Being a Remembrance Day baby, I spent some large portion of every birthday growing up standing in the snow, or freezing rain, somewhere at a cenotaph, remembering.
It's a good thing to do. Remember.
But I don't recommend doing it while getting a head start on the season's frostbite crop.
There don't seem to be that many cenotaphs where we live now, so today, instead of remembering, I decided to give the kids some things to remember.
So you'll understand that there was no surprise when I said "Let's go SEE THE WHALE!"
But first, there were presents.
See? We are like tourists. And see how thrilled Skip is!
Oh look! I got a keytar!
Oh, tell me you're not having 80s hair-band flashbacks!
But there is no time to linger. Before Skip gets lured back to the computer, I insist that we head off to the beach!
All that is left of the beached blue whale is a deflated whale-balloon hide... and lots of residual stink.
Those waves have not been gentle to it.
And yet still, it floats and beaches with the throat facing up. Fascinating.
Ah look, only a few minutes away from the computer, and Skip's happy inner child starts breaking loose.
...excuse me. Suddenly there is a strong smell of decomposing whale about me, and I think my shoes must go and live outside overnight. Ick.
The kids had fun at the beach, and there were no camera-happy tourists to be seen.
Kelly brought a friend.
Nate had fun digging...
and escaping with his life...
Skip didn't need friends. He had Cheez-Its.
I re-created a photo that I'd taken 13 years earlier...
The original has Ken and Skip walking up the same beach. Ken's mom has it framed in her living room.
I think I just scored a great Christmas present for her.
Then it was time to go to another beach. Skip wanted to go to a beach with a creek, so he could re-route the creek, or dam it.
Gazos Creek seemed like the perfect choice.
While I was waiting for the girls to cycle through the outhouse, Skip went to check out the beach.
But before we were done, he'd already come back and said "I'll just wait in the van. Did you see the sign?"
Hmm. I should have taken a photo. Apparently, the creek is contaminated with coliform. It is highly recommended that you not come in contact with any non saline water.
So off we went to find another place to visit. The kids were starting to agitate for going home, but I wasn't done yet. So we kept going south. One of the guys in the Gazos Creek parking lot had said there were lots of cool things to see just a little ways down the road. Beaches, dunes, drift wood, etc.
I missed a few pull-outs, and was just thinking about turning around and heading for home when I saw a wide pull-out, and went in to take a look.
Hello Cascade Creek.
Skip decided he would just stay in the van. I mean really, how long would we be? He had the latest Discover, and Popular Science magazines, and he was ready for some down time.
So Kelly and Adria and Nate and I headed off down the trail.
Very cool ecosystem. I bet it's a HOOT in the spring. We will be back.
And at the end of the half-mile trail, a beach like none we'd seen before.
Now, if only we could find a way down the bluff from the dune to the beach below...
Oh, here's a path.
And what a lovely beach.
Not a lot left at high tide, but still...
OH look. They're not paying attention, and that big wave is going to surprise them.
Ha ha ha, it's really rolling in now...
Oh, this is good. I'm going to get a great shot when... hey... what's that sound... WHA...?
Ahem. I guess I should have realized that I was not standing THAT far up the beach from them, and was in just as much jeopardy as they were.
Everyone will be happy to know that the camera did not get wet.
And then I found this cool rock.
And then I realized that Skip probably thought we were dead, so we ran back to the van.
And then I nearly fell asleep on the way home, because that was WAY more exercise than I'd gotten in the last 2 weeks combined.
Or it could be that now that I am thirty-sixteen, I have to start taking naps.