with her in the same family-owned eateries that I did as a kid. I loved building sandcastles with her. The moments we shared enjoying the beauties of the beach are memories I hope Alina will remember for a long time.

We started preparing for the beach well before our trip. We read books about the the wonders of marine life. We played in sandboxes at our local parks. And since there is so much programming focused on Summer activities on TV, Alina had watched her favorite characters enjoy their family beach vacations for the weeks prior to our own. But most of all, I began to talk with Alina about beach culture and the friends she would play with while there.

Alina loved everything about her beach experiences, and it made me proud that we had prepared her for it. There was no complaining about the texture of the sand, no fighting over sand toys and she even eased into the idea that beach princesses wear dresses in their sand castles. I had forgotten to mention that informality, but she rolled with it and had a great time!

But, in the end, I love our family’s travel tradition of exposing our babies to the beach mostly because I love the beach myself. The hum of the waves and warmth of the sand does so much for the peace of my soul. It always has and always will.

Summer 2012 has proved to be successful by the looks of this little girl’s face; even if in the desert, we might be able to raise a beach baby just yet! And how did our baby boy? Well, we’ll have to stay tuned to see if he loves the sand and surf as much as his sister does.

I do know that Sebastian loves his new Britax B -Agile Double Stroller! As a Britax Latina Blogger and Advisory Board Member, Britax USA was kind enough to send us one, and luckily, we received it right before heading out on our travel adventures. Isn’t that awesome? Since Daddy D was away for work, and I spent much of this vacation without his help, our Britax double stroller was a lifesaver. I’m looking forward to giving my readers a full, objective review very soon!

In the meantime, take those babies out to the beach if you have one near by! Think of this landlocked, beach lover while you are there. And if you don’t, consider what values and traditions you want to bestow on your child’s life through travel. The world has so many wondrous things to teach us!

*This is a sponsored post as a Britax Latina Advisory Board Member and Blogger. As always, all thoughts and opinions stated above are my own.*

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