The beach was great. The kids had a blast. There was a lot of running, digging, hole digging, and eating (eating of snacks and/or sand - it's hard to eat snacks with sandy hands, who wants to take time to clean them off?) Not a ton of playing in the water, but the kids did go in.
It was nice to have the entire family at the beach. At one point, my grandmother made it down to the beach to see the kids. I got some good reading done. There were some skirmishes over beach toy possession, but all in all, everyone got along and played well with each other.
Luckily, we also have one more beach vacation planned so I don't have to miss the beach too much.