Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Supporting the Gulf Coast
(LB chilling with my niece, Ally, on vacation)
Last week, my family and I thumbed our noses at the oil spill, BP and a federal response that has been all PR and photo ops, with very little substance behind it. (And that's all I will say about that, because, believe me, I could stand on that soapbox until the NEXT fourth of July!)
We went to the Gulf Coast.
I have been going to some part of the Gulf Coast since I was a baby. If you've read my blog for any amount of time, you know how special it is to me. And I refused to let this disaster stop us from going again.
We did our part to help the economy. We ate out some, we shopped at the local grocery store and we took the girls and their cousins to see Toy Story 3.
If you haven't been lately, you're probably wondering, "How bad was it?"
Honestly? Not that bad.
I mean, contrary to what you might think, oil isn't gushing up on shore.
Yes, we saw tar balls...
And no, my kids couldn't play in the ocean...
However, they could still bury their daddy in the sand (something they had been planning for months!).
It's not like the entire beach is covered in oil. One morning AC and I went for a walk on the beach, and found the same beautiful white sand in some places that we've come to love. It's the strangest thing. One day, tar balls may appear in front of your condo. The next morning, they may be in front of the condo next to you.
The important thing is that - in some very small way - I felt that we were helping the people whose livelihoods depend on the ocean and tourism. My heart breaks for them. No doubt, people are definitely staying home. During the fourth of July weekend, most of the chairs on the beach are taken. Instead, we found this...
Sunday we went to my sister's place on Pensacola Beach. Her condo backs up to the sound and oil hasn't seeped in there. My kids loved it. It had the calmness of a lake, but with a sandy beach (and without the gross stuff you sometimes find in the lake :)
I tried to Kayak for the first time. Good Lord, that is way too much work for vacation!
My sister took LB out - and LB loved it. Of course, I would too if someone else was paddling for me!
My nephew Will showed off his crab trap...
AC swam with her daddy...
and LB and I snuggled!
Soon after this picture was taken, she fell asleep in my arms. I held her close and felt her beating heart as the water lapped up onto the shore. I gazed up at a beautiful blue sky with puffy clouds that looked like giant cotton balls and heard Ann Catherine giggling nearby as she played in the water with her daddy.
And as I held my sleeping child in my arms, and took in those sights and sounds, I was quite sure that this MUST be as close as it gets to Heaven on earth.