Anyone who has our annual calendar will see that June's photos are all taken on the beach.
Last year, those photos were all taken at Julian's friend Jake's birthday party in Rio Del Mar, just south of Santa Cruz, less than an hours' drive from home. This is the only birthday party in which I'm happy to attend for the whole party!
Jake's mom and I made friends when we were waiting to drop off our new kindergartners (Jake and Julian) at school, and have stayed in loose touch since. Jake and Julian weren't in the same kindergarten or 1st-grade class, but we're holding out hope for 2nd grade!
The weatherman once again predicted cold and foggy -- GEE that's a leap in Santa Cruz in June -- but he was wrong once again, and the fog burned off early to reveal a sunny, beautiful day.
Gabriel and Julian wasted no time filling the water guns.
Katrina was reluctant to go into the water at first, saying she was afraid and that it'd be cold.
I persuaded her to get closer to the water, but it took the help of a brother to get her into the water.
The surf is unpredictable, and it caught both of us off-guard. I got soaked taking this photo, and Katrina got knocked over by the wave and shrieked in terror.
I quickly grabbed her and picked her up to a stand, still screaming in shock. But as soon as she was standing, she changed completely: "That was FUN!!" And after that, I couldn't get her out of the water.
Katrina ran around the water for most of the time we were at the beach, running into the water, running away from it. Twice I had to chase her down the beach as she drifted farther and farther away. I told her to stay near a lifeguard station with a big number 7 on it near us that could be seen from a distance, and she did.
Long after the boys gave up on the cold water, Katrina was still running in and out of it. I'd never seen her run so much! But eventually she was so cold she could barely move her fingers. Her lips were blue and she was covered in goosebumps. I wrapped her up to warm her up.
Moments later, she was right back at it. She refused to put on more clothes or stay on the sand where it was warmer, she was having SO much fun running in and out of the surf.
Meantime, the boys had teamed up with the birthday boy, Jake, and were busy on a major digging project. Jake's Dad is an experienced beachgoer, and he brings a serious shovel and digs a huge hole for the kids as soon as they arrive. He knows what he's doing, because something as simple as a huge hole is a huge hit. The boys spent the better part of the day digging more into the hole and bringing buckets of water to make a "river" into the hole.
I had a great time chatting with Jake's mom and other parents I'd met last year. Dad took the opportunity for a motorcycle ride and stopped by, to Katrina's delight.
As is always the case, we were among the last to leave. It took a good 40 minutes to get everything packed up and everyone de-sanded and ready to go. I had a rare opportunity for a photo-op, but had to promise them birthday cake for that (birthday cake and candles aren't practical on the beach).
I paid up though -- a trip to Whole Foods where they all picked their own "birthday cakes."
Beach days are tiring! The drive back was unusually quiet.
What a great way to start the summer!!