Sunday, February 24, 2008

Beach Bum...mer

So Sunday dawned with tantalizing rays of sunshine, creating a brilliant 80 degree afternoon. After church, we decided to embrace our inner spontanaiety and go the the beach!
Well we loaded the Jeep with the usual necessities, and made a quick stop to pick up some new sand toys.

Finally we made it out the the island....and only then we realized that the entire state of Texas had exactly the same genre of Sunday spontanaiety! The beach was lined with backed-up vehicles for MILES along the coast. Ok so it wasn't exactly a private afternoon, but it was still surpirisingly quiet at our spot thanks to the roaring waves.

And so we popped the hatch and unloaded our loot of sand toys and beach chairs. The boys covered the chairs in wet sand before we even finished unloading so Joe and I ended up sitting on the back of the Jeep.

Joe got down with the kids and helped them build a sand castle, which only got partway done before the waves rushed up and claimed it. From then on it became more fun for the three of them just to dig a big hole and take turns burying their feet in it!

The boys splashed in the water....shockingly cold but that didn't stop them from completely submerging themselves! They are little dolphins to be sure! I could barely tolerate it up to my ankles, but they insisted on getting wet so I had to stay in to make sure both came out alive:)

It was in that ankle deep water that I felt the first sting...and then it was a shocking surge like I had an electric wire wrapped around my ankle. I dashed out the the water, lugging Avery behind me and calling Donovan out.

I knew what it was instantly- even though I had never been stung before, but my ankle showed no immediate signs of the pain I was feeling. I was hobbling around, and then Joe saw it...the Man-O-War...super small, floating in the waves. I didn't have any jelly-fish remedies with us- and was now kicking myself for putting off what I had always known I should have on hand just in case!

Our Portugese Man-O-War's are not deadly, but their toxins are released through nemocysts that line their long mostly invisible tentacles. The nemocysts immediately start pumping painful toxins into your blood stream, and cause a VERY UNPLEASANT pain!!!!

We finally loaded everyone up...I'm sure it was a funny site- as one minute we were sprawled out and having fun splashing in the waves, and the next minute I was hobbling around in my tankini, muttering as many non-bad-words as I could think of....stripping boys of their soggy swim shorts while Joe was tossing sand toys back in the truck. I will say that this was the fastest exit we have ever made from the beach. The whole time I was apoligizing to the boys for having to leave so suddenly.
Avery was crying in his carseat during the last moments of our frazzled pick-up-n-go, and I just assumed it was because he didn't want to be in his carseat.

Our welts left by the tentacles...

It was not until we were finally driving down the beach exit road that I heard Avery whimpering, "my foot hurts!" I looked back and was horrified to see the same welts that were showing up on my ankle blazing white-hot on his! Oh poor thing....but what a champ! All that time I had been jumping around like a baby from the waves of shocking pain, and he hadn't said a word or cried till we were in the car- and he had to have been stung at the same time as I! Boy did I feel guilty for that!
It was then that we hit the highway and consoling hubby turned into Super-Daddy, and he suddenly laid on the gas to bring us quickly to the corner store a mile down the road.

He parked and dashed in, returning with a blissful bottle of vinegar and a chicken rub:)

Then began the basting.....!

Avery first was doused in vinegar to deactivate the stinging cells, and then sprinkled with the chicken rub mix. (note- normally one would use meat tenerizer here, but the seasoned rub was all they had- it did have tenderizer among the garlic and salt.!) I was next and let me tell ya nothing was so warm and comforting as that vinegar! The pain was not immediately gone, but it definitely brought soothing comfort.

The way home was much more tolerable, all we were feeling now was minor stings and occasional muscle cramps. ...But we smelled good! ....Like two rotisserie chickens!

Finally a long hot bath...the boys sumberged and me dangling my feet in....followed by neosporin eased the pain and welts completely gone.

We will return to the beach without a second thought on the next sunny day, but from now on we will be prepared for the jelly-MONSTERS!!!!


Anonymous said... first I was totaly into the fun and wishing we could all somehow get to the beach. Now...not so much. That looks like it HURTS!! Poor baby and Momma. Hope the next adventure seaside is a little less painful. Love A.

Audrey said...

Good thing you and Joe are more knowledgeable about these types of things--had I been in the same situation I might have had one of the boys *Ahem* go wee-wee on the sting (but i just googled that notion to find that it's an old wivestale!) I need to get out (to the beach) more ;)