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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Beach Picnics (or, Have Your Cake but Don't Try 4WD)


We went to the beach twice this week - once in the city (Bukbu Beach along the city's lakefront and feels like Chicago) and once north of the city (Chilpo Beach is in a rural area and feels like Muskegon or Ludington beaches on Lake Michigan but without the dunes or grasses).  Both times we borrowed cars to get there.

After Elisabeth's violin lesson on Monday, we took a lovely white chocolate cake (Tours le Jours purchase) to the beach to celebrate Father's Day.  We had a lovely time eating, watching the city life (including the incessant ant-line of ajeemas walking the beach path), and burying the kids in the sand.  A small child was fascinated and came over to help bury David.  Lovely pictures follow, but then an Epic Fail story shall also be told, so stay tuned.






Beach trip #2: On Saturday, we declared that Nick should finish his grading for the day by 5pm and arrange to borrow a car.  Then, we would take a lovely picnic dinner to Chilpo Beach (about 15 minutes north) for a lovely family time.  Let us cut to the chase by noting that the picnic was packed by 5:10; by 6:15, Nick had a arranged for a vehicle, I had accidentally dropped a soccer ball on the head of the lender's 15-month-old daughter, and we were all hungry.  For David and I, hungry = quiet, withdrawn, and irritable.  For Nick, Sam, and Elisabeth, hungry = hyperactive and chatty.  This was thus a tense ride for some of us. 

Upon arriving at the beach, what we SHOULD have done was drive the narrow cement road parallel to the beach and find parking.  What HAPPENED was Nick's desire to test the borrowed vehicle's 4 wheel-drive abilities off road, on the sand, to get us closer to the oceanside. I do not know his reason, as I was unmotivated to ask at the time (recall my hunger-grouchies) and I have refused to speak of this incident since it happened. 

The 4WD did not perform as anticipated.  Once we got stuck to the axles, I climbed out, along with David and Elisabeth, and we went to the beach.  I walked; the kids played.  About 30 minutes later, I returned to find Nick and Sam sweating hard and still trying to extract the vehicle.  I got out the picnic things, set up our blanket about 25 feet away, and ate with the kids while we watched The Scene.  I know this seems cold and horrible, but I did not dare speak. Those of you who know Nick well may remember other incidents where poor judgment hath prevented planned delightful times with friends and family.  I shall only mention the scenario of Chevy Rabbit meets Giant Puddle (Sept 1988); the watery medical emergency when Crack the Whip became Rip Off the Bicep (July 1987); and Quick Sail with Rick became Coast Guard Incident #4909 (August 2001). 

Anyway, also true to God's grace on him, Nick is finally rescued by concerned onlookers.  Four men from Uzbekistan (north of Afghanistan) come over to help.  After some time, Nick recruits another 10 Korean young men, who turn out to be students from Nick's university (and knew him by reputation).

I ate.  And took pictures. This will be funny to me...eventually.

Nick.  Digging.
Uzbeki guy.  Digging and positioning wood.
Sam and 3 Uzbekis push; Nick drives in reverse; 1 Uzbeki yells directions.



 
Koreans consult.  Sam watches.  Uzbekis went to get an abandoned mattress to provide friction.

Koreans and Sam push.  Nick drives.  Uzbeki's scramble to get the too-late, sodden mattress out of the path. The sun sets moments later.
 
I went for another walk.

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