We’d been talking about our upcoming trip to the beach for weeks. In preparation, I’d read stories to Carson and Ella about beaches and watched the beachy episodes of Max and Ruby and Spongebob on On Demand. Though they had both been to the Gulf of Mexico when we lived in Mobile, they didn’t remember it despite the photographic evidence.
Everyday Carson and Ella asked, “Is today the day we go to vacation?”
“Not today,” we’d say, “Fifteen/five/two more sleeps until we leave.”
The big day finally came and Carson and Ella vibrated in anticipation from the backseat, packed between beach bags, beach towels, and sand toys. They took turns asking their questions.
“Daddy, are we there yet? Are we at the beach?”
“I wanna play beach!”
“Are there going to be crabs at the beach? I don’t want to eat crabs, but I will eat duck.” (I don’t know!)
“This isn’t going to be a bummer vacation! This is going to be a summer vacation! (Thanks Spongebob.)
“I’m gonna build a sand castle!”
“Is this the beach, Mommy? Where is the beach?”
Finally, over 7 hours later, we arrived in Isle of Palms, SC.
“Is this vacation?” Carson asked, eyes wide in anticipation. The sand and Atlantic ocean in all it’s Bill fueled glory lay sprawled in front of us.
Carson nearly sprinted to the water’s edge, his first (to be remembered) trip to the ocean. Ella took the sight of the ocean in stride, not understanding the significance of what lay ahead. For several minutes they were both content to simply stare ahead as the waves ebbed and flowed.
A few feet past the water’s edge, Ella stepped, but was immediately startled by the force of the incoming waves. It was Carson’s turn to take the experience in stride. Eventually both children hungrily anticipated each wave as it came to shore. As the waves chased them, they’d run inland, other times they’d meet each crash head on.
“Can I get in?” Carson asked hopefully. Despite the red flag and threat of rip currents, the ocean was filled with swimmers both old and young. Tate knowing my usual stance on getting clothes needlessly dirty, explained to Carson that we needed to wait until we put on swim suits.
Carson, tried, he really tried, to stay dry. The weeks of buildup, talking about the joy of swimming in the ocean, eventually beat out his underdeveloped obedient side. He pretended to accidentally fall into the water.
“It’s okay,” I smiled at Carson reassuringly. “This is vacation.”
The Knoxville Twestival 2009 is coming up on Thursday, Sept. 10th from 7-10 PM at the Knoxville Zoo. This great event is being held to raise money for the Salvation Army of Knoxville. It will be a great night filled with music, fun, a silent auction, and BEER(!!) and it’s all for a great cause. (To check for Twestivals in your area, check out the Global Twestival site.)
I have two pairs of tickets (four total) to give away to a local East Tennessee reader. To win, leave a comment telling me your favorite East Tennessee restaurant. Make sure you leave your name and a valid email address. I’ll randomly choose one winner on Tuesday, September 1.
Non-local readers, feel free to just comment because you like me.