Growing up, my siblings and I would spend the winter months at our aunts beach house. My mother, being a school teacher, would take us to her sisters beach house a few hours away for a month each winter break. We always looked forward to this trip with our mom because she grew up on the ocean. Where we lived, there was no beach. She and my aunt taught us to love the ocean. We would surf, swim and lay out in the sun reading books all day. My favorite part of going to the beach house in the winter was the wood burning fireplace that was used to heat the house. The house we lived in did not have a fireplace. I always found the glow of the fire to be soothing and calming, especially in combination with the waves crashing on the nearby coast. Sometimes, it would get so cold in the bedrooms that we would bundle up next to the fireplace and stay there all night. One night it was so cold that me, my sister and my mom all slept in the living room near the wood burning fireplace. My aunt had another fireplace in her bedroom, so she was fine. But, there was no other heating in the rest of the house. I always enjoyed spending the winter breaks with my aunt at her beach house and I think that is something that I will take with me for the rest of my life. Without those experiences, I might have never come to love the ocean as much as I do.