Friday, April 15, 2011

Our Little Beach House

Last week was Spring Break.  We went to "Our Little Beach Town" and stayed in "Our Little Beach House."

We have rented a little house on the beach four times now.  The first time we did was truly wonderful.  It was when the girls were small and we had stayed at a hotel at the beach before, but hotels were tricky with Haley.  Haley doesn't like to be confined and at that age she didn't like to sit still in restaurants.  A couple of days in a tiny hotel room eating out for every meal was not a vacation.  It was a trial.

We rented this little house that has two bedrooms and a fenced backyard.  The backyard was basically a fenced sandbox.  I could cook in the kitchen and watch out the window as the girls played in the sand.  It was really nice because the house was small, but just big enough.

We have stayed there enough that the girls are accustomed to it.  They like to spend time on the beach and also in the house.  This time was very relaxing for me, not only because I forgot my cell phone at home, but also because everyone else seemed relaxed.  There was no hurry to do anything, no real plan.

We did go for a hike to a waterfall.  Haley doesn't really like to hike.  I had to basically drag her and listen to a chorus of  "Yukon.  House.  Yukon.  House.  House!  House!"  About a third of they way toward the falls, which was a mile and a half hike, Haley stepped over a root in the trail and said "Good Job!"  I praised her as well, after that she was a little more into it. 

She liked the falls when we got there, she does appreciate the beauty of nature, but she was done.

Her Dad and her Big Sis went down to the bottom of the falls, but we got stopped by a log across the trail.  I tried to get her to duck under it, but she put up quite a fight.  I asked her if she wanted to turn around and go back to the truck.  She said "Yeah."  I knew she meant it.  We couldn't go back fast enough for her.  Soon after we turned back it started raining and we were soaked by the time we got back to the Yukon.  We didn't have to wait long for her Dad and Sister.  Haley did admit it was fun.

We also went to the Aquarium.  In the past this has been a problem.  Haley doesn't like the Aquarium.  I don't really know why, but my guess is that she doesn't like it because it is not the Zoo.  The first time we went there when she was very small she cried and said "Giraffe."  She threw herself down on the pavement and had a fit.  Then next time we went she started crying as soon as we pulled in to the parking lot.  That was not a nice visit to the Aquarium.  The last time we went to the beach, Haley and her Dad stayed behind.  We decided not to even take her there.

This time Haley's Big Sis really wanted to go, she suggested that Haley was older and may have grown out of it.  We also talked about reversing our normal trip through and starting at the "end."  We ate lunch first so that she wouldn't want to go to the Cafe.

When we got there Haley seemed a bit agitated and we had to stand in a little line, I started to be concerned.  Then after we got in she bee-lined for the Cafe.  I reminded her that we had just eaten, but you know how she can eat.  We went in to the Aquarium and headed for the end.  That strategy seemed to work pretty well.  There is a gift shop at the end however and she didn't want to leave it without buying something.  I convinced her that she would get a chance to shop at the big Gift Shop before we left.

We wanted to watch the feeding of the sea lions so we timed our trip through the exhibits so that we ended up there at the right time.  The viewing area is very small and there were quite a few people standing around trying to watch.  I could tell that Haley couldn't really see what was happening so I tried to get her to get closer.  Her sister pulled her up to the window and she just stood there.  She is really tall, so I was sure she was blocking the view for most everyone.  I tried to get her to sit down and watch.  She finally sat down facing away from the sea lions.  She was very frustrated and I was worried that everyone was going to get upset with me so I asked her if she wanted to go to the gift shop. 

I knew the answer to that question.

When we arrived Haley picked up a map of the Aquarium.  Haley loves maps.  She also walked right by the gift shop, so she knew it was there.  I didn't let her go in.  I told her that we would go in just before we left, at the end of the day.  She had been pointing to the map the whole time we were at the aquarium  saying "shop."

She said "Yeah!"

I told her Dad where we were going and we headed to the gift shop.  She was happy to be shopping.  Eventually when Haley's Dad and sister showed up we decided to leave.  We all wanted to stop at the restroom before getting back in the car.  Haley was not happy.  She still wanted to shop.  She wanted to buy.  She was getting upset. 

I said "You can buy one thing.  What one thing would you like?" 

She put up one finger, "one," she said. 

"Yes," I said, "One."

"One Sea Lion."

"OK, we will go back to the gift shop and you can get one sea lion."

Then she was happy.

I told her Dad that she wanted "one sea lion" and we went back to the gift shop.

Haley's sea lion made all kinds of noise on the drive back to the house.  It made noise all the way home the next day.  Haley's sea lion has been going to school in her backpack.  Haley's sea lion has a friend, a sea turtle, I have no idea where it came from, but that is another story.

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