Friday, September 6, 2013

A day at the beach. . .

Friday, August 30
A+ Campground and  Motel
Sulpher, Louisiana

Hi, again, glad to see you here, today we're going to the beach and having some more fun at the campground.  The main activity we had planned for this trip was to go to the "ocean".  The Gulf of Mexico, of course, has shoreline in Louisiana.  The beach was about 30 miles (45 minutes) from our campground.  It passes through miles and miles of bayous and has many nature areas with hikes etc.  We chose to not take any of these hikes due to the extreme heat.  
There are two draw bridges, one high and one not so high.  We "may" have seen a smallish alligator submerging, but never did see an actual alligator the whole time we were there.  We went to the beach, though.  We have taken the other grand children E and L to the beach/ocean before (as they lived in South Carolina) but we have never had the chance to share our love of the ocean/beach with the other 3 grands.  In the past when we have been diving, the Gulf of Mexico has been pretty calm, especially in August/September, so we were hoping it would be a good introduction to the ocean for A, K, and J.  
Most people go to Holly Beach which is at the end of the main road heading to the beach from Sulpher, LA.  Because we almost never go where "everybody else goes" we turned Westward when we reached the "Beach Road".  There are 5 beaches listed on the map to the West of Holly Beach.  We chose the middle one, Little Florida Beach.  I teased the kids that if we had driven 20 more miles we would have been in Texas.  They didn't believe me, but it's true, LOL.  We had experience this spring with driving on the Gulf beaches in Texas and the same "rules" apply to the Beaches in Southern Louisiana.  
However, they aren't as well used and aren't quite as packed down and although our Big Butt 4 wheel drive truck had no problem bulling its way through the soft entry sand, M's car got stuck.  We tried several things but finally Mr. C, A, and I pushed, while M drove and we pushed it back out onto the road where M found a place to park safely.  The place we first drove to was pretty nasty.  There was a lot of "stuff" washed up there, it had lots of dark silty looking stuff and many dead fish, including 5 small reef sharks (yes, of course, I'm going to post the pictures, LOL, so if you don't want to see dead--but interesting--fish, don't look at the next couple of pictures).  We think this first fish was an alligator gar, it was huge, at least 5 ft long.  
So we walked up and down the beach a bit and found that a short distance to the East the water was clear and so was the beach and there were SHELLS.  There were even Whelk and Conch shells as well as the common ones, but most of the Whelk and Conch shells were occupied. . . with hermit crabs and we didn't want to kill the crabs to get the shells.  We did finally find some, though, so we have a fair representation and a successful shelling day, in my opinion.  
The water was very calm, just tiny little swells, and everybody went out into the water.  It was warm and although the visibility was probably only about 10 inches, so the idea of snorkeling was pretty much out.  J was in and out of the water and I kept track of him.  

After coming in for a short time, surprisingly, A (the 12 year old) decided he would rather spend his time on the beach digging for clams or whatever left the air holes (we finally saw a couple of crabs coming or going from them) and building sand castles or whatever.  He was quite happy though, so we left him to his own devices.  

K (who we call T because that was the only part of her name J could say when he was little) was the one who absolutely LOVED the water, she was in it almost the whole time, out as far as she could stand.  

Once J got over being scared of the water, he was happy to jump and let the swells carry him along.  

We all played in the water until we got hungry, ate our picnic lunch, walked along the beach looking for whatever we found and then went back in for about an hour before heading back to the campground. Except for getting sunburned (despite sunscreen use) it was a very happy successful day.  

When we got back to the campground, everybody except for Mr. C went to the pool, where we blissfully toasted ourselves further and swam and played to our hearts content.  

The pool was very nice and the kids enjoyed it immensely, as did the adults.  We almost had the pool to ourselves and someone showed us how to turn on the "fountain" before they left the pool.  

Mr. C held down the fort and prepared for a cook out dinner of hamburgers, hot dogs, and sliced potatoes on the grill.   We had a lovely dinner, with great help from the kids ferrying food in and out of the trailer.  After we ate, we came in and watched the movie Epic, which is a very well done animated action adventure with a good story line. 

After the movie, we enjoyed s'mores and roasted marshmallows.  I don't care for the chocolate part, but nothing can beat a perfectly browned, hot marshmallow, in my book.  I perfected making almost perfectly light brown on all sides marshmallow cooking when I was a kid and could eat them by the dozen if I'd let myself.  Mr. C, on the other hand, likes his to be a torch.  Turns out K likes hers torched, also, although the rest of the family like them just nicely cooked.  We had the fun of the new, this year, seasonal square marshmallows.  They are fun to cook and easy to get evenly browned and I found I could get 3 skins off them (could brown them, take off the top layer, brown them again, take off that layer and brown them one more time) if I was careful.  Nobody else had the patience to do that, they had real s'mores.  I remember having contests with my sister, G, to see how many times you could skin a marshmallow and I saved a package of the square marshmallows to use with her and Mom at a cookout after we get home and after it gets a bit cooler out.  They report IL is having upper 80-90* days while we've been gone.  

I think I'll stop this post here and continue in a new post, as this one is getting a bit long.  See you tomorrow, Smiles, Sue C

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