(I have some great pictures, courtesy of my sister and Dad!)
The beach house was less than a block to the beach--too long for E to walk it without her crutches (not getting those sandy!), too short to drive (sometimes). E used her beach walker some of the time, or got a piggyback or wagon ride. The closest beach access point was not handicap accessible (more on that in a minute) so there were a lot of steps--Elena did most of them when she wore her beach shoes (but they got so full with sand they became a problem and we opted to carry).
Once on the sand, E was more independent than ever. A dream come true. She did use her beach walker, but not much. We did get a few questions from vacationers (one of them a pediatric OT!). In general, Elena walked on the sand (with or without a hand) or crawled (if around tidepools). I'll admit, her gait looked pretty bad, even painful at times. But she was independent and she enjoyed herself, and she sure does need a break, so I let her do it her way a lot of the time.
Girls loved the tidepools!
|The Beach Walker got left behind a lot this year|
|Viv and the lounge-a-gator|
|Making a pool is tiring|
Since Vivian is older now, and E's mobility has improved, I wanted to try a few new things at the beach. One of them was having E ride a wave...which at first, petrified me. She can now right herself in a swim vest, swim independently in a swim vest, and even swim a few feet without one. But I was worried about waves and the current. I thought about it a lot, and decided with the right supervision, water depth, and gentle waves, we could do it.
|E on a skimboard|
|Skimboarding was one of Viv's favorite activities!|
|Skimboarding with Daddy|
Elena loves to "Wave Jump". I'm glad she likes it, but it is REALLY hard on my back.
|Viv jump on the way to another wave|
And now...my favorites--kids and I CATCHING A WAVE!
|Elena and I wait for the right one|
|E cant' wait until the next one|
|E and R playing chess|
Sorry championship (insert pic)
And another personal favorite of mine...Bike riding! ON THE BEACH! I took the trail-a-bike down the handicap access ramp a few blocks from the beach house (it was still really close). We just made it around the corners...the trail-a-bike is pretty long, and we need a large turning radius. Elena was strapped in and I walked the bike in the parking lot, on the ramp, and in the deep dry sand. I was sweating...it was hard to keep the bike up in the slippery sand, but I did it. It was worth it.
And some of my favorite pictures...my kids, both of them--walking--on the beach!
|Sisters sitting in a W (verboten, but they did it anyway)|
|Elena on the beach|
Huge thanks to my parents for making this beach trip possible! I couldn't have handled the girls without help from Aunt Kate and Uncle Andy (and Ms. M), and it was wonderful to see the Ohio crew of MA and Hawk, and Matt and Alli and the kiddos! Thanks always to FAS for making the trip from New Orleans--it is always great to see you! THANK YOU!