June 4, 2012
In 2004, I left my hometown in Ohio for California. When I arrived to UC Berkeley for school, I always found myself daydreaming about leaving class and heading directly for the beach. Unfortunately, I was in for a rude, cold awakening... San Francisco, while beautiful, isn’t exactly the epitome of “Sunny California.”. So once I moved to Los Angeles, I vowed to make it to the beach whenever possible.
Some Californians may take it for granted, but I always find a reason to sit on the sand in the sun. My list of beach activities includes running, yoga, stretching, reading, writing, lounging… basically, I use any excuse I can to fit the beach into my schedule. Given that I’m a certified beach worshiper, I’ve become a pro at packing my beach bag. Here are some essentials for a fun, safe and productive time by the surf.
Frozen Grapes: You know how tasty grapes are normally? Well, just multiply that by a million. Basically, you’ll have a delicious mini Popsicle. And, as an added bonus, you’ll have regular grapes when they defrost.
Buffalo Jerky: Do yourself a favor. Head to Trader Joe’s and grab some buffalo jerky. A hamburger virgin, this is the only red meat I eat, and it’s delicious. Plus, buffalo provides a leaner source of protein than beef. Have some protein, stay full longer and you won’t have to leave the beach early for a snack.
Pellegrino Sparkling Water: If you’re going to be at the beach all day, you need to stay hydrated. We all know that regular H20 can become boring. Jazz it up with some bubbles. Maybe even pick a flavor like lemon or lime.
Trader Joe’s Pretzel Crisp: Be careful, these are addicting! Tasty but light, you’ll love to relax and munch all afternoon.
Mimosas: If drinking is allowed at your beach destination, toss a mini bottle or two of champagne in your bag -- you can usually buy these at a local grocery store -- and add Simply Orange to make mimosas. But be sure to stay hydrated with your Pellegrino!
Volleyball: OK, maybe your beach bag isn’t that big, but carry this along, especially if you’re going to the beach with friends. Every time I go to the beach I either spot an open court or am invited to join a game. It’s always best to be prepared!
Vibram Five Fingers Running Shoes: I’m a big runner. Some people use these shoes on concrete; I’m not quite in support of that. However, they’re great for running in the sand.
Portable Speakers: Who doesn’t want to listen to Spotify while you chill on the beach? I prefer ECO Extreme iPhone Case/Speakers. Now, maybe this case is too intense for you. I’ve destroyed seven iPhones, so it’s important for me to have a waterproof case. There are plenty of other options, but the key is to make sure that you can jam.
As an added bonus, since you’ve brought along your iPhone, you can check out Made Woman Magazine in your downtime!
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick SPF 15: Keep your lips soft and protected. This stick is a little pricey for a balm, so if you want to spend a little less, I suggest Burt’s Bees Lip Balm SPF 8.
The Ultimate Beach Towel: Bringing a beach towel is a given. Now, I don’t actually own an Ultimate Beach Towel, but I’ve had my eye on it for a while. What’s awesome is that this towel has a pocket. I figure I can hide my wallet inside while I head to the water. When it gets really hot, no friend wants to babysit phones and cameras while everyone else goes for swim.
Beach days are great, but don’t get caught out there without the essentials. And please make sure you are suited up! [Link to swim suit article] Of course, these suggestions are tailored to my beach needs. So, sound off! What else would you throw in your bag?