Wednesday, July 20, 2011

:: Triple Birthday Beach Party::

{Amanda, ready to pop.}
Three birthdays in one: Aidan, Elijah & Annorah. We booked a campsite and asked everyone to join us at the beach. We swam and ate and lounged all afternoon as more and more people arrived. Eventually, we migrated up to the campsite for dinner and gifts, but were granted only an hour or so before things took an abrupt turn.

{Dad's gift to Aidan: Ready-made Sangria}

{All Elijah wanted for his birthday was Lego. And that's what he got}

The party was literally dampened by the freakish storm that, seemingly, came out of nowhere. In a matter of minutes a wind kicked up and we all scattered. The sky crackled with electricity, and the rain drove down hard. Most of us stuffed ourselves under the dining tent. We had to hold it down so it wouldn't fly away. Others hid under trees. (Isn't that the last place you'd want to be?) A few sat in in their trucks. And the men just kept on grilling.

Needless to say, our "campfire" fizzled, and everyone trickled away home. You can't win 'em all. Annorah didn't notice either way. She princessed her way to bed. (So did her brother.)

That night, the storm raged. At first, the kids slept through it. But when the thunder cracked directly over our heads, even I lost my nerve, and scrambled into the midst of my shaking kids. I piled as many of them on top of me as I could. Their quick little heartbeats gave me something to focus on. Meanwhile, Aidan parked himself outside, shepherding our terrified dogs. Above the wind and rain and thunder we all heard his low voice singing to calm the dogs-- or maybe us; Our God is an awesome God. He reigns from Heaven above. . .

Over the next two days we saw lots of fallen trees, some barely missing tents and vehicles. A ranger told us a woman was struck on the head by a falling branch and taken to hospital. But the fear of the first night faded away in the sun. We had plenty to distract us.

I have to recommend Fitzroy, again, to any of you with little kids. The river wraps around the beach, and winds past some of our favourite campsites. It gets shallow there, flowing over a rock bed. Even Norah can wade across it with care. The boys spend most of their time catching crayfish, by peering into the rocky nooks and crannies.

We have got camp food down to a fine art. Lots of fruits and veggies. (I have collected several of those disposable plastic containers with the wedge-shaped compartments. Those are great for hauling fruits and veggies to the beach.) Homemade sweets are more tasty than store bought, but S'more makings are always a must. And bring lots of things to grill. One of my favourite meals: Grilled haddock on toasted baguette, with sauteed tomatoes:

{These cookies were actually the "birthday cake" from the party-- only I never got the chance to dress them up the way they were supposed to be.}