I live far, far away from the Gulf of Mexico. I have never walked its beaches and have not seen its waters (unless you want to count a single airplane flight into New Orleans for an American Chemical Society conference some years ago).
The kind of natural getaway that's within a day's drive of my family is the north woods of Minnesota. Also beautiful and fun for the family, but not much like a beach.
So I appreciated this: a brief, wistful description of the immediate effects from the BP oil disaster, on a family with kids, much like mine.
Noticed this at the bottom and thought it was worth repeating:
We plan on still supporting our beach towns by returning here throughout the year. Although we may not have been able to prevent the ecological destruction caused by BP, we can prevent the economical fallout and keep our beach towns alive. If you live nearby, I encourage you to do the same.