I feel like this post is coming to you really late even though the 4th of July was only a few days ago. This year, for the first time, we went away to Long Beach, Washington for the holiday. We stayed at our usual spot on the beach but this time the small coastal town was bustling with swarms of people. On our first day there, as we were exiting a grocery store parking lot, the guy in the truck in front of us decided to backup without looking and plowed right into us. Poor guy. Even though he ran into us, I felt sorry for him. He was a young kid, probably in his early twenties and like most people his age, he was probably heading out to enjoy the holiday when unintentionally, excited as he may have been, he banged into us. I'm sure whatever dreams he had of a rock'n weekend was tarnished with this accident now hanging over him. And, as disappointed as we were that this happened, on our vacation no less, we couldn't dwell on it. We called our insurance company, reported the incident and that was that. It was time to move forward, busted headlight and all, to enjoy our seaside escape.
Even though we've been to this spot before, the landscape changed. This time, instead of dry, wheat colored straw we were surrounded by magnificent lush green grass; the ocean is just a two minute walk away.
After spending time on the beach it was off to town to buy fireworks.
We spent time in town taking advantage of all the things we don't normally find open in the off season.
This little walk-up dining spot had an outstanding selection of sandwiches and pizza. They bake their own sandwich bread too.
In the little town north of Long Beach, we were eager to watch the fireworks show they had planned for July 3rd. We feasted on kettle corn and shaved ice, but then the rain came and just about everyone picked-up and left.
As we were leaving, the show began.
The next day, we spent more time on the beach.
In Long Beach, you can drive on the beach. I'll never understand this. Why on earth drive on the beach? I'm sure it's fun, but I don't have any desire to do it. My girls played as best they could all the while dodging traffic.
Finally Alex gave up and took her pail and shovel to higher ground, far from the
highway beach traffic.
Back at the condo the girls ate sugar cookies. In true Sammy fashion, she ate the frosting first.
We attended a small town parade.
My girls love the pool and would stay in it all day and night if we let them. Sammy has blossomed into this highly capable, strong swimmer, while Alex is still bobbing around in the shallow end. I can't say that I'm as happy to be in the pool as they are, but I do like that this is a saline pool which feels great; you never have to worry about your eyes stinging or smelling like chlorine. It's wonderful. And the temperature here is always perfect! In the off season, we normally have it all to ourselves, not this time.
When we weren't on the beach playing Frogger with all those cars zipping by, we were on the boardwalk wheeling around the smooth paths. As family photographer, and watcher of Alex, I stayed on foot running alongside Alex making sure she didn't get going too fast. After an hour or so, Alex sprawled out right there on the path complaining she was too tired to keep going. With a little encouragement she got up and skated the last stretch to the car where she plopped down in her seat like it was the most comfortable chair she's ever sat in.
Chico's is a great pizza joint for families. We were sad to see that this business is up for sale so we're hoping whoever buys it, doesn't change a thing.
After dinner it was back to the beach for fireworks
The evening of the 4th was calm and strangely quiet save for the bursts of fireworks that erupted along every inch of coastline. Alex and I watched large plumes of chrysanthemum shaped displays explode above our heads while Sammy and Jon enjoyed them from the condo. The beach was a little scary for Sammy and considering the company we were in, I didn't blame her for wanting to enjoy the show from afar. People were camped out along the beach, each with their own bonfire and arsenal of fireworks. It was a combination of beer drinkers, pyromaniacs and probably gun toting outdoors men just itching to light something on fire, but it turned out just fine. As far as I know, nobody got hurt, and like I said, it was surprisingly quiet and calm. Everyone was there just as we were enjoying America's birthday. We went to bed that night with the sound the 4th lulling us to sleep. I will always remember this vacation and the fun we shared together. Oh, and that sandwich shop is always on my mind too. Nighty, night.