Yesterday Finley Ray arrived for the weekend and in less than 24 hours we already had a few adventures. We went to a book fair and she was in her element for sure. She just plopped down on the concrete floor and went through several books discarding those she decided were not worth taking home and choosing very carefully the keepers. The Ladies auxiliary had set up a hot dog concession and the wafting odor of hot dogs was too irresistable for her, so one hot dog with ketchup was ordered. Then it was off to the boardwalk where we didn’t go to the beach per se because rain was imminent but still we had time to take off our shoes and walk in the sand.
Picking Papa Pete up at the train station was going to be a treat in hopes that we would see the “big” train. Alas he arrived before we did. Still we had another stop, this time to the Laurie’s Vegetable & Fruit stand in Neptune. Laurie is so friendly and warm and since it had begun to rain and we were the only customers at the time, she invited Finley up onto the counter to have some fresh blueberries. The fruit stand was originally a gas station in the 1930′s and there were still some remnants of its origins and don’t you know, little Miss Finny announced that this was a garage! Yes,I have a genius granddaughter. The rain was dripping heavily from the garage doors that were opened and Fin realized as every little child does that running back and forth in the rain can be so much fun. First of all you get big drop marks on your clothes and your hair gets wet, water runs down your cheeks and soon you have water squishing between your toes in your sandals (hers were jelly thank goodness).
Dinner on a TV tray is fun too especially if you are getting to watch a movie at the same time! I think Finley had her first corn on the cob Friday night because she didn’t seem too familiar with the concept.
It was a no-nap day due some unforseen circumstances and the fact that Finley and I hit the road shortly after she arrived. So by dinner time I could tell she was fading but she refused to cave in until after her two movies had been seen. First a bath in Gigi’s blue drink bucket ( a cottage without a bathtub can be a real drawback when you have kids around), then the movies and we are off to bed. A promise made to read two books seemed unlikely as I was pretty sure she wouldn’t insist. Sure enough she was just about asleep by the time I finished one of the new books we had bought at the Book Sale.
She turned her head, closed her eyes and fell into a deep sleep. So deep and so fast that I ran downstairs to get my camera to capture this photo. Take heed Mommy, I used a flash! Well of course it was PAST her regular bed time, lol. lol.
Not to be left out, while I was snapping this shot, another member of the family joined in to make it a menagerie a trois!
Saturday morning , errr, rather early in the morning, Finley was thoughtful enough to get out of bed and go downstairs and bring up two videos that she thought we all should watch together in bed. So of course we did.
She was very busy around the house that morning, actually helping me clean. She insisted on having a paper towel spritzed with Simple Green so she could wipe down tables, cabinets and anything else I pointed at.
We plopped her in the stroller and took off to the Book Fair again, this time so Peter could peruse the aisles in search of literary treasures. Finley made off with 2 more books and surprise, surprise, one of them is Cinderella. It was so bloody hot and I was hoping to get over to the North End beach to see the sand sculptures. By the time we walked east to the boardwalk, and then to North Beach, I was already over it as far as viewing any sand castles. Just as we approached the staircase to the beach, Finny announced that she had to pee. Just GREAT-no bathrooms at this end of the boardwalk, the restaurant located there is closed and so I had to walk all the way back to the Pavillion and talk my way past the ticket taker to get her onto the beach where there were some bathrooms. NOT pleasant restrooms at all, and we had to cut the line as she was jumping up and down literally so who would make a little girl wait? Truth be told I don’t think I have ever been on a public beach with decent bathrooms. Sorry to say that the sculptures weren’t worth the hike, the sun and the hot sand
We headed home by way of Day’s Ice Cream because having ice cream in the middle of the day is just the perfect pick-me-up on a blistering summer afternoon. The girls in the ice cream shop tried to convince Finley that she wanted strawberry because it was pink or party cake and after she tasted each and turned up her nose, she ordered just exactly what she told me she wanted; soft vanilla with sprinkles on top!
Finally we made it to the beach.
At first she didn’t even want to get her feet wet and she raced back to the sand each time a wave lapped anywhere near where she was standing. Peter finally got her into the water by splashing her and letting her splash him which brought forth shrieks and uncontrollable giggles. Soon she was sitting down and letting the waves foam up around her knees. And before long, she was in the water being held, swung and dipped while wave after wave crashed into her each one eliciting one of Finley’s ear-piercing shrieks and I just know how much the people who were in sand chairs down at the water reading, really and truly loved that sound!
I wish I dared to get in the waves with the camera so I could have taken a photograph of her loving having the waves crash on her. Finally, it was strongly suggested that she might want to make a sand castle…
After a bath to remove sand from places one would never expect sand to land, Fin was ready for bed. Again,it was a one book night because this little water baby was very tired.
Sunday was tea party day for Finley Ray. I was helping my friend, Jane who runs a Tea Room and so about lunch time, Peter brought Finny over to the Tea Room so she too could attend a Teddy Bear Tea as they are known when kids come to High Tea.
Believe it or not she ate EVERYTHING! It was a blistering hot day so off to the beach we went and this time there was no hesitation. Finley was shrieking through the waves as soon as she hit the shore line. This time she was so sandy that only a shower would do to get her clean.