Sunday, July 1, 2012

Paddle to the Sea

Eric's organization does an annual event called Paddle to the Sea.  As the name implies, they paddle the Tuolumne River from source to sea, involving dozens (or more) paddlers along every leg of the journey.  In addition, they always have a few folks that paddle the whole thing.  And, there are riverside events and parties along the way.  

Paddle to the Sea started the year Kailey turned one and we've always gone to several of the events --so, in many ways, it's an annual event in her life as much as it is in Eric's working life.  She loves the riverside events and watching the paddlers.  

 This year, for Eric's birthday, we went out to where the paddlers would be launching to see them off and then spent the day playing in the river, familiarizing Kai with the canoes (next year she can probably paddle one of the calmer legs), and playing games while we waited for the paddlers to arrive at the end of the leg.  It was really fun.  What was amazing is how much Kai remembered from the year before -- she kept asking where the dancers were, would there be a jumpy house, what about face painting, and was Daddy giving a speech.  That's because last year we went to the riverside party in Modesto (which they didn't have this year) - and so Kai was expecting to a party.  However, she was really happy to just play by the river and watch the paddlers come in.

When the paddlers arrived -- Kai had her Paddle to the Sea flag ready and was greeting all of them (they had just finished something like 10 hours of paddling into a strong wind and paid little attention to her, but we thought it was adorable!) 

This year at the finale party, which takes place at Aquatic Park in San Francisco, we went with Sarah, Doug, Penny and Max.  It's a cool spot for a finale.  There's a grassy area where you can set up blankets and chairs and hang out.  They had a band playing music and food.  Then there's the beach, which is a great spot to splash around because it's a cove and there aren't many waves.  Great, except the fact that it's San Francisco and the water is quite cold!  But, that didn't stop Kai and Penny.  At first they were just gathering buckets or water and playing in the sand.  But, pretty soon, they were knee deep (in their clothes).  And then they were rolling around in the water, in order to submerge their whole bodies.  They had a total blast.  It was fun to see Kai playing in the ocean. 

The other day, we were talking about things we love about each other and with regard to Eric, Kai said "I love going to Paddle to the Sea with you!" 

She's already excited about next year. 

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