I can't think of a more relaxing place than the beach. This summer our family spent a few days at Long Beach Island, right before Hurricane Irene. It was beautiful there....sunny and warm. Marie Line Noonan was there from France with her children, Edward, Tess, and Zelda; and all the cousins had a great time hanging out, lying on the sand, swimming, eating at the local places, and going to the amusement park at night. And they never stopped talking! My son Ray's friend, Patrick Chabot was there from Virginia, and he fit right into the Noonan mix. Of course, we all had to flee early because of the approaching storm, and no one had quite enough gas in their tanks....there was none left on the island, to add to the stress. Everyone made it home, and we continued the party at our house the night Irene was to hit. But for a few days it was sunny and relaxing, and luckily I had brought my watercolors with me. Barbara (top) and Marie Line (bottom) sat and read while I did some quickie little paintings of them, and we had a great time chatting. It was so windy that day that sand got in all the paints, and is stuck on the paintings. I feel so lucky to be in such a big family, and I always tell the boys how fortunate they are.