We took the dogs for a long walk on the beach yesterday morning. They both decided it wasn't so scary after all, and finally trusted that we wouldn't throw them into the waves. They snuffled along enjoying all the stinky, fishy, salty, rotty smells while we enjoyed some time on a nearly deserted beach. Later, back at the hotel, we assembled the gang - twelve of us at that point - and discussed our entertainment options. Too foggy and cold to go kayaking, too much walking for some of the elders to explore town, too repetitious to go back to the aquarium... Lunch seemed like the best option. I put in my very subtle suggestion - I want to go to the Fish House! And so it was decided.
The place doesn't look like much from the outside. Just a little old stucco house. Taking one look at it, my Dad instantly said, There must be other places we can go... But I stood my ground, walked in the door, and asked if they could seat twelve of us. No hesitation, no rolled eyes. Yes was the answer, and before long we were seated at two tables, near enough to steal bites from other diners plates, but with plenty of elbow room, and white table cloths to boot. The place is casual-friendly-fancy, with amazingly great waiters, a terrific menu, even more terrific specials, and the kind of service that only comes with people who love doing what they do. Seated right next to us, and nearly finished with their lunch, were Aunt Camy & Don, and my cousin Chris and his wife Joanna. They were raving about the crab cakes and curried snapper, and told us it was their second time there in two days.
The day became sort of a lazy unstructured thing from there, some of us taking naps, some playing on the beach. It's the kind of day I like best.
Danny and Rick flew a kite... sort of...
Heidi sampled local delicacies.
We romped and splashed and dug for sand crabs.
Steve and Linda found a quiet moment, even in the middle of all the family silliness.
I think everyone was happy, which is a great accomplishment if you ask me.
Finally, as the fog started to get serious, and the sun gave up for the day, Nick ran into the waves for a quick swim.
Family gatherings can be hectic, stressful, emotional, and sometimes not a lot of fun. But sometimes it's possible to sidestep all of that, like an artful crab, and just enjoy the dance. Can we do it again today? It's the Big Party today. I plan to do my best to "keep clam", as they say at Ivar's in Seattle. Everybody remain clam.