Thursday, March 6, 2014

February half-term

In order to make sure the kids get plenty of breaks from school, there is a 2 day "half-term" break each term. I suggested to Rodgers that we go somewhere for half-term. He made reservations at the same hotel where we stayed in August.

Rodgers had to be in Nairobi most of the week before break, so we were all ready for the family time by the time Friday came.

The boys had a wishlist for our little vacation:

  1. go swimming
  2. go to the beach
  3. go shopping
  4. eat pizza
  5. eat ice cream

We went swimming Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and for the first time both boys swam with their floaties, though Ben needed a few minutes of transition time to sit near the pool and work up his courage to get in. I think I have only gotten Ben into baby pools, and the last time we were at this hotel (they don't have a baby pool), he wouldn't get in at all. Rodgers is not a big fan of swimming pools, so having both kids in their floaties made it so much easier on us. Nate figured out how to propel himself by kicking, and I got a workout pushing Ben all over the pool!

We went to the beach twice. The first day, it was very close to high tide, which meant our usual beach would be under water. Rodgers took us to a new-to-us beach. There are lots of sand dunes, and the sand is a much darker color than our usual beaches. I particularly loved the fact that the Dunes Beach Bar & Restaurant entrance was blocked by sand dunes. They had a little bulldozer they were using to try to clear the way, with little success. At least it left a nice trail for us to walk on to get to the beach. Sand dune sand is tough to walk on!

Ben is still afraid of the waves. He had to be holding someone's hand the whole time, except for a brief minute to race with Nate, far from the waves. Nate is afraid, too, but can be convinced that the waves are going to stay over there. All 3 guys had a blast making footprints in the sand.

Rodgers reminds me of the Ministry of Silly Walks here

Ben got a head start. Nate still won the race. There's a big difference between 2 years old and 4.

There was, of course, much collecting of sea shells and treasures. Ben wasn't that interested because he needed to keep an eye on the waves.

Our shopping consisted of new shades for Nate (which he chose himself, tried on, and we bought, then he wouldn't wear them because they hurt his head), stocking up on bottled water and snacks, and 2 new card games (since we left Uno at home). Nate chose Blink, which says age 7 and up, but even Ben can play by himself, since it's just matching color, shape, and number. Ben chose Pictureka, which is weird, but fun. However, it requires reading.

The next day, we went to Silversands beach at low tide. At low tide, the waves are so far away - I can't even estimate how far because there aren't really reference points. There is shallow water between the beach and the waves.

In the full sized image, you can see the breakers near the horizon. On this side of them, the water is still.
As we discovered last time, there is so much to explore in the shallow water. We didn't see any starfish this time but hundreds (thousands?) of little crabs and lots of sea snails.

tiniest crab

With no waves, the boys were not afraid to walk in the water.

After that beach trip, we refreshed ourselves with fresh mango juice before supper at a place called Buckeye Cafe. We had not eaten there before, but they have Nate-approved chicken tenders and a Mickey Mouse/Tom & Jerry mural on the wall, so we'll probably be going back. They also have an espresso machine, which we must sample (you really have to try every place that has non-instant coffee).

I love that Rodgers started scolding Ben just as I snapped this picture - that's real life!
We also ate at I Love Pizza one day, which was super great, as always. There is a more expensive hotel, where we've never stayed, but often eat. We went there for fish one night, and we all played on the playground while we waited for our food.

We completed the wish list by going out for ice cream. Both boys chose green ice cream this time - a first. Nate had mint, Ben pistachio. The ice cream place also has real coffee, but when we went the next morning, the barista was flustered because of an Italian customer and completely messed up our order. I think we will give them one more chance.

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