Sunday, June 29, 2008
All-American State Park Nasty Beach Visit
9:15, we’re off to the beach (definitely not the one pictured above) and the temperature is rising quickly. Ten minutes in and we’re just now past the big stores tucked way behind their massive parking lots, the car dealerships with the loud radio ads and the fast food spots emanating their predictably greasy smells, and the road grows more hilly and curvy as we head southwest. The unseasonably rainy spring and early summer has deepened the fields to an almost pretend hue of greenish blue. Calls from the back of the van “are we there yet?” give way to the catatonic Blue’s Clues trance that I judged and feared as an expectant parent, but now embrace with three kids under 8 years old. Thank you to the people who figured out the DVD in the car thing, thank you.
After struggling to navigate the self-pay station at the state park entry the beach is within reach and we unbuckle, saturate the kids with SPF 50 and begin the journey from the hot parking lot to the sand. We’re greeted by swarming flies and hundreds of geese, reveling in the flooded areas where volleyball nets and grills pop up out of the stagnant water. Every six inches or so lies a pile of goose shit and I walk as if I might die any second, fearfully avoiding the hazards as I approach the murky warm water. Even if I had never been to the white sand beach on the cruise line owned island off of the Bahamas this would be a dirty place. The fact that I have been there makes this even harder. I try to hide my discomfort with the muck for the sake of the children who are gathering feathers and driftwood and fish bones while the gentle waves of pond water chase them back from the shoreline. The youngest hates the texture of sand today and throws a fit every time her hands get gritty. She resigns herself to a bag of pretzels and some quality time with Mom while the big kids continue their collection of dirty, stinky things. An hour or so passes; I’m trying to be a good sport. Finally, the oldest says she’s ready to go. We pack up as fast as we can
We, of course, celebrate surviving the murky beach with a visit to McDonald’s Playland.
Posted by . at 2:00 PM