Vacation Memories – Part 2

After leaving the surf shop, we returned to Ocean Lakes and went and parked down by the beach. We got everything out of the car and started walking for the beach. The sand still felt cool, so Jennifer decided to put Grace down and let her walk. Grace was immediately disgusted by the sand and wanted us to carry her. When we got down to the beach, we tried putting Grace down again and this time she curled up her legs so they wouldn’t even touch the ground. We put her in one of our beach chairs and she seemed to be happy there. We tried to get her to play with her beach toys, but she only wanted to play with them if sand was not in them (or on them). I made an effort to get Grace to warm up to the sand. I buried my feet in the sand and played “where’s daddy’s feet. I don’t think I need to explain the premise. When I first buried my feet, I think it terrified the child. She frowned and her lip began to quiver like she was going to scream. I quickly pulled my feet out of the sand and she looked very relieved. I then proceeded to play the game with her some more, and she began to warm up to it and smile. I may have even gotten a giggle. I also played with Gracie’s sand toys and tried to show her how to use them. I filled buckets, dug ditches, made piles, and buried things (I wasn’t enjoying myself at all). It didn’t seem to interest her.

Eventually it occurred to me that I was no longer playing for Gracie and was doing it solely because I was enjoying myself. At that point I decided it was time for a dip in the ocean. The water was fairly warm. I wasn’t in a rush to get wet, so I took my time. I took a few steps forward every now and then. At one point, I took a step forward and my foot went down into a hole or something. The water had barely been up to my knees before, and after stepping in the hole, half my trunks were wet. It didn’t wind up being the slow decent into the ocean I was hoping for.

If you’re wondering about Grace and the ocean, we had a pretty strong suspicion she would be scared of that. She doesn’t like pools, and we assumed she wouldn’t like the ocean either. Still, when we first got to the beach, Jennifer carried Grace down and stood in the surf. That was apparently horrifying to Gracie and she cried. We had always assumed she would be happy sitting on and running around the beach, but on the first day, that didn’t seem like the case.

When I got back from my dip, I put down a Dora the Explorer beach towel, picked up Gracie, and put her on the towel. I waited for the shriek, but it didn’t come. Apparently she wasn’t absolutely terrified of the sand. She just wanted something between her and it. I worked with her some more to try and get her to play in the sand from her beach towel, but she still didn’t want to touch the sand. Eventually, she got up and started running back and forth on her towel. She even picked up the rake that came with her sand toys, squatted, and raked some sand. She then threw the rake so that it was over in the sand out of her reach. She apparently regretted this decision immediately, and began to reach out for it and whine. We tried to encourage her to go over and pick it up, but instead of doing that, she just found something else to do on her towel.

We left the beach after a couple hours so we could eat lunch and Grace could have her nap. When Grace woke up, we all got ready and went to a place called Broadway at the Beach. It is sort of like a huge, outdoor mall. First, we ate dinner at Tony Roma’s. After dinner we took Grace to a store called the Build-a-Bear Workshop. Most of you have probably heard of this place, but for those of you that haven’t, you pick out an animal, stuff it, dress it, and pay for it. Grace loved this. She picked out a monkey, and was hugging and kissing it while we were waiting to get it stuffed. She wasn’t to happy when they we took it away from her to have the clerk stuff it. After stuffing the monkey, we tried to let her pick out an outfit, but Grace just wanted to run around the building.  So, we picked out a shirt and went and paid for it. It was ridiculous how much we COULD have paid for the thing. They had outfits for stuffed animals that cost more than some of the outfits we have bought for Gracie. They had hats, shoes, accessories, and, most distrubanly, underwear. You know, because some teddy bears don’t like going commando.

Man, it is taking a lot of time to tell you about my vacation. I should be able to finish it up in one more post. Then I have to talk about potty training. We started that on Monday.


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