Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer at last!

Hey everybody! Sorry I haven't posted for so long - I've been really busy at school, what with studying for finals and cleaning out lockers and saying goodbye to friends. We finally got out of school last Monday, and ever since, I've been looking forward to the long, exciting summer that's ahead!

After a few days of utterly vegging out, Mom told us that we absolutely had to get away from the computer screens and out into the gorgeous summer that was waiting for us outside. So, grumbling about the injustice of it all, we packed a backpack with a snack and a Frisbee, grabbed a picnic blanket, and hopped on our bikes, bound for the cove.

We left our bikes in the bushes at the entrance to the trail and began to climb the little rise that led to the water. As soon as we reached the top, the ocean appeared spread out beneath us, the sunlight glistening and dancing across its surface. Lobster boats chugged back and forth beyond the island, and the piercing cries of gulls mingled with the sound of the salt water splashing up against the rocks. We were immediately struck with a deliciously cool ocean breeze that swept back our hair and dried the sweat from our faces. I breathed it in deeply, no longer resentful that Mom had made us leave our computer screens behind.

We clambered down the rise, eager to reach the water.

We turned left as soon as we had reached flat ground, and soon found a sandy area where we could divest ourselves of our blanket and backpack.

Once we had done so, we set off to explore.

"Zoe! Look!" I cried, as a small yellow butterfly alighted on the rock near to my fingers.

I reached out carefully, hoping to coax the butterfly to land in my palm. But, frightened by my boldness, he was away in a flash before my fingertips could even brush one of his wings. Disappointed, I sighed and continued along after my sister.

We clambered through the long sea-grasses and across the jagged boulders covered in seagull poop and clam shells, until we reached the edge of the peninsula. Here, the water was shallow enough that we could easily splash our feet in it without getting too wet. I climbed down the rocks to investigate.

Though the water itself looked cool and inviting, the mud at the bottom did not. It looked slick and slimy, and emitted a salty, tangy stench of decay. Besides, the only way to reach it was to cross an equally smelly, slippery heap of seaweed. I settled myself back on the rocks, and watched as Zoe - as ever, not concerned about getting covered in mud - climbed over the seaweed and splashed into the water.

I closed my eyes for a while, reveling in the feeling of the summer sun on my cheeks. I was half-asleep when I heard Zoe say: "Hey, Charlotte?"
"Open your eyes." Puzzled, I cracked one eyelid open, then let out a shriek and scrambled to stand upright. Zoe was standing above me with a mischievous grin on her face, holding several strands of seaweed in her hand.
She started to laugh hysterically at the look on my face. Furious, I reached out to push her off the rocks and back into the water, but she was too quick. She hopped out of the way and threw the seaweed in my direction. Trailing several of the long, yellow-brown tendrils, I chased her all the way back to where we had left our bag.
Out of breath and laughing uncontrollably, we collapsed on the blanket. Once our breathing had returned to normal, I reached behind me for the backpack and started to distribute the food I had brought.

Each of us had three slices of pizza wrapped in tinfoil, an apple, and a bunch of grapes. Zoe had a cherry soda, and for myself, I had just brought a water bottle.

For dessert, I pulled out a bag of saltwater taffy from the front pocket of the backpack.

I packed away the plastic bag, taffy wrappers, tinfoil, grape stems, and bottles into the backpack as Zoe leaned back against the rocks and closed her eyes. I gazed around at the sandy patch we were sitting in and decided that I might try to build a sand castle. I picked myself up off the blanket and plopped down in the sand.

I scraped together some of the nearby sand until I had created a little mound.

The sand didn't stick together very well, and I soon discovered that it was impossible to build any sort of complicated sand castle. So I decided to spice up the little mound by adding some scraggly pink flowers and clam shells to the top.

I laughed as I realized how tiny and pathetic it looked. Zoe opened her eyes and turned to look at my creation.
"What is that - some type of cake?" she asked.
"Well, it was supposed to be a sand castle, but the sand won't stick together," I said good-naturedly. "Want to give me a hand?"
"Sure," she replied, and we both stood up and brushed the sand off our shorts. It's a time-honored Tate tradition to destroy our sand castles after we've finished building them. I always used to hate leaving the beach after having built a sand castle, knowing that the ocean would destroy it after the tide came in. So ever since, Zoe and I have preferred to destroy our castles ourselves, on our own terms.
We extracted the clam shells from the mound and tossed them in the water, then began crazily kicking and stomping at the sand. Soon, my "castle" was reduced to a pile of loose sand, and Zoe and I were covered in the dust that had been sent airborne by our feet. We turned to look at each other, and upon realizing how ridiculous the other looked, we dissolved into hysterical giggles.

After thoroughly brushing ourselves off and shaking the sand from our hair - we knew Mom would go ballistic if we came into the house carrying half the beach - I finished packing up our bag, and Zoe folded up the picnic blanket.

I left these in the bushes at the base of the rise as Zoe pulled out our Frisbee from the backpack. We spread out along a grassy area, and began to toss it back and forth.

Our arms grew tired as the shadows grew longer, and at last we decided that it was time for us to head home. We retrieved our bag and blanket from the bushes and climbed back up the little rise.

Once at the top, we raced to the bushes where we had left our bikes and headed back down our dirt road towards home.

I am really looking forward to the long, hopefully exciting, summer ahead! Though I do have some summer homework this year, there's certainly a lot less of it than we have during the school year, which means that I'll be posting a lot more in the months to come! Are you excited for summer? What are you looking forward to the most this year?

That's all for now! Thanks for reading!


  1. Hi Charlotte! Hi Zoe!

    It looks like you guys are having a fun summer so far! The cove is so pretty; you guys are lucky to live within biking distance of the ocean! I'm so glad it's summer! I haven't done much yet, but I did have a time travel mix-up a few days ago. I have a lot planned for this summer, and I'm eager to blog it! What I'm looking forward to most would probably be just hanging out and getting to do stuff not in school. Although, we are going to be road tripping to Michigan in August. I'm very excited about that! However, I'm not too ready for it to be August quite yet--summer just began!

    ~Dani ^_^

    1. Hi Dani!

      By the looks of your latest blog post, it looks like you're having a pretty fun - though rather confusing - summer so far as well! I'm really looking forward to reading your upcoming posts this summer!

      A road trip to Michigan - maybe you'll bump into Jess! And I know what you mean, August seems like its years away right now, but I know it'll have snuck up on us before we know it!

      Have an awesome summer! Hope we get to see you and Saoirse and Jess sometime soon!

      - Charlotte & Zoe :)