Truth be told, I rarely took my kids to the beach when they were toddlers. Sand-filled diapers, a defiant second child making beelines for the big waves, and little legs too tired to walk back to the car - who needs it! Direct me instead to the nearest tidy playground with a locked gate, please! But hindsight being 20/20, I realize I overreacted. After all, sand washes off and little legs often surprise us in their resilience. What's more, toes in wet sand (yours included) make for the biggest grins and giggles, and afternoons well spent. So go on, gather the shovels, sandwiches, and sunscreen, and go west, young families. Beachy adventures await.