Saturday, July 29, 2006

Belcarra Beach

Today the weather was overcast and kind of cool for the first time in awhile, but we thought it might still be fun to take Amanda to a beach. She hasn't been to a real beach since she was around a year old, plus she's been learning about all the different ocean animals in some of her books.

We decided to hit Belcarra, which is about a 20 minute drive from our house. We thought it wouldn't be busy today, since the weather wasn't too great. Wrong! The first clue was the "LOT FULL" sign at the base of the road in. Figuring it was probably left over from another sunnier day, we drove on. When we got to the picnic area, there were GVRD Parks personnel waving traffic around and helping people park. I guess technically the lot was full, but they were fitting people in wherever possible. There were at least two big picnics going on - one for some kind of church choir, and another for Freedom 55. Hee!

Once we parked, everything was fine - Amanda immediately started shouting "beach" and getting generally very excited. Although technically Belcarra is an ocean beach, it's sheltered and quite rocky...we will have to take her down to Jericho or Locarno one of these days. We walked down the pier and watched all the people fishing and crabbing for awhile, but it was a bit stressful - there aren't any significant railings that would keep her from going over the edge of the dock, and she wasn't too keen on holding our hands the whole time. We did see huge clusters of purple starfish stuck to the support beams for the pier, which was pretty cool since she's quite into starfishes. It's amazing what a brilliant purple colour they are!

After that, we headed down to the rocky beach. It was very muddy (Amanda kept saying "muddy" in a really disgusted voice...she really doesn't like being dirty), and at some points we were at risk of losing our sandals into the muck! However, we made a great discovery - this beach is one of the (seemingly few) beaches left where you can turn rocks over and find crabs! We've been reading a lot about crabs in Amanda's books, so we thought she'd be pretty excited. Turns out...not so much. She did know what they were but wasn't too impressed. I guess they're kind of spiderlike, so maybe they creeped her out a bit. I picked some up and showed her how they ran around in my hand, then I passed her one. She lasted about 5 seconds before freaking out and brushing it off quite emphatically. I have a bad feeling that was the end of that particular crab...sorry crabby!

We walked around for a bit more and played in the playground, then got in the car to head home. Just out of the parking lot we got one more surprise - a deer was standing right on the edge of the road! Although you used to see deer around here more often (Jeff insists they used to hang out in his backyard when he was a kid) it's pretty rare now. Amanda knew right away what it was, but wasn't all that excited...of course she didn't really realize what a rare treat it was to see a deer.

Crabby Crab!

Beach Babes


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