Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Grand Adventure

When we woke up this morning we didn’t have any plans for the day. But by 8am an idea was brewing. How about a trip to the beach? Sure, why not!?! So we made our now traditional weekly pilgrimage to McDonalds for some hotcakes and playtime. When we got home we put the boys down for a nap and I headed to the dollar store and Walmart for some essential beach supplies.

After an early lunch we packed up the car and hit the road for Galveston. Downpours blanketed downtown so the trek was slow and arduous from North of 610N to South of Nasa Rd 1. Talk about a long trip. And I had been worried that the boys might not have had a long enough nap by the time we got there! HA! They had a nice 2 hour nap, and then were awake for the almost hour left into Galveston.

The beach was packed when we arrived just before 4pm. We drove several miles down the seawall before spying a parking space. We covered everyone liberally in sunscreen tossed out the towel close to the seawall and plopped the boys down on it with sippies and snacks as we began unpacking the car. Before long the sippies were coated with sand, and the boys were using sand covered hands to eat teddy grams. Even the temptation of snacks wasn’t enough to keep them out of the sand.

We broke out the buckets and shovels and found a spot nearby with loose dry sand for them to play in. The boys went to town shoveling sand, letting it run through their fingers, throwing it, and filling and emptying their buckets. They really had a great time.

We couldn’t wait to see what the boys would think of the ocean – the feel of the waves lapping at their feet, the sand shifting below them, the smell of the salty air, and the rhythmic beat of the waves coming ashore. We changed the boys into their swimsuits and carried them down to about 30 feet from the water. Ryan’s feet never stopped moving from the second they touched the ground until he was almost waist deep in the water. He took it all at a dead run without a seconds hesitation. Connor was a little more reserved. I am not sure if it is because he is still a little wobbly when we walks so he had to take a second to catch his balance or if he was a little apprehensive (I’ll let Ryan try it first), but he stopped for a split second or two and took it all in before making the plunge himself. It was an immediate hit with both of them.

Before long both had taken a spill in the receding waves. Connor popped back up like nothing ever happened. Ryan was a bit more apprehensive afterwards. Ryan and I attacked the waves and splashed in them as they came in while Kevin and Connor jumped the waves a little further out. We traded out after a while. Connor was less interested in splashing in the incoming waves than he was by the mud at the waters edge. He loved the mud. He liked to squish it in his hands, and slinging it was a real delight, too. He was quite the mess before it was all through.

I think we were all sad when we realized that our time in the sun was up for the day. Even though we left the beach, our adventures for the day were not yet over. We had dinner at the Rainforest café. We sat just in front of a giant flapping butterfly and in sight of the elephants. I am not sure the boys knew quite what to make of it all when the show began. They stared wide-eyed.

We added a few more firsts to our list at dinner as well. First shrimp. We ordered the boys a combination plate that had both popcorn shrimp, and dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets. They loved the shrimp. Ryan also impressed us by drinking milk out of a straw. It took him a minute or two to get the hang of it, but he was determined. Great job, little man!

We took a short tour of the restaurant before we left so the boys could see the gorillas, and the fountain. We also made a stop by the aquarium near the entrance. The boys love watching the bright colored fish swim by. Ryan kept pointing at them and asking “What’s that?” or in Ryan speak “Wass at?”

We drove the scenic route of the seawall before heading home. Kevin took a few pictures of Ike aftermath. And we let the boys out for a sunset stroll down the upper seawall to see the seagulls and run off a little energy before the long drive home. Ryan fearlessly charged into group of seagulls sending them scattering in all directions. He watched in delight as two people sat on the edge of the seawall and threw potatoe chips down to the gulls below and up in the air for the birds to catch in mid flight.

It was bedtime by the time we all piled back into the car for the trek home. It took the boys a while for drift off after all the excitement of the day, but they eventually fell asleep and slept the whole way home. Probably dreaming of their next trip back, or of what new adventures tomorrow might hold.

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