Everyone knows we just celebrated Father’s Day. It’s a great time to show your dad that you love and appreciate them. Father’s Day for me was extra special this year. That’s because it happened to fall on my birthday. I guess you could argue it is a blessing and a curse. It would be nice if Father’s Day were a couple months away from my birthday to spread out the love, but having them share the day made me feel like I was king for a day.
We didn’t do anything too fancy or wild, but it was just how I wanted it. I played with Noah and Charlotte while my wife prepared a lovely a breakfast of French toast and bacon. Then we all talked about what we should do. We pretty much had a free day ahead of us until we were going to Ashley’s parents’ house for dinner to celebrate Father’s Day and my birthday (we celebrated both at my parents’ house the previous evening).
I wanted to do some sort of family-friendly activity in the morning, and preferably have it be something from the Summer Bucket List I had recently made. The only issue was the iffy weather forecast. It was supposed to be hot and humid, around 85 degrees out and thunderstorms were expected, though likely not until around lunchtime.
Both kids wanted to go to the beach and Ashley was up for whatever I wanted to do. We liked the kids’ idea. We figured that if we went to the beach early we would have it mostly to ourselves and would hopefully beat the rain.
We quickly packed up some sand toys and a few supplies and got in the car. We decided to head to Bennett Beach, which is a public beach we had never been to before. The beach was less than 15 miles from our house in the town of Angola.
We pulled into an empty parking lot, but before we even parked a van drove in behind us. We liked the idea of having the whole beach to ourselves, but couldn’t complain if we had to share it with one other family.
Once we got out of the car we gathered our things (and kids) and followed a path that led us between some trees. We quickly arrived at a long wooden bridge that arched its way across a wide creek that drained into Lake Erie. We all enjoyed our walk over the cool bridge and looked down on the water and far out to the lake. There was soft warm sand on the opposite side of the bridge. A huge hill of sand stood directly in front of us, but the sandy path hooked to the right between more trees. Within a couple more minutes we reached the beach.
The beach was very big. There were several tall lifeguard chairs lining the shore. We found a nice patch of sand, clear of rocks, a little ways back from the water and laid a blanket down and started to get settled. Then Noah and Ashley walked down to the water and when they came back Noah told me we had to move all of our stuff closer to the water. They found another spot clear of rocks within ten feet of the water.
We were on board with Noah’s plan and quickly packed up our gear and moved closer to the shore. I have to commend Noah on his idea, because it was great being so close to the water. We all had a great time there. The other family decided to set up about twenty feet away right by the water. The entire beach was wide open, why they had to set up right near us is beyond me. It was alright though.
Noah especially enjoyed himself on the beach. He and I walked along the shore and threw stones into the lake, then dug trenches in the sand and filled them with water. He loved every minute of it. Charlotte had fun, too. She wasn’t quite as active as Noah, but she seemed pretty tired. She ate some goldfish crackers on our blanket, looked for seashells, and did a little bit of digging. Both children chased a couple of seagulls.
Ashley and I had a great time, too. That’s pretty easy to do when our kids are having so much fun. We got to relax in the sun and play like little kids. There was a strong wind beside the lake, so it didn’t feel too hot.
We only stayed about an hour; Charlotte said she wanted to go home and take a nap (maybe the sun tired her out). A few more people were starting to slowly filter onto the beach at that point, so we were ready to leave our seemingly private beach.
We had lunch once we got home and relaxed for the rest of the day. Charlotte surprisingly didn’t fall asleep until four hours later when we were back in the car. We enjoyed a feast at my in-laws later, followed by ice cream cake. I think I’m still full from that meal. All in all, it was a great day to be king.
Ashley asked Noah and Charlotte some questions about me and wrote down the answers as one of my gifts for the day. Here’s what they had to say about me:
Ashley: Can Daddy do anything really well?
Noah: No. Wait, I think he’s good at sleeping.
Charlotte: Rocking in a chair.
Ashley: What is Daddy’s favorite color? Food? And how old is Daddy?
Noah: Blue, 1, and grapes.
Charlotte: Pink, 9, and jelly.
Ashley: What does Daddy like to do?
Noah: Play with cars.
Charlotte: Play outside.
Ashley: What does Daddy cook?
Noah: Grapes. No, chicken.