Friday, March 30, 2012

to the beach (Jhunan)

Weather-wise, Spring Break has felt like a slice of summer. Blue skies have allowed the sun to bake quite warm each today so we decided to take our first outing to the beach with both girls. Living on the west side of Taiwan, the beach options are not that great. Unless at the extreme north or south, the option is Taiwanese Strait or Taiwanese Strait. Compared to sandy North Carolina or rugged Pacific Northwest beaches, swimming in the strait has a lot to be desired. But, with it being the only option, we headed north for an hour or so to the beach of Jhunan.

Freeway driving is awesome - both girls fall asleep to the sweet hum of the engine (driving in traffic is another story - do all babies hate red lights?). When we got to our destination the girls were still asleep so we gathered up everything and waited. Jhunan has a nice feel to it. The access point we go to has a small windsurfing/kiting store and there is typically a lot of activity. Today was a sunny, calm day and almost empty of other people.

This guy is always here...

The girls finally woke up so we headed towards the beach. A trail, which is shaded, runs parallel to the ocean.
a tiny temple on the way to the beach
Feeding time was on us - with two girls on different eating routines it seems like we are always getting ready to feed someone - so Krista fed Xian while Sage and I attempted to identify some of the coastal trees. She seemed to be more interesting in grasping leaves and holding tight (yep, she is in the grab hold of everything phase).

Sage is sporting the new bonnet Krista made for her. 
Walking along the coastal trail was oddly satisfying in that there was barely a foot of elevation change. Our daily walk has some short but steep ones. Our destination was a butterfly garden and as we approached the air filled with several but the actual garden was closed. Finally, the big event - putting toes into the water. Would it be a success or not? We didn't want to have the girls out in the sun for more than a few moments so it was truly a dash to the beach to see the water, let Audrey get some swimming in and test out the waters. Halfway down the dune, Sage's feeding time struck with her "I'm hungry" cough so Krista began juggling formula as I handled the stroller (not designed for sand), Xian and Audrey with her awful choice of stick.

The day was of the type that gives surfers nightmares. Flat, flat, flat with barely a breaker in sight. Perfect for tiny little toes. At first, Xian seemed ok with the water but as some of the water ran up her leg she quickly changed her mind.

Back across the sand flats, up the dune and into the shade we returned. Little tester-trips like this are important to figure out what works and what does not. We left with a solid list of to-do-better-next-time items.

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