Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Kure Beach

This morning we gave the kids the choice of either heading to the beach right away or...

They chose heading to the beach right away, without really listening to the other options (which were visiting either the aquarium or the fort). Obviously they were quite excited about going to the beach.

When we were looking for a beach to play at we had a few criteria on our list:
  • free parking
  • public washrooms
  • public showers
All the beaches at Carolina Beach, it seems, were pay-to-park (all 44 beach accesses in the city). We didn't want to pay to freeze on the beach, so although some of the accesses boasted restrooms and showers, we pressed on. All the beaches at Kure Beach, it seems, were free-to-park. But we couldn't find one with restrooms or showers. So eventually we just parked and called it good.

It wasn't very inviting when we arrived—chilly, windy, and overcast—but the older kids had fun building a gigantic sand castle with their dad (we brought an actual shovel this time, rather than a dinky plastic one) while Zoë and I made our own sandcastle, far away from the spray of the ocean.
As the morning progressed the sun shone brighter and the sand felt warmer and though the water was really not all that tempting for me (it's too cold in the early spring here, no thanks) the big kids (and their dad) were soon splashing in the waves while I stayed as far away as possible with Zoë.

Truth be told, I probably would have been in the waves, too, but somebody had to stay with Zoë and that somebody had to be me because Zoë is a bit of a momma's girl (<—understatement of the year).

Here's Zoë after we introduced her to the ocean:

She was not a fan.

So she and I mostly stayed high and dry.

Here are a few more pictures of all the castle building that was going on (I promise I weeded through these—and none of them are necessarily spectacular photographs so I don't know why I couldn't choose just one, but whatever):

Oh, and a few more of Zoë because she was there, too:

Rachel was the only one brave enough to really go through with boogie boarding.

Here's a picture of Miriam deciding to not attempt boogie boarding ((after watching Rachel wipe out) the waves were really quite rough today):

Rachel caught a couple of good waves and then a couple of good waves caught her. The last one to catch her was so exceptionally rough that she emerged from the ocean battered and bruised, and decided to retire from boogie boarding for the rest of the day.

Here's Andrew looking down and wondering where Rachel went (hint: she's being dragged along the ocean floor beneath that ugly brown wave):

And here she is after she popped back to the surface (she has a big long sand burn (?) on her hip from her ordeal under the wave):

Andrew took the kids wave-hopping and ended up dunking all three of the little ones accidentally. Benjamin and Miriam recovered from the assault and joined back in on he fun but Zoë, who wasn't so sure about being dragged out to that roaring, endless, undulating mass of water, ran away to seek shelter on my lap and never returned.

Interestingly, the way she says water is, "la-lo," which truthfully sounds a whole lot like how she says yellow. Andrew doesn't think this is close to the word water at all (though he was very accepting of Benjamin's "augie," which also isn't close to water (and which lasted for years—so long that we still call water bottles "augie-botties" in our house)), but I think it might be because I could also say she says water "la-l'eau." And l'eau is French for the water. And she wouldn't be the first child I know who randomly calls water l'eau even though French isn't one of their native languages.

Here's Zoë drinking some "la-lo" from an "augie-botty"
Anyway, after a lunch of peanut butter and jam (and sand) sandwiches and a little more playing we eventually decided to call it a day. We were all fairly sunburned despite my best (read: mediocre) efforts to get sunscreen on everyone.

Zoë, Benjamin and I fared the best, since I made sure to apply sunscreen to the three of us (though I forgot to do Benjamin's legs somehow...and my neck!!) multiple times. I supervised the girls' application the first time, calling them back from the water and reminding them to put on their sunscreen before getting too sandy.

"But it's not even sunny!" they complained.

"Lather up!" I said.

When it came time to reapply, however, I don't think they quite listened. Even Zoë took some coaxing. I had to remind her how much she loves lotion (I had been calling it sunscreen, which wasn't very appealing; but lotion? Oh, boy!) before she'd agree to let me rub it into her face.

Andrew shunned sunscreen entirely.

Sometimes when we go to the beach I will chase him down, tackle him, and swipe sunscreen on his face and neck so he has no choice but to rub it in.

Other times I'm like...I have four actual children to worry up. You know?
But he, like his father, insists that sunscreen is for "wimps." Wimps and, apparently wanna-be lobsters. You should see how red (and how much in pain) that poor boy is in now.

He'll probably beg me to put some sunscreen on him the next time we're at the beach.

So long as I don't have to tackle him...

So...I wrote this post without the aid of pictures to jog my memory. You'd think I'd be able to remember life a day at a time but there are always things I forgot. The pictures reminded me that:

1) Benjamin's favourite part of the beach seemed to be digging holes as deep as he could. We might need to read the book Holes to him sometime. I don't think he's capable of understanding how being required to dig holes is a punishment, however.

2) Andrew buried Rachel and then the kids buried Andrew.

3) Zoë climbed inside one of Benjamin's big holes...

...made herself a slide out of boogie boards...

...and enjoyed trying to pop all the bubbles.

4) I was there, too.

I mostly enjoyed watching my kids frolic along the beach, so without further ado, here are a billion pictures of my kids frolicking in the surf and sand:

I will interrupt here to mention that after the kids buried Andrew he was down there, just chillaxing, for a very long time and I began to recall news stories of people, like, suffocating from the weight of sand on their chests and so forth (not that I ever worry about anything ever). So I asked Rachel to just "go see if Dad's still alive."

"Okay," she said. "But if he's dead, at least we've already done the hard part and buried him."

Always looking on the bright side, that one...

He was still alive, obviously.

So, back to happy pictures of my children playing...

Zoë chasing those pesky seagulls...

...and being cute...

...and using her slide...

...and being cute...

Benjamin stumbled upon this picture and explained, "That's when I was throwing mud at the ocean!"

Hey, look! All four kids in one shot!


  1. Did you park near the pier at the Kure Beach Oceanfront park where they have the swings? Andrew biked there from CB State Park so we drove down there to see the ocean again before heading home. The waves were HUGE (to me) and rough that day. We walked out on the pier since it was free for spectators. They had a bathroom in that shop and across the street. Not showers, though, that I recall.

  2. We went right past that one—to the next one. We *almost* stopped there. :) We should have stopped there. We were going by sight though and it was hard to tell where to turn for some reason.