And Then I Stepped in Gum . . .

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Well, It's No Day at the Beach . . . Oh No, Wait . . .

Today, in an effort to actually do something during Katie's Spring Break, we planned for an Outing, or Expotition. Our chosen target: The Beach. Now, understand that we are not beach people. I, a redhead, sunburn under a 40-watt lightbulb, as my dad is fond of saying. I don't like swimming in water that has dead things in it. And I'm not terribly fond of sand. Dave feels pretty similarly, even though he spent part of every childhood summer "down-nee-oshun" in Ocean City, Maryland. So even though we've spent the last 13 years (longer for Dave) within shouting distance of the seashore, I can probably count on one hand the number of times we've made a trek to the beach.

Still, you can't deny children these adventures, can you? So we packed up sunscreen, flip-flops, sandals, and towels and headed for . . . Target. You thought I was going to say the beach, didn't you? Well, ultimately we wanted to hit the beach, but one towel was AWOL, the kids had outgrown their beach shoes and couldn't find their sunglasses, Dave's trunks had mysteriously disappeared, and I wanted a floppy hat. And a mochaccino light from the Starbucks in Target. So. An hour (and another stop home for dry clothes for the kids to change into, the camera, and the map) later, we were headed to Dauphin Island.

"Dolphin Island -- does that mean we'll see dolphins?" enthused (there's no other word for it) Katie as we planned the route. "No," I explained, "it's a different kind of dauphin -- d-a-u-p-h-i-n."

Well, that's what I get for being snotty. We actually did see dolphins! I was pretty amazed. I mean, I was kind of joking with Dave about standing on the beach (actually much too cold to go into the water, unless you're an insane and hyper 6-year-old) and looking out for fins (dah-DUH, dah-DUH), when I actually saw some about 100 feet offshore. Dave took some convincing, but he eventually saw them, too -- two or three of them, playing in the water. You could see them arcing up out of the water and spouting through their blowholes, and I even saw one come all the way out of the water. It was just incredible -- I've never seen anything like it before.

The beach was nice too -- clean, beautiful sand, not too crowded (of course, that could be because we didn't get there until 3:30). A little chilly and a stiff breeze (I think we all got a little windburn), but overall, we had a fun time. Katie loved romping in the waves, although she has no beach savvy, and god help us if we ever take her to a real beach with waves and everything. Ian had a ball pretending to be "Captain One-Eye" the pirate, digging for treasure ("Hard work!" he said) and essentially throwing sand all over the place. Dave and I just have sore legs from walking all over the sand. But it was a good family day, and I'm really glad we did it. Maybe I should plan more outings like this. Or maybe I should just wait until I recover to think about that.

Here are a couple of pics: Katie and Ian and all three of them. (Sorry, no dolphins.)