The #1 item on our summer bucket list was to go to a beach. I have been wanting to take the kids to a beach ever since our trip to Mexico in February. Since we're not willing to fly or drive the kids to an ocean beach right now, I had to look around for an alternative in the middle of Iowa. Luckily, the beach at George Wyth Lake in George Wyth State Park just 15 min. away has opened up for the first time since the 2008 flood. There is a brand new restroom/bath house facility and all new sand. It's not a Caribbean white sand beach, but for kids who have never experienced a beach before, it was heaven!
It was spur of the moment, but I picked a cloudy Friday afternoon that wasn't too hot. We packed a picnic lunch and enjoyed it on a blanket. Then the kids spent the next 3 hours digging in the sand, splashing in the water and getting braver as they got wetter. I honestly don't care for natural water swimming of any kind. I only go in as far as I can still see what my feet will be stepping on, which was about ankle-deep in this case. I wasn't even wearing a swimsuit.
The kids didn't mind the lake water at all. I had fun building a real sandcastle. Lincoln had fun destroying it. :o) It was fascinating watching the kids--especially Emily--experiment and discover what happens when you pile up sand certain ways and dump water certain ways and how river channels form and sand erodes, etc. I was reliving childhood memories of having a garden hose in the big square sandbox. The kids were conked out in bed 2 hours earlier than normal that night. We are all excited to go back again sometime!