Friday, September 3, 2010

24 hours at the beach

If you ask my kids, they'll tell you this hasn't been their favourite summer. For all the times Nick has complained about us not staying home when Christmas or spring break roll around, he's complained more this summer about staying put.

I understand their frustration. They don't make me feel guilty about it though. It just can't be helped. With my treatment schedule and the way I feel in between, I've not been up for much of anything. 

I was so excited that plans for an overnight at Rehoboth in mid-August fit perfectly into my treatment schedule, the 'feeling good' time! We were set to depart for Rehoboth on Thursday the 12th, a two-car caravan of three adults and six kids, meeting up with the Elise and Julie in Rehoboth. The plan was for us to dine on the boardwalk upon our arrival, spend the evening on the rides and games at Funland, and have the next day for the beach before heading back that evening.

Notice that we were leaving on Thursday the 12th, meaning the next day would be Friday the 13th. And that it was!

It started with rain upon waking Thursday morning. Rain here in the Philly area, but much more major storming at the Delaware Beaches and up into the DC area. While the rain was minimal here and let up occasionally, by the time we were loading up and leaving, it started again. In time for us to start out soggy while trying to get ourselves organized in the CLC parking lot, our meeting place.

The view from the dash.

A number of fun moments and certainly laughable moments!

(I used Mosaic Maker to put these photos together. Saw it on Ali Edwards blog. I apologize for this first attempt  -- need some practice!)
After a scrumptious dinner at Grotto Pizza on the boardwalk, we sent the kids back to the cars to stow the leftovers and plug the meters, before we headed over to Funland. When they returned, my first thought was that they had detoured through the ocean. They were soaked to the skin.

Turns out the rains had returned. A torrential downpour which left us trapped in the restaurant for an hour, laughing at the antics of both the kids and passers by. They were a bit chilled, but not discouraged.

We finally decided to give up on plans for Funland and headed to a nearby beach, where we were spending the night. But the drive took longer than planned, as the rain had flooded our route. And I found out later that Kay's car had some mechanical difficulties, causing the windows to fog up.

The house didn't really work out for us either. Nuff said on that.

The next morning, Friday the 13th, I woke to Kay on the phone, consulting doctors for Tom, her son. The concern was his back and the possibility that a disc might be involved. It was recommended that she seek medical attention for him there, rather than driving back home first.

What that meant was a shuffle among the vehicles, since there were 11 of us. Elise's family, who summers there, was down to 1 vehicle at that time, so that meant she had to get her husband and son to work, in order for us to use their car.

This got us to the beach a bit later. We decided that the Rehoboth beach would be better, since we were still trying to fit in a trip to Funland.

To say Nick was disappointed to see the no swimming flags on the beach was an understatement, given that this was the first time he was dipping his toes in the ocean this year. While there were guarded stretches where folks were allowed in, they weren't allowed in very far.

Funland did live up to its name though. Gaby won a stuffed creature and joined her brother on what I thought were some scary rides. Give me the job of photographer -- that's all I'm capable of at any sort of amusement park! I'm glad that they both love these rides, that they can go on together, and that Gaby's tall enough for pretty well all of them now. She was especially thrilled to finally be able to ride the Gravitron, and is looking forward to it again at the HM Carnival later this month.

Tom and Kay were able to join us for a short while at Funland and enjoy an ice cream before they hit the road early. Deb returned home with them. The rest of us enjoyed a delicious Elise dinner before heading for home.  I had a few extra passengers. While Gaby enjoyed Jillian's company, I think Mallory, MJ and Nick slept most of the way home.

Growing up in the prairies, I think the first time I swam in salt water was in Hawaii when my parents took us. I was 15 at the time. But Manitoba is the land of 100,000 lakes, so there were plenty of freshwater opportunities. The big lakes offer waves, and except for the water colour, it's just like the ocean, in my opinion. You can't see the shore on the other side. 

My kids have been fortunate to enjoy ocean time pretty much every summer, though not as much as some of their counterparts who summer at the shore. Last year's week in Nag's Head convinced us that we've got to spend more time in a place like that. While this year didn't work out, we know we've got to get back there next year.

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