Sunday, April 22, 2012
Temperatures were in the high 80s today, which after so much cold and rain felt like stiflingly hot (this was not just my opinion, almost all of the ninety students I saw today seemed to share my thoughts, though they expressed it more like, "I can't do any work! I'm dying of heat stroke!") so when I got home I put matches under everyone's feet and managed to get my little crew out the door. I had to wake Az up, which is usually something to be avoided at all cost but I couldn't waste such a beautiful day waiting for her nap to end. Her crankiness ended as soon as I asked her if she wanted to go to the ocean. "Bye bye. Go water," was her response, which of course I found amazing because I hadn't even known she knew what the ocean was. Though I do admit it takes very little to amaze me when it comes to that girl.
I decided to stop along the way in the small town on Duncan's Mills. We often stop there to grab a coffee and a pastry on our way to the ocean, and I've camped just outside of town a few times now, but we never actually explore the town. It's a genuinely charming town so, enticed by radio commercials I'd been hearing lately for a "Trombley's Tea Shop," I decided today would be our day to finally explore. I found the tea shop immediately, and purchased a few ounces of loose leaf teas to try at home later for an amazingly low price. I think Miguel and I have found a new place to indulge.
We wandered through a few other stores before finding ourselves at the cafe we usually stop at to get goodies to go. In back of the cafe is a large patio area and every single time we stop in I remark that it would be really nice to get something to eat and take it out back some time, so today we did just that. All of the food is cooked in a giant wood-fueled brick oven, and every single thing I have ever tasted that has come out of there has been ridiculously delicious. We got to the cafe about an hour before closing, so to my delight everything was marked down to half price. The most expensive food item there is only four dollars anyhow, so everything was marked down to super cheap. I couldn't resist getting a few things wrapped up to go for the next day.
By the time we were done with our supper I was content to go home but of course neither of the children had forgotten my talk of the ocean. I had wanted to go to Salmon Creek but when we arrived we found it was closed. I suspect Salmon Creek has been another victim of the budget cuts. We found a place to park outside of the locked lot, along with a short(ish) cut in. Our new route in influenced us to settle down on the creek side of the beach rather than the ocean side. In all my years of going there I haven't spent much time hanging out near the creek, which is silly considering the place is called Salmon Creek.
I opted to leave my camera safely in the car, away from the water and sand. I regretted this decision a little once I saw the kids playing near the creek. I can't say I have many pictures of them with a beautiful oceanic creek/bay as the backdrop. At one point Z and Miguel decided to climb straight up the face of a giant sand dune, maybe 40 feet up. They looked like little geckos. I was missing out on so many lovely pictures and the lighting was just perfect! But I also enjoyed the fact that not having my camera on me released me from feeling obligated to record everything so that I could be an active participant in the day. Too often I find myself taking pictures and not being part of the action. Not worrying about my camera meant that I was able to roll up my pants and make moats in the sand with Z. It also meant that I was able to quickly dive in and grab Az out of the water when she inevitable fell in on her butt.
I stripped Az of her sopping wet dress and wrapped her in a towel because of course she wasn't going to let a little thing like hypothermia risk deter her from her day at the beach or influence her to put on the sweater I'd brought along. I also filled our bucket with the icy cold water so she could sit wrapped up in the towel and still play in the water. She seemed to enjoy this more than she had playing in the creek. I'll have to remember that next time and save myself from a soggy pair of jeans. Az managed to continue to have a good time playing with her bucket of water but I saw how hard she was fighting off shivering so I did call the day a little short.
One of the best things about spending time at the ocean is how wonderful the nice warm car feels afterwards. We headed home and made some of the new tea we'd bought in Duncan's Mills and settled down to watch Netflix as a family. It was not a bad way to end the day, not at all.