Every year for the last few years, with the exception of last year because Piper was too young, we have gone to the beach, either right before the season starts in May, or just after the season ends in September. We were really looking forward to this trip because the weather forecast was fantastic and it would be Piper's first trip *on* the beach. Notice I did say on and not to - we were in Rehoboth for a few hours in March the day Willow competed in the State Geography Bee, but we only walked on the boardwalk.
We arrived a little after six o'clock Friday night, after having Piper squawk at us from Dover onwards. Yeah, that was fun. I don't think the commute would have been so bad - it's only a little over 90 minutes normally, but we down to a standstill through Wilmington and the Christiana Mall area. First things first! We check in, and try to find somewhere not crowded to eat, and were baffled at all the 'No strollers allowed' signs. We had never seen that before - Andrew wondered if they were trying to limit a certain kind of clientele. We ended up at Claws, where the first thing I ordered was a very expensive mojito. $9!! I had no clue - the cocktail menu didn't have prices on it - I guess that should have been a clue. Good thing it was strong and tasty! Piper insisted in having all the lemons and limes from our various beverages - and proceeded to make this face after every piece she bit into and sucked:
We normally try to stay right on the beach, but our original choice of hotel was completely booked (and I later learned that they had no less than 3 weddings there Saturday night). We ended up staying at the Crosswinds Motel, which was a few blocks up from the boardwalk. Once I looked a map and saw where it was located, I booked it immediately. Why? Look below:
On the left you have the edge of the Crosswinds Motel. That triangle-shaped building on the right? That is the Dogfish Head Brew Pub (more on that later!). It was so nice to have that nearby - it is a place we always eat (drink!) at when we go to Rehoboth, and to not have to walk a few blocks back to the hotel after spending time there was wonderful! And to add to the wonderful proximity, right across the street - and in fact, right behind me as I took the picture, is Starbucks.
Piper had us up bright and early Saturday morning. She did wake up twice during the night, but overall I was pleased at how well she slept in her playyard. I did buy a 5" slab of foam for it because I didn't think it would be comfortable for her otherwise. We had breakfast at the Robin Hood diner, then headed back to the hotel to gather up all our beach stuff.
Me and Piper in the surf
I didn't have any intention of going in the water, or taking Piper in the water. Even though the temps were supposed to get up to 80'F, that water is still very frigid. However, my subversive elder daughter had other ideas:
As soon as Piper saw Willow in the water, she had to be there too - so I spent the next 2 hours holding Piper's hands and running into the surf, and lifting her out of the way when the big waves came. Neither she nor I was wearing swimsuits, so we were quickly soaked through. After a while, Piper decided she would rather play in the sand, and she spent her time filling up the buckets and then having me dump them out so she could start again. Andrew walked back and forth to the trash cans a few times, and Piper insisted on accompanying him each time - she would walk with him, but he always ended up carrying her back.
My blonde beach baby:
Don't worry - she had lots of sunscreen on and after the first hour of playing in the surf, she had her purple sun hat on as well. The beach was getting more crowded and hot, so we decided to leave around 11:30am to go back to our room and clean up and then go have lunch. Piper, however, had other plans.
Willow and I parked ourselves on a bench while Andrew went to get Subway sandwiches. I had nothing to do, so I took pictures of myself.
Not bad - no obvious evidence of what was to happen soon. Incidentally, what colour would you say my hair is? Outside I always see the natural red in it, but it just looks dark indoors.
And look at Willow's new Keens! Would you believe we paid $32 for them? It was in on of the beach stores, and I guess they must have been last year's stock (because they had the more expensive one on the other shelf. I don't care! These shoes cost $55 at our local store, and Willow wears them all summer long for summer camp.
We arrived back at the motel, and showered and re-dressed. Willow says, "Mom, you really burned your shoulder!" The scary thing is I hadn't felt anything until that point. I contort myself in the mirror, and sure enough, there is a 12oz steak sized angry red blotch on the back of my right shoulder and shoulder blade. I'm baffled - I wore 55spf waterpoof sunscreen, was only outside for 2.5 hours, and was back inside before it got really hot. The weirdest thing is that there are 2 circular blotches within the burn THAT ARE NOT BURNED! It's like someone put two 2" button sized globs of sunscreen on and left the rest bare. Aloe gel with lidocaine is my friend right now.
Andrew said he would stay with Piper as she napped, so Willow and I went out walking, and hit another perennial favourite in Rehoboth - Kitschy Stitch! And as luck (and my good planning) would have it, it is only 3 lots behind the Starbucks I mentioned earlier.
Willow had a long conversation with Ali about the girls in her class, and I bought 2 balls of O-Wool in this lovely green - which is much more apple-y in person - to make another Nichole cardi for Piper:
I also bought this beautiful skein of Malabrigo Rios - although I may end up doing something with it differently than I had originally planned, so I will keep my thoughts mum for now.
I also bought a sweater pattern - for the Contended Cardi (Rav link). Ali had a floor model in the store and it was beautiful. Willow wanted one, and I think this may end up being my project for the Ravelympics.
Afterward Willow and I went to Starbucks and Willow had her first frappucino.
After a three minute brain freeze, she decided she didn't like it.
Later that night, we had dinner at the DogFish Head Brew Pub, and my one beer was a seasonal one called 'Ryehoboth,' made with rye wheat and honey. It was very tasty! I would have loved to have more, but needed to have my wits about me for Piper! Andrew's beer was called 'Namaste,' and it was a summer beer with lemongrass in it.
Willow trying to keep Piper entertained as we waited for our food. Notice how nothing is within Piper's reach? That was trial and error! She was grabbing for everything from the steak knives to my beer!
We ended up having an early night with all of us in bed by 9pm. The next morning, we checked out of room and parked closer to the boardwalk so we could do something that Willow has wanted to do for the last few years - ride in on one of these contraptions!
She was a little miffed that she couldn't actually do the pedaling - the rule was you had to be 18 to rent, and 16 to pedal. So she sat in the middle between me and Andrew. Don't let Piper's woeful face fool you - once we got moving, she was a little speed demon, woo-hooing at everyone and yelling out 'dogdog' to every canine within sight. I have to say it wasn't easy to ride one of these things! And I had the dummy steering wheel - Andrew was on the left so he controlled the brakes and steering - but I couldn't help but to try and steer on my dummy wheel when we would go into turns or if my head though we were drifting over too much.
Our weekend in Rehoboth ended with some quick shopping at the Tanger Outlets, and then back home to Wilmington. I had a wonderful time, despite my odd sunburn, and am really looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.