Every morning, weather permitting, we drag the girls out of bed if they aren't already up and we take a walk on the beach before breakfast. We come back tired and hungry and ready for breakfasts and showers. It's a lovely way to start the day.
We have found several treasures that we are identifying and labeling using our book of sea beans and our seashells guide.
One night, I didn't sleep well, so I was up early and went out to the beach in prima luca. I found these perfect measled cowreies and considered them a gift divine.
We found lightning walks and their egg cases.
We found a mermaid's purse (the egg sack of a skate.)
The beach is so dynamic that some days the waves are huge and other days, the ocean is as still as a lake. The surf brings new things in every tide.
One morning there were at least one hundred flawless cockle shells of various sizes down the beach. We gathered a group of half a dozen or more that fit together like Russian dolls.
We brought great books to read aloud to each other and books to read silently to ourselves.
We are reading The Warden and the Wolf King out loud with Mom and Dad after dinner. I have read Macbeth and Northanger Abbey already this trip. I am reading now Jaber Crow and Hamlet and Another Sort of Education (for a second time.) Norah's reading Adorning the Dark and The Fiddler's Gun (for a second time.) Dwayne is Out of The Ashes by Esolen. Avril is reading aloud to Adele from The Green Ember books.
And outloud to the girls, Grandma is reading from Sheep Tales:The Bible According to the Animals That Were There.
Grandma or Grandpa or both Grandma and Grandpa together will play card games like Uno, Old Maid, Go Fish, etc. with the girls. (Something about cards brings the young and the old together.) Hearing them play and laugh while I work in another room is one of my greatest joys.
In preparation for directing Challenge 3 next year, I am working on Chemistry and Latin faithfully, making real progress. I brought some philosophy, and music theory, and my next Lost Tools essay on The Tempest for Circe, too, and I am dabbling in those.
We go to the beach in the afternoon everyday as long as weather permits. Note: We did skip one day out of sunburn and sheer exhaustion. Playing hard can hurt. I was actually missing skin from a sand burn, too, so I was letting that scab over.
But we have caught some amazing waves with our boogie board.
We don't actually swim if there is a rip current warning, but we will go out anyway to greet the ocean and soak up its beauty and splash carefully and build castles or walk, etc.
The girls are drawing and writing poetry in their free time.
I brought three bathing suits, because I had room in my suitcase. I'm wearing them on rotation and they are all being well used, evidence that we are doing things right.
Norah likes to make sand sculptures. This one is a warrior angel. Note: She said she used my arm as a model for the angel's muscular arm, which makes me smile.
Mexican Train dominoes after dinner- We are working our way from double twelves in the center down to double blanks. Last night, we played the game with double fives, so we're making progress.
Dwayne is working from Dad's office in the back bedroom, but he takes off and goes to the beach with us on nice afternoons or on weekends.
We are enjoying lots of downtime, so there is time for silliness.
Grandma and Grandpa have a variety of old toys like tops and interesting instruments that they have set out for the girls.
I picked up some awesome beach themed coloring and activity books.
We left a kite here one of the last times we visited and we also added a new kite this year, so now we have two to fly.
Norah made a Phoenix in the sand one day. Avril helped collect the shells and seaweed, etc.
Norah calls this a Spiderwick Rock. Apparently, in those books, you can only see the creatures through a hole made naturally in a rock.
We have seen squirrels, pelicans, dolphins, sharks, fish, rabbits, cranes, sandpipers, jelly fish, snakes, and crabs...