The wonderful world of Justice and Mommy aka Mary!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend With The Outlanders

We usually go out of town for Memorial day and spend the holiday in the theme parks of Orlando; but, this year we were stuck in town due to Justices father. With only a few weeks warning he decided to take off for Delaware for an unspecified amount of time and stick me with the full cost of Justices child care. That puts a HUGE financial strain on me and sadly I had to take back certain things I had promised to Justice due to his fathers selfishness and lack of stability. Going to Orlando for Memorial day was one of those things.

Luckily, we had the Outlanders to rely on. They held an almost free ($4 entrance to the park) picnic and beach day with free kayaking and snorkeling. The weather did not look promising; but, we went anyway and hoped for the best. The best is what we got. Great weather, good company and lots of natural entertainment.

McArthur Beach State Park

Justice and I arrived earlier than anyone else because we wanted to go on the guided nature walk at 10:00 am. Our group consisted of us, another couple and a seasoned guide. It was small, which is nice because you get more one on one time and the opportunity to ask more questions. We hung in there for about 40 minutes before Justice got a bit too antsy and I was a bit too overheated. The sun was sweltering and I had worn a pair of Capri sweat pants which I was rapidly coming to regret, so we politely broke away from the tour and made our way back to the picnic area.

On the shuttle

By this time a few Outlanders had arrived and we were ready for a cold drink of water. As we sat down we said our hello’s and Scott, the leader of the group drove off to see if a better spot was available. Within a few minutes, he came back and announced there was another area available closer to the kayak launch, so we gathered up our things and made our way over to the new spot.

Once we got there Justice began digging in the dirt for worms and the rest of us helped Scott unload the supplies from the truck. As the outdoor kitchen was set up, Justice kept showing us all the slimy creatures he was finding. Sandy suggested he take a cup and put them in there with some dirt and leaves and he thought that was a great idea.

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More people began to arrive and Justice seemed to enjoy regaling each newcomer with his worm story.
“I ate a worm in daycare before and it didn’t even taste like ANYTHING!”, he told everybody. It seemed to amuse everyone he told to his pure delight. Honestly, I can’t quite relate to this. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl, or maybe it’s because I have no desire to be like Andrew Zimmerman; but, whatever the reason, lets just say it’s not my cup of tea to eat the creepy crawly creatures of this earth.

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Eventually we had cooked all of our food and filled our belly’s and were ready to get onto the kayaking and beach. In true Outlanders fashion, everybody helped clean up and put away the kitchen, then we split up to head off to our activities. Scott and another guy choose to kayak, while the rest of the group choose to swim at the beach; however, a few of us decided to take a quick detour and check out the snakes at the nature center. The air conditioning was a welcome respite from the heat and the marine life and snakes were just an added benefit.

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The center was small, so it didn’t take us long to see everything and we made our way to the beach in the beating sun. We had to walk down the long wooden pier with no shade, then up and down a few flights of stairs before reaching our oasis in the lush desert. It didn’t take us very long to set up our umbrella, kick our shoes off and jump into the cool water. There were hardly any waves and no drop offs or rip currents, which made swimming very enjoyable.

For a while Justice played on a boogie board and the rest of us floated about talking from time to time. It was as nice and relaxing as anything I could have imagined. Soon, Lynette and another Outlander arrived and we got a good game of Nerf football going in the ocean. We had a good time tossing the purple and orange foam ball about while splashing in the salty waves of the Atlantic Ocean. For a slice of time it didn’t matter what any of us were dealing with in our personal lives. Our worries and trials were far off in the horizon and we were living in the moment. This is what I like the most about the Outlanders.

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When we had tired of our game, we migrated onto the beach where Justice had set up his buckets and pails. It didn’t take long for the rest of us to wind the clock back a few years to a time where we enjoyed building cities of sand and shells and we all joined in. Lynette made a curious volcano while I worked on decorating castle shaped buildings and a city pool. At one point we had a real city going; however, King Kong, aka Justice had other plans. STOMP, STOMP, STOMP went his feet as he crashed down on the cities buildings. We all laughed lightheartedly as our city met it’s demise as it would have in the impending tide.

By this time we had been at the park for most of the day and the storms predicted for that day seemed to be converging on the beach. The walk back to our cars was quite lengthy, so we all decided to pack up and head off to the safety of our vehicles. As luck would have it we saw a starfish on the way back. It was the crowning jewel of a perfect day, but as they say “All good things must come to an end.”

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posted by Mary Gerber at 6/08/2008

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June 8, 2008 at 10:18 PM  

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