For those of you that are faithful followers of the blog (THANK YOU), you know that each summer we take a day and drive to Seaside, Oregon to do exactly (and only exactly) what we do each and every other year. We go to the arcade, drop $40 in about 4 minutes, go to a salt-water taffy place and hand pick a bag's worth, have lunch at Pig-n-Pancake, hit the beach, build a sand TV, throw a ball around, complain about how cold/windy/whatever it is, make a big mess, clean it up, then go home.
We arrive home exhausted from our day at the beach, with a bunch of things to unpack, hose off, wipe and clean.
This year (yesterday) I only loaded $10 on each kid's card for the arcade. Rojo went straight to "the claw" where for 25 cents you can "play 'til you win" a pice of candy. The machine must not have been working properly, because 10 minutes in he still had $9.75 on the card. I didn't complain. When he had a whole sweatshirt pocket full of gross candy, he headed for the Big Bass Wheel. He swiped his card (actually, I helped him), pulled the handle down nonchalantly, then while being totally distracted trying to get a piece of candy from his pocket, he won 1,000 tickets. He was mildly impressed, the three of us were beside ourselves.
After waiting an eternity for the machine to punch out 1,000 tickets, we decided to break from our tradition of giving away the tickets, and instead, went to the redemption counter and squandered all 1,000 on mostly MORE gross candy (and a Frisbee for Flicka).
Because both kids still had a ton of money left on their cards, the four of us played basketball, skee ball, rode on motorcycles, and had a ball. We gathered up a bunch more tickets in the process, and decided we would then return to our tradition. We looked around for an unsuspecting family to whom we wanted to give the tickets. Soon as we spotted a dad following a four-year-old boy with Down Syndrome all around the arcade while his two daughters played, we looked no further. The dad was so excited he almost cried.
We were the big winners.
Then we headed for Pig-n-Pancake and ate both. Rojo had a side of fries (and a bottle of ketchup). Ate every last one of them. STM did something totally out of character, at lunch he suggested we also go out to dinner. He had a place in mind. As soon as Rojo was assured there would be French fries there, too, he was in.
Over for the salt-water taffy (because we didn't have enough candy), and that, too, was fun and easy. No crowd, they had all his favorite flavors, and I got out of there for less than $5.00.
Off to the beach and we had fun watching Flicka have fun with her new Frisbee. She hardly ever plays, and it was so cute to see her run, fetch, dive into the water, roll around in the sand and just be a dog.
After about three hours having fun on a pretty chilly day, we packed up and went to dinner. For the second time in one day, the four of us sat around a table and enjoyed food and conversation with one another. I don't think we've eaten out together two times in two years (or maybe more like 5).
On the way home everyone (but the driver) fell asleep, and we enjoyed a quiet, relaxing drive home, plus, since we'd eaten there we not only missed the rush hour traffic coming back, but everyone was full and ready for bed.
Success all the way around.