One of my favorite things about living on the beach is going out with Dulce just before sunrise every morning. There's something almost magical about creating the first footprints in the smooth sand under a pastel sky. This is Dulce's favorite time to be on the beach because she loves chasing the sand crabs which go into hiding once the sun comes up. I like it because I can relax knowing that CC is still fast asleep nearby in the house while Johnnie gets ready for work. It is a restful break before the busyness of the day begins.
It didn't take long for her to get used the sand once we moved here and went down to the beach every day. After a week, she finally walked barefoot for the first time without crying.
By the second week, she actually sat in the sand and didn't mind having it stick to her arms and legs.
Now, after a month, she asks to go to the beach. She will happily sit in the sand, dig with her shovel, and put sand and rocks into her bucket for about 30 minutes. Only 30 minutes which is one of the reasons we never went to the beach when we lived on Hickam. I didn't feel it was worth the hassle of gathering everything a baby needs for an outing, getting dressed for the beach, slathering on sunscreen, and driving to the beach only to stay for 30 minutes and come home (filling the car and carseat with sand). Factor in the bath needed to get the sand and sunscreen off afterwards and that 30 minute trip to the beach turns into a two-hour ordeal. Walking down to the beach and back is exponentially easier and more enjoyable.
We are very lucky that palm trees provide shade on the sand throughout the day, keeping the sand cool and preventing sunburns. CC did eat some sand in the first couple days but luckily has decided it wasn't a good thing. I can walk along the water or lay in the sun without worrying about her putting everything into her mouth while she plays. I should note that even though CC seems to love the sand now, she still hates the water (it's the waves that scare her) and doesn't want to go near it. Perhaps she will change her mind on that as well this year.
Johnnie bought a sea kayak just before we moved here. It's certainly a fun thing for him to use and it's a good workout. I'm not too fond of deep water myself but I will probably try it out eventually.
There is a lot of coral in the ocean by our house. It doesn't make for very good swimming (there are some coral-free spots down the beach for that) but it does keep the large waves away from the shore (which can be very powerful on this side of the island). During extra low tides, there are practically no waves at all on the beach and you can see all sorts of sea creatures in the clear water.
The coral is also good for attracting green sea turtles! Most evenings if the tide isn't too low, we will see many turtles snacking on the plants growing on the coral. The turtles we've seen are about three-feet in length, certainly a impressive sight! They glide effortlessly through the water but if they get stuck in a shallow spot, they flap around awkwardly.
Dulce and I have been on the beach every single day since we moved here and I bring CC out most days. If she remembers anything about this year, maybe she'll remember playing on the beach.
"If you're lucky enough to live by the beach, you're lucky enough."