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(Photos by Shannon Lafayette)
On visits to Port Aransas, people post Instagram pic of their kids standing inside the mouths of giant, iconic shark statues at souvenir shops downtown. They visit Winton’s Island Candy for fudge and big lollipops. They decorate golf carts for the 4th of July parade at Cinnamon Shore or make Uncle Carl’s famous gumbo every year for a crowd.
There’s just something about bringing everyone together at the coast that lends itself to creating rituals.
Coastal Living did a story years ago about an Alabama family who made sure to dip the toes of newborn babies into the Mobile Bay, so they’d feel those salty waters early in life, fall in love with them, and always return home. The grandmother hosted a “Dipping of the Toes” ceremony and luncheon for every grandchild that came along.
When a family gathers at the shore, good times ensue. We see it daily at Cinnamon Shore.
Turns out, research supports the notion that family traditions, such as that annual beach trip or shell collection contests, have a positive impact on kids, even as they grow into teens.
“Family traditions help life make sense to our children,” writes Justin Coulson in an article for the Institute for Family Studies. “Like routines, they provide predictability and a sense of security and safety.”
We at Cinnamon Shore say “Hear, hear!” There’s nothing more gratifying than seeing the same families return each summer for a reunion or running into our homeowners out under the striped umbrellas—back for another stay.
Coulson asserts that “family traditions help children feel as though they fit in somewhere.” They counter alienation and offer steadiness and certainty, he says. You can create traditions at home, but they’re fun to start – and often more memorable -- at the beach!
“Sunrise, sunset/Swiftly flow the years…” lament the villagers in Fiddler on the Roof at a wedding ceremony. The years do fly, but kids who grow up going to the beach have the best views of those daily sunrise and sunset rituals. And nowhere are those sunsets more lauded than along the nation’s coastline.
At the Don CeSar resort in Florida, a gong sounds when the sun goes down. At Fager’s Island restaurant in Ocean City, Maryland, the owner plays Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” at sunset and times it so its cannons boom just as the sun slips into the water. In Key West, everyone gathers on the beach to look for the “green flash” at sunset, a mythical gleam that many claim to see just as the last sliver of sun vanishes.
At Cinnamon Shore, you can gather your family along the dune crosswalks to watch the sun go down. Or make them pose for backlit, silhouette sunset shot at the water’s edge.
Another option? Serve cocktails from the highest balcony on the house or townhome where you’re staying and say, “Cheers!” as the sun disappears.
Rouse your child early and insist your little one goes with you on an early morning beach walk and help them learn to anticipate the magic of sunrise.
Whether it’s an annual craft hour on a rainy day at the beach or a favorite scrapbook your family adds a page to every year at the beach, make those the moments at the beach matter.
At Cinnamon Shore, we provide a place for you to bring family and friends because we know the value of having a beautiful beach community to return to again and again. A place where the warm Gulf waters serve as a sort of elixir for what ails you. A place where some strange alchemy of salt air and swirling breach breezes binds families together for decades to come.
So, come see us – regularly. Take the same picture of the kids on the same boardwalk to see how they grow through the years. Host a shrimp boil for friends every Spring Break. Return to the beach to kick off summer every Memorial Day.
It’s an investment of time and money, but more so, a beach trip is an investment in your family’s well-being and togetherness.
Cinnamon Shore Realty
122 Market Street
Port Aransas, TX 78373
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5009 Highway 361, Port Aransas, TX 78373 US.
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