A couple of self-discovered tips for your next beach venture:
1. Bring with you Neutrogena's new Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock ($10, drugstores). Believe me, when you're surrounded with sand that seems to somehow get everywhere you'll be glad to simply spray-on your quick-drying sunscreen rather than have to deal with messy lotions. Do be sure to spray yourself while facing into the wind, so that the wind helps get the spray on your body (rather than into your neighbor's eyes).
2. If you have dark-colored flip flops or sandals and you're going to take them off while basking in the sun, lay them up-side down. I learned this trick after one too many times of stepping into scorching hot black flip flops that had been sitting out a bit too long. Your feet will thank you!
3. Watch out for flying seagulls. They WILL poop on you.