we decided to take Luca to the beach for the first time. It was forecasted to be 28+ and Sunny wanted to get his feet into the ocean.
So, we packed up the car with the family and the dog and off we went to Spanish Banks.
I read on a Vancouver blog that the farthest end of Spanish banks is best as there is an off-leash dog park AND we could find a nearby patch of sand on the water.
Well… fuck you random blog. We parked all the way down there. There is no sand there… it’s fucking rocks and small brown waves.
So, Sunny (with baby/stroller/& wild sniffing dog ) start walking down the path towards the 'sandy' beach.
Fuck-my-life, it’s far.
I run back to the car and move it ahead to another lot closer to the beaches.
Double back on foot to meet them, on the path. Note… the ‘seawall’ along spanish banks is NOT paved. It’s light gravel and dust. Whomever decided to put hard plastic wheels on strollers should be tied down to one and pushed around the bumpy sidewalks and gravel paths of Vancouver all day!
*Note to self… never buy a stroller without air tires.
Off we go towards Jericho.
Fuck-my-life again. As we approach we find ‘No Dogs On Beach’ signs. What the fuck.
And we still see more rocks than sand. Keep going.
Annnnd… back to the car I go as they walk. Move the car AGAIN to another lot next to the Concession stand. There’s a burger at the end of this corduroy brown rainbow for me.
I hustle back to meet them. Rocco has given up. Too much walking in the sun for the little furball. In the stroller he goes.
We decide to walk even further and setup next to one of the beach logs just before the East Concession stand.
It’s too far out in the sand to push the stroller, so I begin carting our stuff over a load at a time.
I went to Canadian Tire yesterday and picked up a Beach Umbrella. We have a baby, and according to anything you read, he will instantaneously get cancer if a single mere glimmer of sun touches his skin. Modern parenting is a constant barrage of fear mongering and misinformation.
When I was young, 'SPF' was the sound that came out of your mouth when someone warned you of any impending danger.
As I walk back to the stroller I see a similar umbrella roll past us in a gust of wind as a West Side mom with oversized implants chases it down.
I unpack it and start trying to jam the pointed end of the pole into the sand. Fuck me. Under the first two inches of dry sand is rock hard, wet packed sand. This cheap ass, oversized tooth pick isn’t going in too deep. I dig a small hole, jam it in, bury it and lean it on a log. I take three steps back toward Sunny waiting with the stroller and a gust of wind fucking launches it across the beach. It flies off like a tumbleweed.
I chase it down.
Walking back I find an abandoned kids plastic shovel. I begin digging with it like Tim Robbins in the fucking Shawshank Redemption.
I dig a hole a foot deep. I angle it into the hurricane, grab a small log with a ‘Y’ notch in one end and jam it against the flimsy pole. That thing ain’t going nowhere now.
It’s windy as fuck out here.
Ever try laying out a blanket in the sand when it’s windy?
Toss bags, shoes, dog, wife on corners to hold it down. Run back and carry the stroller over.
We’re not there 5 minutes and Luca needs to be fed.
Cue breast feeding.
Throw a towel over the log as a backrest, get wife and baby into the shade of the umbrella that has the quality and coverage of a large kleenex tissue. Hide the dog between us to avoid some bullshit fine. Feed the baby.
Suddenly my phone starts playing music all by itself. Well something unexpected that isn’t bad.
Get my shirt off. Lay back to get some sun.
Wait, the dog needs water. Pull out some water and his travel bowl… give the dog a drink. Dog thirst dealt with.
Lay back to get some sun.
Shit, Luca is done feeding. Sunny sits him up. Within 30secs he pukes all over himself and the new beach blanket.
Clean him up.
Sunny tries to enjoy what remains of her morning coffee and croissant. Rocco wants some too so he is now criss-crossing his leash around us to get closer.
How is there already 12 bucketfulls of sand all over this blanket?
Lay back to get some sun.
Luca pukes again.
The wind continues to gust.
Sunny wanted to get his feet into the water, so I decide to take him since its 2016 and you can’t leave anything unattended so she has to stay with the stuff. When I was a kid, you left your car window, your front door, your cooler, everything open. You didn’t worry about people stealing your shit. Today, if you leave anything alone for a second, it’s gone.
I grab my tripod and Luca and head for the water.
A note on Vancouver beaches… they’re covered in rocks. Walking barefoot holding a baby is no happy Cialis commercial. I look like I’m walking on hot coals without the heat.
Get to the water. Setup the camera, hit record. I gently lower him so his feet can feel the water. It’s cold as fuck.
Step back let’s get some sand… actually more like fine gravel… between his toes. Gently lower him down and let him stand on it.
Back we go.
In my mind, his first day at the beach was going to be like a foreign film of sun, warm sand and new tans.
In reality it was an exhausting walk through an aggregate field in a windstorm as I moved a car load of dollar-store supplies while dog sitting.
I’m sure it gets better. But fuck if the transition from how you used to do things to how you do them with kids isn’t a minor mindfuck.
We pack up. I consider giving away the shitty umbrella, but we’ll keep it.
The prize at the end is burgers at the concession stand. This is a saving grace. Ketchup, mustard and relish. Some things don’t change. In a good way. :)
Life’s a beach.