6 August 2018
Oh dear, oh dear. I made a bit of an administrative error. Sigh…. I was absolutely convinced that I had booked us into this campsite for three nights, but this morning, as Ian walked around the front of our RV, he noticed that our permit showed that we were leaving today. No, no, I said, it was definitely three nights that I’d booked. I checked back to my email exchange with Dana, who’d been so helpful when I was making our reservation and there, in black and white, quite clearly I had requested just the two nights. Argh!!!! I raced over to the office to find Dana, who was amazingly helpful once again. Bless her, she said a quick prayer before she started looking at availability, and although the site was completely full, she said she had one pitch that they didn’t make available online (as it was stuck in between two cabins and generally, people didn’t like that), and yes, hurrah, it was free! Thank God indeed!!
I had to return to our current pitch, apologise to everyone for holding them up (we were all going to the Aquarium today) and swiftly, Ian moved our RV to Pitch 5. Gutted to be away from Cat, Peter and Tess, but most relieved that we were able to stay on the site.
Delay over, it was finally time to go to the Aquarium in Crescent City, about 8 miles away. It was an unusual aquarium insofar as you enter a massive gift shop, full of all sorts of items (not just aquarium-related) and buy tickets for a tour. We then waited about twenty minutes for our tour to start. You are not able to wander around the aquarium on your own. We were shown around by a nice girl, who rattled off her spiel with ease, but struggled to answer some of our questions. The kids touched an anenome and a starfish, and stroked a small shark, and we were able to watch the fish, mantaray, sharks and seals all swimming around in their tanks from underneath. But it all felt quite small and isolating. For example, the shark that we were able to stroke was in a fairly small “pool” and would be there by itself for two days, before being rotated out for another shark. They assured us the shark liked the petting, but my bet is that it just craved any attention it could get!
Having said that, we all enjoyed it, and the sea lion show was very good. The trainer certainly knew her animals very well and could read their mood, not forcing them to perform tricks if they didn’t want to.
After the aquarium, we went in search of some wild sea lions, and found them quite easily barking away on the rocks of the shoreline. The children found this hilarious for about two minutes, then wanted to go to the beach for a play. It was way past lunchtime again, so we planned on nipping to the little fish shack next to the beach for a snack, but were told that there was between one and two hours wait for food. Hmmm, we’d take our chances on surviving until we got back to the campsite!
So, off to the beach we all went, and almost immediately Cornelia was in her pants, wading through the water with Tess. They paddled in the pool that had formed on the beach for a bit, before heading down to the ocean to jump over the waves. It was a really terrific way to spend the rest of the afternoon. I just love the water so much, and it was really exhilarating and soothing at the same time, to be splashing through the waves with Cornelia shrieking with laughter and trying to outrun them. Obviously, she face-planted, but rather than burst into tears (which would have been perfectly understandable), she got herself up, laughing her head off and carried on. (I had spare clothes for her, so it was of no concern to me how wet she was!)
With a quick stop off at Safeway for more supplies, we were back at the campsite, where Cathy and I played Emoji Uno with the girls, before Ian took over, supervising them as they turned into pyromaniacs, putting their sticks in the fire until the tips burned with a flame,then blowing it out and watching the smoke. This kept them occupied until tea time, which Peter once again cooked and served up. We had cheese and crackers beforehand, and then stuffed our faces with steak, roasted vegetables and sauteed potatoes. Another evening of total yumminess.
After supper, it was time for our first S’mores experience: toasted marshmallow sandwiched between two Graham crackers and a slab of chocolate. Sickly but delicious. Too sickly for me, and I could only manage one, and Cornelia doesn’t like marshmallow (toasted or otherwise) so settled for a chocolate/cracker sandwich. Both girls managed to burn their fingers on the marshmallow stick (argh, we were so careful with the fire, and then they both managed to burn themselves anyway…. argh!!!), but thankfully, there were no blisters and both of them cried only for the shortest of times. Brave girlies.
When the sun went down, I gave Tess a small gift – a packet that you throw into the fire, that makes the flames turn different colours, and it was brilliant! The flames really were very colourful and we were all a bit mesmerised by it! Cathy and Pete had bought Bugsy a couple of birthday presents (things that she’d seen in the shop earlier, that I had refused to buy her) and Tess brought them out for her. We all sang Happy Birthday, and Tess also gave her a card she had drawn for her. It was all so sweet and lovely, and I am feeling so lucky to have met this gorgeous family. Cornelia was super thrilled with her new unicorn magic wand (with coloured fibre optic threads that light up and flash) and a dolphin tale pillow, that has sequins that change from blue to silver, depending on which way you stroke them. She was simply over the moon, as was I.
We’d decided to try and get the girls to sleep in Tess’s bed in the trailer (as we were now too far away to leave Cornelia in the RV), but although they watched the ipad together quietly for a while, Cornelia did not fall asleep. Us adults stayed outside around the campfire, making plans for our visit to Portland (we have taken them up on their invitation to visit next week), and making notes for our stopovers on the way up there.
Tess eventually fell asleep in her bed, shortly before 23:00, but when I went to pick Bugsy up to take her back to our RV fifteen minutes later, she was still awake. All that excitement and chocolate, no doubt! I carried her back to her bed, wrapped up in a blanket, and sure enough, she fell asleep immediately.
My head was spinning a bit from the amount of wine we had drunk, so while Ian fell straight to sleep too, I stayed up and watched a bit of Netflix, before finally succumbing.