Thursday, June 29, 2017

Day at the Beach/Bay

Touching the Atlantic has been on my East Coast bucket list since this was still just an idea we were floating in our Fullerton living room. Turns out, the Atlantic Ocean proper, is about a three hour drive out of D.C., so a little more planning and a Dad is required for such a trip. I get a lot of my activity ideas from the website KidFriendlyDC and the blog listed Flag Ponds Nature Park in southern Maryland as a great "beach" destination (the water is part of the Chesapeake Bay) at a reasonable distance from the city, at just over an hour's drive-and like most drives out here-picturesque.

I wasn't sure what to expect when it came to comparing this to SoCal beaches and there were some pretty obvious differences:

  • The beach is accessible through a tree-lined trail. The drive down was rural and hilly and very green with farm houses dotting the highway. Parking was in a lot that was followed by a 10 minute walk on a path through a canopy of bird-filled trees and raspberry bushes which opened up to the sand dunes and beach. It was really something special. However, Henry was not a fan of the walk. He much prefers the "drive down beach in California" (Corona del Mar).
  • There were no birds. I'm very accustomed to seagulls attempting to invade our space and I saw nary a bird once we were on the sand. 
  • The sand is FILLED with shells. Many people were looking for shark teeth fossils there as well.
  • The scenic landscape is very flat. Much like I had seen from pictures, it's pretty-tall grasses, sand dunes, and water are pretty to see, but the beach atmosphere is missing. There are no waves being a bay, and no boats were on the water. It was quite peaceful and certainly not crowded, but had I been solo and there to read a book, it wouldn't have provided the waves-crashing soundtrack that is so often associated with a beach. (But again, I realize it's a bay, so I still need to get myself to the actual Atlantic to do this compare/contrast exercise again.)
I'm really glad we made the trip. It was a challenge going solo with Josephine wanting to eat/crawl in the sand plus hauling all of the crap that is required for beach visits with kids (and I am a minimalist-one bucket! one shovel! no chairs but I do require an umbrella for baby + me shade!) The wind was gusty and blew my poor umbrella over several times, the final which led me to handing Josephine off to a stranger so I could go fish it out of the water before it was really pulled into the Atlantic. Henry had a ball though, especially after previous summers of weekly beach days, he loved digging in the sand, the copious amounts of shells, and wading in the waveless water. I definitely want to return as a family so we can all enjoy and Scott can experience as well.

Henry in that Adirondack chair has me picturing him enjoying the Hamptons one day. Hopefully I get an invite.

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