Last week we went to a real, live, wind-breathing, waves-beating, birds-flying, salt-tasting, sand-stuck-to-oh-my-god-everything beach.
We did everything you're supposed to do when you visit a beach. Like eating ham and sand sandwiches. And fly kites. And taking long walks, the kind where you look back and think holy crap how did I walk so far?
The sun was sunny as sun can be and you can't tell by these pictures that it was freezing. I mean, not literally freezing, but cold enough that you had to wrap your sweater a little bit closer and tighter. And yes, that is River wearing a thick coat. In August. At the beach. So I guess we didn't do everything you're supposed to do at a beach, since swimming in sweaters and thick coatS didn't seem like such a great idea.
This was Austen's first time at a real beach, just a month older than River was on his first trip. Upon her first meeting with the sand, she was really freaked out by the texture and wouldn't stand upright.
Girl wasn't having it.
Eventually she gave into the powdery warmth.
When I say beach-high, do you know what I am talking about? It's a drug. What else could make a person just run and run along the water's edge and breathe deeper and smile for no reason other than to be in the presence of something so wide and vast and out of the control of man. Is it freeing because you can stare out at the water and see nothing that can be changed, something that just is?
Some of the shallow water was warm and on a beach-high, getting wet doesn't matter, even when the wind is terribly cold. I got wet up to my ankles. I may have jumped right in, I tell you, if my mommy-brain hadn't been in action.
Some cool curvy driftwood sticks that no one else cares about but me. I care.
What's funny about this tiny town is that out of maybe ten businesses that we saw on the main road, four of them were coffee shops.
Washington does love its coffee.
River loved playing in the sand. He got a lot of practice stuffing sand castle molds and emptying them just right.
He was full of sand, quite literally, from head to toe.
John wanted to get River a kite, so we stopped by a little coffee shop/kite store (yes) and he picked a red octopus.
It was so nice to get home and take hot showers to wash all the salty spray off our bodies. My mom realized my dad hadn't packed any veggies to go with our meal. We were having sausage, chicken legs, steak, and potato chips. So after cleaning up, we went to the nearest corner store, where there were three bell peppers. So we went to the second nearest corner store and there was an onion and a bag of wilted lettuce. So we asked the owner where we could get some fresh produce and he told us about a market about ten miles down the road called Voss Acres.
We pondered our meal with bell peppers and wilted lettuce, and decided to go on an adventure to this little market. We were glad we did. It was a little gem of a garden and market on the property of an old historic house. Despite being adorably small and cozy, they had just about any type of fruit or veggie you could want.
And cucumbers the size of babies.
The owner kindly invited us to walk around the gardens and help ourselves to handfuls of sugar snap peas. But I have no idea what pea plants look like and didn't want to appear to be snooping. If you know what I mean.
After looking around, we decided on green beans and potatoes and we threw in a couple mangoes for fun and headed back to the cottage with our loot.
Our meal, with a healthy green bean to drumstick ratio.
Seriously, the best grilled chicken I've ever had ever. Good job, Dad!
We ended the night with the movie Dinosaur, specifically for River. I knew he would love it. He is really into dinosaurs right now, and this movie was my brother's favorite when he was little.
In the morning, my sister and I walked down to a coffee shop for an appropriate morning buzz. One more beach visit was squeezed in after breakfast and then we finished our mini-vacation with a restaurant lunch before heading home.
None of us wanted to go back. River has asked probably one hundred times if we can go to the beach and play in the sand. My mom and I are already discussing next year's trip, a four-night stay and writing lists of things to take next time (like vegetables and box fans to drown out snoring husbands and extra blankets on which to place babies).
I don't want to believe summer is almost over, especially here in Washington, when autumn will blow in at the appropriate mid-September time instead of toward the end of November in San Antonio. But I can see with each cooler day and cold evening, that it is coming to a close. I'll miss these perfect summer days, but I am already preparing in my head and on my Autumny Pinterest board for crisp fall days. Bring on the hot cocoa and scarves and my new mustard-colored skinnies! Let's do this.