I heard about it from a friend who mentioned it casually in passing. A few days away at the beach with friends for the long weekend. So I did what anyone would do. I invited myself. Jade, my daughter, who is polite and etiquette driven informs me that I have taught her it's rude to invite yourself to things like this. Then I explain in all my motherly wisdom, yeah, but it's a weekend at our favorite beach with some of our favorite people. And, I really, really wanted to go. So, this Jade, is the exception to that rule.
We arrived just in time to check into our apartment and meet our friends at the beach. Our friends had arranged boats to take us out to a little island in the bay. The kids scooped the sand and swam oblivious to the cold temperature of the October water. Except the adults weren't, we stayed on the shore and stayed warm.
And we took pictures of the kids freezing and frolicking. Here is a sign you don't usually get from one of my kids while we're travelling. Except that, thumbs up girl is not one of my kids. But they had such an awesome time together. ( Except that thumbs up girl left the trip with pneumonia.)
While the adults talked, our boatmen prepared dinner for us. Moroccan salad, bread and fresh seafood they cooked right on the beach. Except for the oysters. We started with them and they were raw. Now there are very few foods I dislike, but oysters are one of them. One of our friends brought horseradish. I'd never tried them that way before and I love horseradish. Maybe it was being at the beach with kids who strangely weren't whining, maybe it was the way that the boatman "washed" the utensils off in the salt water, maybe it was hanging with people you actually really like. Whatever it was, I was trying oysters with horseradish. And much to my surprise, horseradish really does make oysters swallowable. But I'm not having another one. Ever. That was the exception.
Oysters were followed by fish, shrimp and lobster. I'm starting to regret that my kids are eating lobster on the beach having such a great time with their friends. I mean it's all great, except, this is going to set them up for a lifetime of disappointment. It doesn't get better than this. There is indeed no where to go but down from here. They may as well learn it now. And they also need to learn that when competition is fierce (like it is for lobsters) that you could lose a thumb. Yeah, a thumb! Just look at our friend Brent here...
The night ended with us climbing back on the boats after sunset and heading back to the apartments for a pajama party at our apartment. Except, I was the only adult who wore pj's to the party. It was fun and at least I was comfortable except for my uncomfortableness of being a little underdressed.
The next morning I couldn't find my camera and we searched all over. It must have been lost on the boat ride home in the dark. Except, after a couple of hours of searching I found it under some towels. See I had to take a picture of all the sand left in the tub after we showered it off last night. Duh. Trust me, it was far more impressive in person, with the grit of the Great Barrier Reef under your feet.
The next day we surfed. See, that's the beauty of Oualidija. All there is to do is relax, eat seafood and surf. And if you don't know how to surf, it's the perfect place to learn. But if you have surfed before, but bite it a whole bunch of times on a long board so big it could almost be classified as a yacht and little kids who just learned are ripping it up? Well, that would be exceptionally embarrassing now wouldn't it?
That night we had happy hour at Brent and Jenner's apartment which has a great view of the sunset. Except, it was totally hazy and so the sunset was pretty anticlimactic. But it was still a totally gorgeous view. (By the way, I did get your telepathic message and I do know I sound whiny and you hate me right now. Thanks for sharing.)
Brent and Jenner bought more oysters and made steamed oysters and pan fried oysters. I didn't want to try them. Except, they smelled so good. And they were exceptionally delicious! Except that I thought I vowed never to eat them again. Doooooh!
Then we had dinner at our place. A pasta potluck party that ended in dark chili chocolate. Everyone partook. Well, except, my friend Jenny who hates chocolate and spicy food. Which has me wondering, how are we even friends? And exceptionally good friends?
The next morning the small group of us that remain are going surfing. Except that it's cold with an extremely dense fog. It'll burn off they said. Except, it didn't. And I'm a fair weather kinda surfer. But Jamie, Jenner, Brent, Craig and 3 of our kids surfed. Not that we could see them surf, that's how bad the fog was. And Matt and I were patrolling the gaggle of remaining children. It was a disaster waiting to happen. Hypothermia, drowning, the fog monster. Except it didn't. Thank god.
Before we knew it, the weekend was over and we were all relaxed. Except, when we drove the first leg home through that same dense fog and our van was sandwiched between two large propane trucks. Which meant that if we got in a wreck we would be the combustible double stuff in middle of the oreo cookie. So we drove exceptionally careful and slow.
At least we all made it home and we're all healthy. All in all, it was an exceptional weekend. Except for that pneumonia I told you about. Oh, that and one of our kids came home with pinworms. You know, 'cept for that...