President’s Message – At the Beach
By Frans Hansen, President, The Cruise Web.
Last summer, I took my then 6 and 9 year old boys to the little southern Swedish coastal village of Falsterbo. Falsterbo and neighboring Skanör are small old fishing villages that have turned into popular summer vacation spots for many Swedes, and have always been favorites of my boys’ Swedish born “Farmor” (literally translated “father’s mother”).
As this was the first trip for my boys to the home country of many of their ancestors, we packed an active itinerary into our 10-day vacation. However, almost every morning, we made time for the beach! Waking in a family friends’ summer home as immaculate as every building and home in these pristine villages, the three of us would eat our Swedish porridge and then board our old-fashion rented bicycles – baskets, bells, and all – to bike 10-15 minutes to the crisp and breezy water of the Baltic Sea.
On arrival we were always greeted by the coast’s tremendous sand dunes. Climbing over the dunes and jumping down the other side 36 or so times in a row, was the preferred method of crossing the dunes for my boys, as the broken path between these miniature mountains looked far too simple. After jump 37, we set up camp on the broad white sandy beach and contemplated a dip into the 1-2 foot white capped waves coming ashore.
As the family leader, I bravely ventured right in up to my ankles. Since being able to feel one’s toes is not all that important, I told the little guys that the water was perfect as they sprinted past me until the water’s depth forced them to dive ahead into the oncoming surf. I dived in to join them – but only because I’d heard the refreshing (a nice word for “cold!”) water here could take 3 years off your age. It worked — after a couple dips, I was 19 again!
Somehow though, children having fun are impervious to cold. So as my boys continued to jump, splash and body surf, I went back up to my towel to relax and keep watch for icicles forming on their full blond heads.
Ahhh… sitting down, toes in the sand, the sun warming me, the sea’s horizon reaching as far as I could see, suddenly the breeze, surf, birds, and gently splashing children were the only thing on my mind. Yesterday’s thoughts vanished away with every wave, and tomorrow’s worries floated away with the puffs of white cloud in the sky.
There is always something special about being at the beach. It seems to simplify that connection to nature that is often lost in the hustle of daily life. That very real and important connection, so easily lost in busy brain chatter, is magically returned when we relax where the sand meets the sea. Sounds are more clear, views brighter, touch more crisp, and tastes more delicious. I hope & trust that you will find your own magic beach on your next cruise!
“Boys, come on out and warm up now, so we can grab a pear flavored ice-cream cone!” (A local village beach flavorite!)
Frans G. Hansen