Friday afternoon we packed the car with the kids, two diaper bags, a cooler, an oxygen tank and a heap of other crap and headed for Fort Tilden beach with Cecelia and Jason. Things got off to an iffy start. As we drove up to the entrance we saw the gates locked and a rather large PA (lowly assistant on film shoots) shooing people away. They were filming Boardwalk Empire
. We were dismayed - the one day we finally make it to the beach and it's closed
?! He redirected us towards another path and off we went. And went. And went. We were walking parallel to the ocean, which was clearly a problem, but once we turned to cross into the dunes we dipped down into what I can only describe as a low budget reenactment of Apocalypse Now
. I was wearing Lula, Sam was wearing Roan and we had a stroller packed with about 8 bags of baby and beach gear. Sam wanted to forge ahead through calf deep mud. I was on the verge of a total sense of humour failure, but I plunged one flip flopped foot in front of the other into the sludge desperate for the ocean. We got it.
If you can only get a single 5 hour vacation your entire summer I would highly recommend this one. It was a perfect day, the beach was practically empty, and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely. Lula was completely zen from the moment we hit the sand. Last winter she was so sensitive to the wind that she would hyperventilate at the tiniest gust, but she turned her head towards the ocean and was about as calm and content as I have ever seen her for the entire 5 hours.
Sam and Jason rigged an elaborate makeshift tent for Lula and we took turns taking dips in the water and hanging out with the kids. Roan finally made his peace with the sand, which he had not been a fan of before. I had been so worried that the kids wouldn't adapt well to this totally new environment. I imagined Roan trying to eat the sand or refusing to walk in it and Lula freaking out about the wind and everything would be difficult and messy, and instead it was all pretty effortless (apart from the swamp). Having Jason and Cecelia there made everything easier too, and of course it was great to sit on the beach with our friends and catch up.