We took a wonderful, spur-of-the-moment trip to a nearby lake. It is only fifteen minutes from my home but in ten years, I've never been there. Well, I should say that next time it will take fifteen minutes to drive to the lake. This time it took over an hour to get there. I was certain I did not need directions because it's so close. This small, neighboring town is named after the lake. How hard could it be to find a large body of water surrounded by suburban streets? Oh, pretty hard. Especially with two restless boys in the backseat and a mom who stubbornly refuses to us Mapquest.
Eventually we found the lake. I spent another fifteen minutes in a fruitless search for free parking. As I unloaded the car in the $5 parking lot, my thoughts ran along the lines of "This better be worth it" and "You boys better have a good time 'cause this was a lot of trouble". We crossed the street, paid our $10 entrance fee and had a great time!
Henry did not want to sit in the sand. He did not want sand in his shoes or on the towels. Uh, oh, I thought. It took him a few minutes to understand that sand everywhere was part of the fun. (He never did warm up to the idea of sand on his snacks, though.)
I took at least fifty photos. I arranged them in a online photo scrapbook. Looking at the pictures makes me realize that we do not need to have an overnight trip to feel like we've been on vacation. I would very much love to get away for a week this summer. Away from the chores and worries at home. Away to a place where I was not responsible for preparing the meals or maintaining our living space. The unexpected expenses that have arisen this summer mean that a true vacation is out of the question. This day at the beach is as close as it gets. And you know what? It was enough. My children were able to explore something new and truly enjoy the experience. We will surely go back (we've still need to explore the adjacent playground).