We had a really good week, the kids and I. Owen had summer camp and it's a little over an hour away. It was the perfect choice as far as camps go. I thought I'd regret it or at least have a really shitty week being all the way out there in what felt like the middle of nowhere but I worked it out. On Owen's first day of camp River and I discovered a Welcome Center and found tons of stuff to do in Calvert County. I know, I know, I didn't know there was anything fun there either but it only took one day for River and I to get tired of Starbucks and a super Walmart, that wasn't so super.
Anyhoo, after we dropped Owen off at camp and he hugged River goodbye, we found all kinds of fun stuff to do. We went to a library Storytime and then on to a weird Swamp Sanctuary. It was free and River basically just ran around acting like she was going to jump in. She likes watching me get annoyed. River and I packed lots of fun stuff into three hours every day and then once we picked Owen up, he generally went to Chesapeake Beach where they have a train museum and an actual beach that you can pay to go on.
We had to wait in the crazy heat for the museum to open.
While I'm over the whole train thing, Owen loved the museum and again, it was free. It was once an actual train station and they had lots of old toy trains and Owen thought it was really cool. There was a lady dressed like a Mennonite inside and she knew so much about the train museum that it was a little creepy, almost like she was there in it's heyday. The beach took them some time to warm up to as they aren't big on the ocean but I forced them. Seriously, this was more like a big dirty pool than anything they'd ever seen of the ocean. It was way too hot most of the week to just eyeball the ocean from the sand that felt like we were standing in hell.
I have no idea why this is my kid's favorite part of going to the beach.
So, Owen loved camp and loved the stuff we did after camps. They have a pool so he swam there and then after we went to the beach and spent 3 hours hanging out in the water and playing on the sand, where they have a big wooden ship the kids could climb through. However, I noticed that there are assholes in Calvert County as well as any place else. Maybe I just bring out the worst in people, I can admit that but River and I stopped to get gas at an Exxon and I had to go to the bathroom, not so shocking to anyone who knows me. As I am pumping gas, I go in to ask about the bathroom and a man comes up to us and leans into me, across River. He doesn't bump her, but touches her with his bare leg and he starts to ask me for money, for gas I'm assuming. He had one of those small red gas cans in his hand. He didn't really get a chance to finish because I lost it a bit. He never acknowledged that he was all up on her. He looked down at her when I started yelling but that was more the look of shock at the mouth on this lady with a kid.
My response was a kin to "Stop! You're making me uncomfortable!' which I think would have been totally appropriate but when someone approaches a woman alone at a gas station with her kid, I think menacing is the way to go. "Back the fuck up! I don't care if you haven't eaten in 6 months, get the fuck away from my daughter!" was the response I chose. It worked as he walked away from the Exxon with no gas and without asking anyone else. Now I know he was probably doing the "I need gas" scam that I've seen at other gas stations but you just don't get that close to someones kid, not if you want your nuts to remain on the outside of your body. Not every chick is timid and easily intimidated. Looking back, he was clearly trying to act crazy to scare me but I see your crazy and raise you bat shit crazy. Trumped. I win.
I'll be honest, that incident flustered me. I got the shakes and my heart was racing. It's amazing what adrenaline will do for you. I was so heated afterwards that River and I changed our plans and hing out in the coolness of the car for a while. It's been hot as balls for most of the week so I didn't want to be as annoyed as I was and then add the heat to it. A book store would have been perfect, if there were one anywhere in Calvert County. I would even have settled for a Barnes and Noble, but nothing.
We picked up Owen and drove the 5 miles to Chesapeake Beach, changed into our swimsuits in the car (ghetto style), paid the fee and went to the beach on at least three occasions. The photo above is the big boat in the sand where the kids could play and they did that for a while until even they were forced to admit that standing in that sand was like standing on the tip of the friggen sun! That sand was all kinds of hot and I couldn't stand it. We all kept our shoes on but you could still feel it, sneaking around the soles of our sandals, mocking us. Also, I think that boat was supposed to be the Arc, judging by the giganto unnecessary cross. I've got to pay to get on your beach and you shove a cross in the face of my children? Nice. Can't it just be a boat? Why must it the THE Arc? Separation of church and beach! I mean look at the size of that cross!
Everyday after we dropped Owen off at camp, River and I headed to Chesapeake Beach and walked the boardwalk. It wasn't easy at first because it was well into the 90s and having sweat drop down my back while fully clothed isn't what I do for fun. It didn't seem to bother River which I don't understand but it was tough on me. Towards the end of the week it got easier when the weather finally broke. Thursday and Friday is was 80 degrees and walking the boardwalk was really enjoyable. River and I were able to take lots of photos of the water, the beach, the boardwalk and of course her. So much easier when your camera isn't fogging up.
It was certainly a good week for Momma and River time!
One thing I noticed on our daily trips up and down the boardwalk were the benches that lined the way. I didn't start reading the plaques that were placed at the top of each one until at least the second day. I think when you walk down a boardwalk it's natural to look the other way, but as I started reading them I noticed that there were quite a few in memory of someone who died on September 11th. I mean all but one were in memory of someone who died but I was surprised so many were from 9/11. It made me go back and read each one. I took photos of several and Googled a lot of the names. I thought they would all be from that small town but they weren't. They were from Columbia, Alexandria, lots of places. I found terribly sad stories of people who died too young, most working at the Pentagon. Probably the wost was the guy who died before his daughter was even born. Tragic.
One of the things I loved the most about the week was how pretty and green everything is out there. I mean you give up things for that kind of living like a real bookstore but it was nice while we were there. We passed this beautiful field of sunflowers every morning and I loved it.
It made me buy these for myself when we got home.
Also, an hour in the car each way for five days meant a lot of Johnny Flynn. Win, win!
It was a good week.