Sooooo….today was the first official day of our long-awaited vacation.  We arrived late yesterday afternoon, after much, much delay in Atlanta.  Thanks Delta.  We love hanging out in an airport for four hours with two sleep deprived kids because you can’t find a plane in your hanger that works properly.  Anyway, we’re here now, and we’re having a grand ole’ time.

The big event of the day was our late-afternoon visit to the beach.  Carina and I had made a trip down to the beach last night, so she was familiar with the whole “sand makes you dirty, and wet sand makes you dirtier” thing.  Callen, however, was not.  Oh, Callen.

This was Callen’s first trip to the beach:
We brought along the “kid tent” that we use to shield our young ‘uns from the bright sun and to keep them out of the sand (this is foreshadowing).  Craig got the tent all set up while Carina and I spread the beach towels and arranged various castle-making equipment.  Callen squealed and grinned in the stroller.  I spread a towel in the tent for Callen and got him out of the stroller.  More grinning.  I could tell he liked the beach.  I set him in the kid tent, and he immediately giggled and rolled over.  “Good,” I thought, “he’ll be happy in there.”  Craig took Carina into the water for a dip, so I decided to get the camera out and snap a few pics of them swimming.  Then I decided to snap a few pics of Callen on his first trip to the beach.  So, I got Callen back out the tent, dug a little whole in the sand under one of the beach towels for extra support, and sat him in it.  I handed him a little shovel, and he actually started digging in the sand (while grinning, of course).  I managed to snap one picture before he fell over to his left side and got all sandy.  So I took him down to the water to rinse him off.

When Craig and Carina came back from the water, I told them about Callen’s little misadventure. Craig and Carina started building a sand castle, and I headed in to the waves to see if I was still young enough to do some body surfing.  I did a rather pitiful job of surfing two waves before I came back in to find all three of my fellow family members covered in sand.  Craig informed me that he also had experienced Callen’s strong gravitation toward sand, as Callen had used the “scooching” skills he developed yesterday (see video below) to scooch himself right out the door of the tent and into the sand, and since Craig was building a sand castle, his hands were sandy when he picked Callen up and put him back in the tent. While Craig was telling me all this, Callen was behind him, grinning at me through the door of the tent, his eyes alight with this sort of wise mischevious look that he gives me when he has done something not-so-good, but cute.  “So,” Craig said, “now Callen is really sandy, but he seems to be staying in the tent.”   And as soon as Craig finished saying that, Callen turned and scooched himself out of the tent far enough to grab a huge hand full of sand, inspect it with awe, wonder, and pride, and then wipe it across his face. Oh Callen.

Stop taking my picture, I've got more sand to eat.

No Pictures! More Sand!!

After a rinse in the ocean and the outside shower, Callen was better, but still sandy, so he and I settled into a shaded deck chair at the condo’s pool, which has a great view of the beach where Craig and Carina were still playing. Callen decided he was hungry though, so I covered us up with a beach towel, dropped one swimsuit strap, and fed him.  So he got his first “beach drink” out of the deal, and was content to sit cuddled in my lap and watch the birds and kites playing in the breeze.  A while later we got up to let Craig and Carina into the pool, and then we watched them swim for about 10 minutes.  It wasn’t until we got up to go back to our condo that I realized my swim suit strap was still down under my arm! Luckily, it was all women swimming in the pool.

Callen’s first day of scooching (in the our vacation condo on 9/7/08):

video coming soon

More beach pics: