Isaac wanted to go to the beach ALL DAY. So we did. Brick steps beneath live oaks give way to a boardwalk over sweet-smelling shrubby yellow flowers down below the Navy Lodge. Butterflies dance across and along the dunes—that’s how you know it’s fall on the Gulf Coast!
October is the ideal time to visit Pensacola. The weather and water are warm, and it’s less rainy than spring or summer. And it’s not baking hot, either, so the kids don’t get overheated or burn their little toes on the sand. And there are butterflies everywhere.
We dodged jellyfish and caught crabs and laughed as fish nibbled our feet. I scooped out a sand pit to make a bowl-sized pool for Eloise to splash in. The three of us built a sand mountain. Isaac built a wall. Protecting Eloise’s pit. Pelicans, sand pipers, plovers and herons flitted up and down the beach. Sailboats drifted in the morning breeze and boats gathered offshore. Then the Blue Angels started their practice show! It was like being in a tunnel surrounded by thunder while I’m the open, clear air of the beach. Gotta love those afterburners.
Anyway, we were sort of watching and playing at the same time, when BLAMO! I shrieked and dove onto the sand. Eloise, not amused, jumped into my arms, buried her head in my shoulder, and went to sleep. It was that part of the show where they tell you to look one way for the formation, then one of the solo pilots comes shrieking up behind the stands. Everyone yelps and laughs.
Or snoozes, apparently, if you are a two-year-old who gives no hoots for noisy jets.
So she took a beach nap and Isaac and I paddled around on his boogie board. “This is so fun!” I thought. “This is like going to the beach when I was a kid!” That was really encouraging. Usually our beach fun maximizes and shifts into whiny tantrum territory after about 20 minutes. Maybe an hour if it’s warm (but not too warm). Wednesday we were there for over four hours!
This beach day could not have come at a better time. I was starting to think I have one kid who hates transition (Isaac) and one kid who hates the beach (Eloise). But nope! It’s all happy beach babies here! For this week anyway!