Part 2 of our two day vacation starts with an uneventful car trip to Vancouver, WA. It was a two-hour drive and we didn’t stop and we didn’t even get lost. We listened to Caspar Babypants most of the way down, and Sonja was quiet and sleepy, though not sleeping. When we arrived at my friend’s house, Sonja asked, “Is it the beach?”
My friend had prepared a lovely lunch for us, of which Sonja ate nothing. That was expected. We visited for a few hours, during which Sonja got the chance to play with my friend’s daughter, though the 10-month old didn’t hold her attention for very long. When Sonja got whiny, we said our goodbyes and put her in the car. She was asleep by Portland and didn’t wake until just before Seaside, so it was, once again, perfect timing.
We arrived at our hotel about 3:30, which was about the same time we arrived the year before. So my whole reasoning for why we should stay two days was shot, but I was glad that we had the extra time. After reading last year’s blog, I was stunned how much we actually accomplished in our short stay.
The rest of day one involved a little grocery shopping, a little cooking, a ride on the carousel and some souvenir shopping. The variety in Seaside isn’t anything to write home about, but they have a dynamite toy store in the antiques mall. This year Sonja walked away with a sticker book, some Dora the Explorer dress-up magnets, animal stamps and a generic My Little Pony. The last one was her own choice.
We didn’t have to turn in quite so early this year, but we were trying to get Sonja to bed at the witching hour of 9 p.m. It took a while, but unlike last year, I knew we would eventually be successful. I did not sleep well at all, waking twice in the night and having trouble falling back asleep. If nothing else, vacation reminds me how happy I am to no longer be a chronic insomniac.
Day two began with the requisite visit to the Pig ‘n’ Pancake, and then a visit to the Seaside Aquarium to feed the seals and touch the fishies. I knew Sonja was going to love the aquarium this year. She looked at every single fish tank at least three times, and she was particularly enamored of an octopus lounging at the bottom of an open tank. She also liked watching the hermit crabs in the sensory tanks, and even touched some of the starfish. She did not want to leave, but eventually we bribed her with seashells from the gift shop. She picked out two little ones for her “collection.”
We had intended to return to the hotel after the aquarium to pick up the beach toys, but Sonja was quite insistent on going to the beach, since she could see the beach. She started out having a great time on the swings…
…then this happened:
I don’t think it was the temperature of the water that bothered her so much as the realization she was soaked up to her knees in sandy grit. She insists on stripping and putting her clothes in the washing machine if she so much as dribbles on her shirt. So we raced back to the hotel for a change of clothes, lunch and a nap, then headed back to the beach. Incidentally, I had such lofty aspirations of what I would do with vacation nap time when I didn’t have a house to clean or other matters to attend to. I thought perhaps a visit to the hotel’s exercise room would be in order. Instead I visited Starbucks, watched Hulu and napped. This was clearly the better option.
After round 2 of the beach, we walked back through town where Sonja saw the arcade. She got really whiny when we had to steer her out of the room she’d entered into the more age-appropriate room. She’d been keeping us on our toes the entire journey, teetering between happy beach kid and annoying toddler. But we triumphed in the arcade, helping her play a few games like skeeball, then letting her turn in her tickets and pick a prize. She chose four rolls of Smarties candies, put them in her jacket pockets and walked out of the arcade as happy as a lark.
After dinner, we let her go back on the carousel and stopped by a bookstore where she got to pet a very fat, very calm kitty. We also treated her to ice cream at an old-fashioned tourist trap – I mean malt shoppe. She did not take any actual bites of the ice cream, she just wanted to place the spoon on top of it, then lick the chocolate residue. This went on for maybe twenty minutes, after which Shaun bought a souvenir cane sugar Dr. Pepper and we went back to the hotel.
And after that successful and active day, it was time to turn in and sleep the sound sleep of people who don’t know that their universe is about to flip upside down.