Beach or pool? Yes that is just one of the major decisions that expats along the coasts are faced with on a regular basis! In all seriousness, during the summer months, leisure time is mainly spent trying to keep cool. The easiest way to do this is on the beach or by the pool.
Both alternatives offer their pros and cons but you will always find that people have a preference for one over the other. If you take, for example, my partner, he grew up by the sea and spent most of his childhood summer holidays on the beach. For him, beach is the next best thing to home. He travels light to the beach needing only the sand as a bed and the sea for refreshing entertainment. Myself, on the other hand, as an inner city girl, I just can't get my beachy act together.
I really envy those that effortlessly "do" beach but I just can't seem to pull it off. It's the sand, for a start, there's just too much of it! It seems to make its way into every nook and cranny of my body and leaves me itching all over for weeks.
I always admire those who lay out their towels all fresh and crisp. You can bet your life that five hours later, there won't be a single grain of sand nor crumple on that towel. The owner would have applied copius amounts of sun cream, effortlessly, not only to herself but also to her three young children, also in possession of crisp, crumple free towels, given herself a mani, pedi and depilation treatment, prepared a three course picnic all without a single grain of sand to be found on her body. Her perfectly applied make up is stil in tact with not a sweat bubble in sight and her hair looks as though she has just walked out of a salon.
I, on the hand,am a sweaty, grimy,greasy haired, stubbly legged potmarked by gravel sand, burnt heap and my children have showered in sand, eaten sand wiches, washed down by warm sand speckled water. Therefore, despite the romanticism that the beach has to offer with its "naturaleza", I somehow nearly always end up by the pool.Okay, if you live on an urbanisation, there's the issue of being surrounded by your neighbours but I find that if you bury your head into a book so far that the words become a blur they usually go away.
Then there's the noise issue, excited children on holiday around a pool equals high noise levels but there's always ear plugs to cope with that. Even the lack of space doesn't deter me from enjoying the convenience of packing everything you need,walking a short distance and sitting in comfort without any risk or being sand beaten. On the subject of convenience, personally I have never mastered the art of weeing in the sea, nothing beats a proper poolside toilet cubicle.The pool is just far less of an expedition and doesn't wipe you out in the same way that the beach does.
If only I could just get comfy on the beach I could really enjoy it but until they invent sand repellent sun cream and towels,not to mention beach umbrellas that don't blow away, I can't see it happening an time soon. However, that is not to say that I don't go to the beach. When you have two children that love rolling in the sand, buiding sand castles comes up trumps every time so I just have to put up with sand in my pits!