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Open House: What Do You Bring to the Beach?

Sometimes it seems as if getting ready to go to the beach takes up as much time as your beach excursion itself does. Whether you're spending time at a Summer beach house, or taking advantage of a sandy-beached lake, if you're going to be in the sun and surf all day, you don't want to forget anything essential. On the other hand, you also don't want to be too weighed down.

I know people who bring coolers, sports equipment, umbrellas, chairs, and more to the beach. Some of my audiophile friends always bring an iPod mini speaker system to the beach, but I prefer to listen to the sound of the waves. My essentials include a big, fluffy towel, sunscreen, a good book, lots of water, and a yummy lunch that won't wilt in the sun. Of course, since my dog is often tagging along, doggy snacks, plastic bags, and a water bowl are also needed. I tend not to bring chairs or umbrellas, since I'm in favor of traveling semi-light for a beach day. What do you need to bring to your beach day?
Source: Flickr User Fevi in Cayman

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