I spend countless time roaming my favorite beach as often as I can. It is rare that I leave this spot without at least one shell or other memento from my visit.
We all have a favorite shell and I am always on the hunt for mine. The moon shell is mine. Big, little, I love them all. I don't mind if the bottom half of the shell is missing when I reach down to scoop it up . . . just makes me think of the journey this shell may have taken to arrive here in New Jersey.
When my children were little, they were always in search of the largest clam shell they could find. We would take a few back to the house and let their creative juices flow with some paint. Waterproof, of course. Yes, after our week's vacation, we would pack them up to bring back home. Nothing like a painted shell to a five-year old as a remembrance of the beach. Definitely lasts longer than the always asked for hermit crab.
My children are grown now, but they do keep their eyes out for shells. When they are on the beach with me and happen upon a shell they know I would love, they still bring it to me silently and drop it in my beach bag.
I fill my planters with my beach finds, so there is always room for more. Or I just go get another planter!