Summertime is in full swing, and we’re celebrating big time this year.
Why, you ask? Well, dear reader, I will tell you.
Brian’s Dad, Walt, and little sister, Rosie, are flying to South Carolina for a week long visit.
|Walt and Rosie at the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC.|
This will be the first time we’ve seen them since the summer of 2009. We often take turns with our visits—they’ll fly to SC one year, we’ll fly to Las Vegas the next. (No, not to visit the casinos or to count Elvises. They actually LIVE there. Sort of.) But with Brian in the throes of nursing school, it’s easier for us to fly them here. And so, our week long vacation begins next Tuesday.
For now, we are knee-deep in the planning phase. What will we do while they’re here? We aim to take them to as many different places as we can each time they come. In 2009, we did the zoo and the water park.
This time, we’re planning a Fort Sumter boat tour:
A trip to the Angel Oak:
And, the day I’m most looking forward to: an ALL-DAY beachathon.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of many 11-year-old kids who wouldn’t be downright thrilled at the prospect of sand, surf, and sun for an entire day. Most kids I know would already be quivering with delight like a kitten hopped up on catnip.
She’s even talking about NOT packing a bathing suit.
Now I know for a fact that this girl can swim like a fish. In the summertime, Walt often talks about how he has to check her neck for gills. So that’s not it.
She had a blast the last time we visited the coast, although we were only there for a few minutes. But she loved darting in and out of the waves, picking up shells, and looking at the ocean. So that’s not what’s causing her anxiety, either.
She doesn’t mind sand. She’s not afraid of seagulls. She’s a card-carrying supporter of picnics and family fun.
So who do we blame for Rosie’s slightly problematic, undeniably dubious attitude toward beach day?
Now, listen. I’m all for educating people about the perils of swimming in the ocean. I was a lifeguard for 4 years. I’ve been swimming, and surfing, in the ocean since I was in middle school. I understand all about riptides and currents and tides. I also know to warn people about jelly fish. And what to do if you get stung. I’m first in line to lecture you about sunscreen, finding shade in the hottest part of the day, the importance of wearing a hat, and reminding you to stay hydrated. I am a Beach Veteran, and I wear the badge of honor proudly.
I can honestly say that, in my 15+ years of enjoying the ocean, I have never, I repeat NEVER, seen a shark.
I’m not saying they don’t exist. I’m not saying shark attacks don’t happen.
I’m saying that I don’t ever swim out deep enough for it to be an issue.
Jaws doesn’t frequent the shallows, my dears. No matter what Steven Spielberg would have you believe.
So I’m hoping, with all my might, that when Rosie sees me go into and come out of the ocean without becoming Sharky Snacks, that she’ll join me in the fun.
|Keep Jaws happy, and your own backside intact, with Sharky Snax!|
Keep your fingers crossed, readers. And Walter–start convincing her now to bring that bathing suit.
And NO MORE DISCOVERY CHANNEL!
At least until this trip is over.
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I am not, nor do I profess to be a shark expert. I’m not a scientist, I don’t have a degree in marine biology, and I cannot map out shark territories for the curious. I can only say that, in my experience, sharks are less of a concern than, say, heat stroke or riptides. I’m sure that someone will read this blog and send me 10 links of shark attacks off the SC Coast, and I probably won’t read them. I know shark attacks happen. It’s just not often enough to keep me out of the water. I promise you, reader, and you too, Rosie, that we will employ all the anti-shark-attack methods that I know: swimming at a busy location, avoiding deep water and riptides, and always swimming with a buddy. And I’ll bring along the Shark Snax, just in case.