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Hamster smoothie, reality TV and Olympic speed-walking

By   /   September 10, 2012  /   Comments Off


There are certain terms that simply don’t belong together: Hamster smoothie, reality TV, Olympic speed-walking, and after a recent weekend, I’m gonna add another to this Resume of the Ludacris – relaxing with kids at the beach.

Sounds like a good idea when you’re stuck at home with only Netflix for entertainment, but be careful what you wish for. As with most lessons, this too had to be learned the hard way when My Lovely Wife and I took Jellybean and The Diva to Panama City with another couple who braved the beach with their 1-year-old study in perpetual motion.

It was fun. It was exhausting. And two full days was enough of a good thing, after which we all needed a vacation from our vacation. It was also a rare opportunity to say a few things aloud that, in a normal situation, would’ve raised more than a few eyebrows:

“I can’t remember the last time I went so long without wearing underwear.”

“Who knew it was possible to take two showers in the same day.”

“Does this shirt make my man-boobs jiggle?”

“Is 10 a.m. too early to have a beer?”

Still, “kids at the beach,” sounds like a natural fit, (and Lord knows there are enough of the two-legged, feral critters running around loose for it to make sense) but in practice it’s a really bad idea. See, the beach is for relaxing and kids are to relaxation what sunlight is to vampires – when one is introduced to the other, bad things happen.

And while it’s easier to complain than to compliment – it was great to see both Jellybean and The Diva play and lounge around the beach.

Beyond the obvious, our greatest accomplishment was that none of us burst into flames. We Buckners are a fair-skinned lot … imagine a gaggle of Caspers, but only slightly more corporeal. I’m bald as a baby’s bottom and must keep my noggin well lathered. Jellybean appreciates any opportunity for silliness for which a cold spray of Coppertone provides an ample platform.

My Lovely Wife was the hero of the trip. Not only were her packing skills a life-saver (I’m no Gulliver, but I’ve made a few travels and never have I thought to bring toothpaste, which is often quiet unfortunate for those within speaking distance) but she was also in charge of all the lotion lathering, thus making sure every sun exposed nook and cranny was properly coated.

Only The Diva got burned, but she did it on purpose aiming to even out her redness earned from a summer of wandering around “chillin’” with her posse … mission accomplished. Save for the pale square near her tummy from where her cell phone blocked the sun, The Diva’s lobster look was achieved with stunningly beautiful results.

As for the couple with whom we vacationed – they didn’t get to sit still long enough to burn, ‘cause not even the sun could keep up with their little one. Soon as he made eye contact with the surf, he’s was off like a drunken monkey. Who knew tiny legs could move so fast.

Jellybean was big enough not to get sucked out by the dreaded undertow, thus allowing for a bit of still-in-our-sight freedom but this spunky speed demon was making for the water like it was filled nacho cheese-flavored Goldfish.

After two days of watching their relay race (“Honey … there he goes again. It’s your turn!”) we could’ve all used a hamster smoothie.

Brett Buckner is an award-winning freelance newspaper/magazine writer who was raised in Albany.

Contact Brett Buckner at brettbuckner@ymail.com

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