Jackson had a half day at school today. His normal school hours are 9:15-1:15, but half days are from 8:40-11:10. Knowing that we would have the full afternoon ahead of ourselves, I brainstormed fun ways to kick off our spring break. I decided on a picnic at Jetton Park.
Before today, we had not been to Lake Norman since August. It's only 30 minutes north of where we live, but it's in a direction I rarely travel, making it seem much farther than it really is. It took 40 minutes to get there from Jackson's school. Jackson slept the entire way. He's been having restless sleep and waking up by 6 a.m. because of his awful seasonal allergies.
The drive was easy and the trio talked and giggled in the back. Thankfully Jackson did not wake up in a grumpy mood, likely due to the beautiful scenery and excitement of a beach.
Jackson, James, and Amelia immediately took off their shoes and ran in the sand.
I could not get over how grown up Amelia looked. I don't know if it was the outfit or what, but she's such a big girl.
I was so proud of Maddie. Despite several strong breezes, she kept her composure. She was initially hesitant to get out of the wagon, but she had a great time once she started playing in the sand. She thought it was hilarious to bury her feet.
I had my handy bag of duck feed along with a dozen small cups. The cups and miscellaneous toys rolling around in the van were the only things we brought to play in the sand.
Amelia wasn't the only one looking grown up today. I swear I glanced over and didn't recognize Jackson. His baby cheeks are long gone. He suddenly has these long legs and thinned face. I don't know what has happened to my babies!
Considering how much the kids love their sandbox, it should not have come as a surprise that they would be perfectly content playing in the sand the entire time. We hardly spent any time exploring the shoreline.
Jackson's eyes were continuing to bother him, but at least there weren't any flowers nearby to further agitate him. He was the first to venture out into the water. Swimming is prohibited at this park, but we stuck our feet in the water and collected shells.
Lunch was more of a snack assortment: applesauce, yogurt, and crackers with peanut butter or sliced cheese. In the photo below, Jackson made a stick family. He made sure to find three sticks the same size to represent the trio, as well as a slightly larger stick for himself.
Our biggest excitement was when we spotted duck tracks. The boys followed the ducks while I ran to grab the feed.
James was absolutely gleeful feeding the ducks, which soon included geese.
There were several other families on the beach and a handful of women sunbathing. A few of the children played with our kids. When one of the girls saw Jackson attracting the geese, she asked if she could feed them. I gave her a cup with food and she scattered it on the shore. A few minutes later, her mother pulled her to the side (2 feet away) to lecture her on how the" geese are God's creatures and we should never go running at them throwing things". I informed the mother that it was duck feed but she seemed ever more bothered by that fact. It was an unnecessary, awkward encounter.
Amelia was clearly tiring, as evidenced by her sitting alone in the wagon cuddling Clifford. I gathered our things and put James and Maddie in the wagon. Jackson was still in good spirits, despite his constantly watering eyes. We took the long way back to the van. I think I would actually take up running if I lived closer to this park. The scenery is stunning!