the beach in the winter
A couple of weeks ago, Raspberry and I were lured to New Brighton under false promises of sunny skies and warm weather in the teens. They were lies, all lies… damn you, meteorologists. It was cold and foggy, but it ended up being rather fun. The beach was, as expected, rather quiet, with the odd dog-walker here and there (and much to my chagrin, the odd bit of dog poop camouflaged in the sand). We walked in the opposite direction from where we normally go and came across the lighthouse and Fort Perch Rock. We didn’t go into the fort but walked around the perimeter, scaling some very bumpy algae-covered rocks. I wanted to make it all the way to the lighthouse but Raspberry was reluctant. She did, however, have a field day climbing and jumping off rocks and collecting shells and mussels. She found a mermaid’s purse and one, then two, then three (and so on) whelk egg cases and wanted to bring them all home. I’d forgotten to bring something she could put her finds in, so I gave her the plastic bag that held the clean diapers. We went toward where the pirate ship used to be, and found several guys working hard at constructing a new one. One of the guys had a dog, Scooby, who was wandering the beach as he worked, and seemed to take a liking to us. It followed Raspberry around as she climbed and hid among the rocks, drew and dug in the sand. She discovered it seemed to like flying sand and made a little game out of kicking sand up, making the dog jump excitedly. Watching her with the dog, you’d never have guessed that she used to have an almost-paralyzing fear of dogs just a few years ago. The tide was out, and Raspberry wanted to go to the water’s edge but it was dangerous because of the mudflats. There was a warning spray-painted onto the rocks and as Raspberry ran toward the mud, one of the guys working on the ship yelled toward us to come back. In the summer, she’d gotten a little stuck in the mud and Lucas had to rescue her. This time, she said she was a tiny bit stuck but was able to lift herself out.
When the guys working on the pirate ship were done for the day, they said Raspberry could climb up and steer if she wanted, which she did. When the previous pirate ship was still there last summer, she showed little interest in playing on it, but I suspect that might’ve been because it was crowded with kids (and their accompanying adults, ready with their cameras and camera phones). Now, there was just her on this partially-reconstructed ship and she’d be able to play on it without hassle. She pretended to be Pippi Longstocking and I somehow found myself being the horse, who was only allowed to say “neigh.” Ares, snug in the wrap, was Mr. Nilsson, the monkey.
Fun as it was being on a quiet beach, it did get cold eventually. I was thankful that we could go into the Floral Pavilion to warm up. It was also a good place to do a diaper change, something I hadn’t actually considered before making the trip (somehow, I thought I could just change Ares’ diaper on the beach… rightttt. I really need to remember that things aren’t as easy as just having an older kid). Despite the grey skies and not-as-warm-as-we-thought temperatures, I had a nice, slow day, and it was nice to be able to let Raspberry do her thing without having to rush her off because of the baby. And now I can say I’ve been to the beach in the winter, something I’d probably never do in Canada (well, not for extremely long periods of time anyway).Advertisements