Sunday, March 6, 2011

Beach-time in Point Roberts: Go fly a kite!

Yesterday was an unusually nice day here on the wet west coast of Canada: sunshine, a bit of wind, and temperatures that felt more like spring-time that we've had for a while. Not that I should complain: compared to most of Canada, winter is a mild and wimpy business around Vancouver!

Anyway, it was a very nice day and my family was itching to get out of the house. So where did we go? The beach of course, because we are all beach-bums at heart. This time we headed to Point Roberts on the other side of the border, in the United States.

Point Roberts is kind of like a appendix of United States territory, attached to Canada at Tsawwassen, south of Vancouver. You reach it either by boat, or by driving across the tiny border crossing. There's a marina, beachesm about 1500 inhabitants, and a few scattered businesses. For Canadians, it's a nice place to head over for cheaper gasoline, cheaper summer-cottage real estate, or to pick up parcels from the various mail box companies that make it possible for Canadians to order goods in the US and ship them cheaply to a US address.
X-Kites Dragon 3D Nylon KiteDisney Fairies Tinkerbell 24" Wide Skysled Kite

We headed down to the beach at Lighthouse Marine Park, and though my 4-year old did ask if we could go swimming (brrrr!) we were there for another reason: to test out the kites my children got for their birthdays in February. We had Tinker Bell and a dragon to contend with!

The beach at Lighthouse Marine Park can look kind of rough and gray when you first see it, but it's an excellent beach for walks and beach-combing. It's covered with lots and lots of smooth round rocks (perfect for little rock-collectors), plenty of of clam shells, broken pieces of crabs, driftwood logs, and gray sand. Across the water you can see the Tsawwassen ferry terminal and looming even farther in the distance are the mountains of Vancouver Island.

We unpacked our kites and to my relief the wind was perfect: we had them flying within 5 minutes. The kids had lots of fun holding their kites and walking them along the beach and in the grassy areas next to the beach-side trail. We just had to keep an eye on all the tangly patches of prickly bushes that kept tugging at our pants and were just waiting to chew up the kites in case they fell to the ground.

There's a large picnic area on this beach, all made of wood weathered to a silky gray, but we had already eaten our lunch in the car while waiting to cross the border in the Saturday morning rush. There's also a washroom that's open all year round, though many other facilities are only open in the summer months.

The kids enjoyed their kites for a while and then we headed down to the beach for some beach-combing, throwing rocks and sticks in the water and just general beach-meditation. Beach-meditation is an awesome parent-activity that involves staring at the waves and relaxing completely while your children are having fun doing their own thing. Highly recommended!

My daughter and husband also managed to save the life of a stranded starfish before we headed home with our kites, and a collection of shells and rocks to add to the gigantic pile of shells and rock already in our house. All in all, another fantastic day on the beach, adding to my study of beachology.

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