It seemed like a great idea to pop a squat near the Bay and some sand to spend a couple of hours in the sun with the girls without having to fight beach traffic, so we opted for near the Gandy bridge. There were a ton of people there. So many of them shoved there cars into the cut out segments of trees with full set ups of chairs, tables, screened houses. Psst... I think these people may live there, all of the time. After a long trek through the dirt, passed the tree lined portion we finally get to the open beach area.
There were a ton of trucks and cars parked along side of the shore. We found a spot and started to unload our things. I thought I was being a minimalist when in fact I might have been a classic over packer. Eliot asked me if I was planning on moving down there. I wonder now if that what the Gandy site does to people, but I digress. We set up the pop up tent for Vivian, poured out the sand toys for Lydia, opened the chairs for us and cracked open a cold water. Vivian was not happy with the tent because her deepest desire was to eat sand. Lydia dug, filled buckets and splashed happily in the water. The sun was out and it was hot. We lathered the on the sunscreen and sand. I have learned that when you sunscreen at the beach you will also have a sand cake on your body, I think of it as an extra layer of protection.
So there we are in the 1:30 sun, with caked sand, and as I dig into the sand with Lydia I notice a smell. A stink. It's taking over. It's coming from the sand. Eric Brockovich comes to mind, with the reminder that there is a chemical plant near by and I assume that they sand is now poisoning my children who will have giant warts on there heads in the morning. I keep calm and don't mention my little bit of crazy. Eliot is fighting to keep Vivian from eating sand and stay in the tent because she won't keep her hat on and it's bright. Finally, she wins we put her at the edge of the shore and she starts splashing around and having a great time.
It all seems like it's going to work out after all. Then Lydia poops. It was our catalyst. Our story turning point. It all went to poop after that. I take Lydia to the car to change her as we are walking I saw shards of glass scattered every where. I picked her up to make it the rest of the way carefully since I too am without shoes. We get to the car and I only have 3 wipes. This is going to require more than 3 wipes. I make due with tissues that Eliot has and put on another diaper. Meanwhile, at the shoreline, Eliot is picking up Vivian because some one's pitbull is running a mock and within inches of her face. I put Lydia in the car and turn it on so she has air conditioning and call to Eliot to pack up.
As we are packing up, a man walks by with a snake hanging from his neck sipping on some Miller Life, the Pitbull guy gets into fight with another guy that has his 2 dogs running around, small family fully dressed are now all submerged into the bay (impromptu Baptism?) and a small pack of very young looking girls with very little bathing suits walk by texting, my guess was that their mom's did not know where they were. With the stinky sand warts as a possible issue as well, we are happily moving a little faster to safety. It turns out that it was not the best location for a couple of hours of sun and fun for our little family.
Sometimes, you have to have a colossal fail. It happens. It is just as important for kids to see you make mistakes and fix them as it is for them to do they same. We got home and took our sand cake selves straight to the shower, watched a little Winnie the Pooh and ate some Cuban burgers.