Friday, June 10, 2011

Toddler Beach Party aka "That's Daddy's Juice"

Me, enjoying sunrise in Delaware in the Year 06 BH (Before Hank), aka "2003"
So there we were, rolling down Delaware SR 1 to the beach, in a truck full of diapers and juice boxes and sippy cups. No fishing rods. No surfboards. No kayaks. Our last beach trip was to Southwest Florida in November, and while I did bring a respectable amount of fishing tackle, and I did do a small amount of scouting, I was able to defend my lack of outdoor activities under the premise that I had not visited the area in a decade and didn’t know the lay of the land and didn’t want to “rush in” to any outdoor activity. Oh, brother. 

There was no defending my lack of gear this time. I’ve been to the Delaware beaches probably hundreds of time since my first visit in 1995. And it was in Delaware, in 2001, that I had found a hard-to-reach surfing spot and re-claimed my love for the sport. There have been many times when I’ve made the two hour trek to the beach three times in a week to take advantage of surfing or (less often) fishing. We know people there. We know all the roads and all the beaches. We know the lay of the land.  And I brought no gear with me.

Now, it wasn’t necessarily destined to be that way. And I’d be lying if I said that in the run-up to this trip, I hadn’t feverishly checked the tide, wind, and surf forecasts, along with surf and fishing reports. The results, in that order, were not cooperative, dangerous, zero, stay home, and blah. In the “Pre Hank” era, we would have stayed home. But with a limited budget, beach hotel rates ready to skyrocket in another week, and a less than festive job atmosophere for both Amy and I, we acknowledged that it might be our last beach trip for a long time, meaning months…or longer.

Our Tour Guide
We stayed at a new place right outside of downtown Rehoboth and pretty much consumed all of our food at the Dogfish Head brewery, Big Fish Grill, and the Coffee Mill.   Each one of these meals was consumed with a level of patience, leisure, and decorum not seen since Operation Overlord. It was a really tough adjustment - these were all places we associated with our pre-parenting drunken laziness relaxed schedule, and now they are all serving the same purpose as a drive-thru fast food window.   Vacation with a 20-month old child is not for the faint of heart, apparently.  But we survived.

Yup.  The grand tally of gear in the truck was a Buck knife, a size 8 crawfish fly, a 5” black and white rubber worm that T found during our last fishing trip, and some melted/refrozen/re-melted surf wax. That’s it. The amazing, depressing, and wonderful thing is that I conceded long before the trip started that this three-day trip’s agenda would be run by Hank. And as I watched him start to fall in love with the sights, smells, and sounds of the beach, I didn't regret a moment of it.


Mike Sepelak said...

Sweet. Priorities change, and change again, over time. Yours are where they should be. Congrats. Great piece!

swamp4me said...

Love the last picture. Save that one for when he is bigger than you and has better things to do than spend time with his parents at the beach ;)

Unknown said...

Funny how things change. You only have a short time to enjoy the kids. You have years to get back in the field when they venture out on their own. Good thing is that if you have raised them right, they will want to go with you!!

tugboatdude said...

Nobody faults you for your lack of time spent outdoors doing what makes you happy.Clearly Hank makes you just as if not more happy than fishing,surfing,whatever.You are doing the right thing and as your brother I applaud you.

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