When the noise...exhaust...sadness...impossibilities...heat...and trash filled streets get old, we've learned it's time to call up friends, load up the car, and head to the beach.
It's absolutely remarkable what clean air, a breath-taking view, and lots of wide open space can do for the soul.
We buried Hayden. He was still...so why not?
Little brother sat and did what little brother does best...quietly stare at rocks and pick out exactly the right ones to take home. "Look..this one has fish nibbles. I'm going to take it."
They bought some necklaces from one of the vendors that walks up and down the beach begging you to look at their giant platter of jewelry. Of course the boys wanted the most gaudy necklaces available. I held up the Mr. T style neck bling and asked how much they cost. $5 American. Yes. The boys were willing to part with their Christmas money to look like Pirate of the Caribbean characters. I had one other question for the guy selling his wares. "Are these voo-doo?" Hey...I watched that Brady Bunch Hawaii special about eight times growing up...you know...the one where Cindy wears that voo-doo necklace and then gets lost in a cave. I don't like caves. The guy selling the necklaces thought I was hilarious. "Voo-doo?" (laughing). "No." "These no voo-doo."
We sat and listened to the patient boat men ask us time and time again to let them take us over to the next beach so we could snorkel. "We have to stay here and watch our kids." What a responsible parent Aaron is. To this, boat man replies..."They can all come. Put your kids and your wife in the boat. We can all go." Uh...no thanks. I barely survived the car ride here with four kids. That boat? My four looney, loud children? Since they can all swim, the temptation to throw them overboard would be too great for me. I know my limits...so we stayed put. The sweet, old boat man just laughed and calmly waited for us to change our minds.
We tried something new this time. You can buy a coconut for $1. A coconut expert peels the coconut. Then he whacks off the top with his giant and probably not so clean machete. We all tried the milk. Two out of the six of us liked it.
After the milk is gone, your $1 includes the same coconut pro chopping open your coconut and digging out the inside. Our kids actually ate it. This is just a theory, but I'm wondering if I used a machete during dinner prep every night if our kids would eat just about anything I made them. That machete...it's a magical weapon for a boy. They watched this guy work with complete awe and fascination. I'm pretty sure they want to be coconut sellers when they grow up. Dang machetes.
There was lots of playing and laughing with friends.
There was also lots of being adorable. Isn't he the cutest?
It's a good thing he's so cute. See all that red nail polish all over his foot?
Long story that resulted in one foot plus one toilet lid painted red, Aaron being interrupted in the middle of a prayer service, and me using finger nail polish remover to mop the bathroom floor. Like I said...it's a really, really good thing Hudson is so cute.
Really, really good thing.
We were also totally suckered into buying a beast of a live crab and letting a guy cook it for us right on the beach. This is the before picture.
This is the after.
Sometimes being suckered into something is a great thing.
Like when it comes to crab...on the beach. This was delish.
Aaron caught a puffer fish (they are poisonous) and saw an octopus and an eel. Then he went back in the water. I choose to pretend there's nothing alive in the water where I'm swimming. Denial. Aaron likes to face the hard cold truth. How weird of him.
We came back refreshed and red. When we parked the car, Dominique and Soso were there to greet us and help haul in our sleepy boys. Dominique took one look at me and said, "You find little bit sun there? You change you color." Then Aaron (who is a total overachiever in the skin cancer department) came into the light of the kitchen. Aaron was bright red. Dominique said..."Wow. You REALLY change YOU color." I never thought of it before, but we white people have a strange power to change the color of our skin.