Our Spontaneous Park and Beach Trip

The other day I took my kids to a free fun activity (more about that in another post) and while we were there, my daughter Anneliese tells me 'Mommy, there's a girl from my class here!' Anneliese goes to school in the city nearest to our house, and has a bus there every morning with a bunch of girls from our area, so I know the families of the two local girls in her class but not any other, and my daughter doesn't have so many good friends in the class because she doesn't have play dates with them out of school. So I asked the girl to introduce me to her mother, and while our kids played together we chatted and hit it off well.

She spur of the moment asked me if I maybe wanted to go with her and her kids to the beach the next day, and, having no other plans, and summer vacation being over shortly, I agreed. I mean we did just spend a week camping at a beach but this was a closer one, and the kids really enjoy the beach, and other than transportation there it's a free activity, so why not? I figured also that more time spent with a classmate out of school would help strengthen in school friendships for our daughters, which was another driving force.

Early the next morning, packing picnic meals and swim suits, we met at the train station in the nearest city. We could have taken the bus and it would have been cheaper but the train was a more pleasant journey and enhanced the experience.

I asked the mom how she intended to get from the train station to the beach and she suggested walking, but I looked at her intended route and it was a 45 minute walk through the city center, which seemed quite unpleasant with 8 children in the heat, so I found an alternative route that went through a well known park, with a path under trees and near a river.

This park is a common destination for many tourists in the region, so it seemed like a good idea. It also is considered to be one of the most scenic and most sought after walking paths in the region, because it's meant to be quite lovely.

And it was. Because we ended up having two trips instead of one, while paying transportation just one time.

There were some really fun looking playgrounds along the way but the children decided to skip them.

We saw two small zoo type things, with ducks, emus, deer, and ibexes. It was adorable and we spent a few minutes with each.



More ibex!

But most was just spent walking along the scenic route, getting the breeze from the river, and enjoying the view.

We saw many tourists in various types of boats along the river, from kayaks to paddle boats to motor boats to row boats. The price for each of those were quite high but made me wonder if any person can bring their own boat and go along the river or if you needed special permits. If you can, I know some people that have an inflatable dinghy that I'd love to borrow and bring for a nice boating adventure for the family some other time.

We also saw a cute little train giving rides through the park.

While the walk was supposed to be 45 minutes we ended up going slower, picnicking along the way, and by the time we left the park it was somewhat late, but that's ok. We ended up at this old port which I'd heard much about as a tourist destination, but never had been. We walked through it and in my opinion it was nothing to write home about, so I'm glad we never made a trip specifically for that or I would have been disappointed.

And finally we ended up at the beach.

It was quite a lovely beach, with a wide area where you were able to swim. It had a white flag which I assume means super calm waves, and the children enjoyed it even more than the beach we camped at since they appreciated calmer water. (I personally prefer waves.)
They had lots of shaded areas including ones that were paved going through the Sandy area making it accessible for people with disabilities which I thought was awesome.

My new friend and I alternated swimming with the children or staying on the shore watching her baby and our bags. We chatted a lot and our children bonded and it was quite a lovely day.

We stayed until the lifeguard hours were nearly over, then took a bus to the train station, then took the train home.

Everyone had a delightful time and it was a lovely last hurrah for our summer fun. And now my daughter is looking forward to future play dates with this now better friend of hers. And to be honest, I'm looking forward to spending time together again with this new friend.

Sometimes spontaneous fun is the best type of fun.

Are you a spontaneous person when it comes to these things, or do you like to plan things far in advance?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. So glad you had a lovely day with your family and new friends. For the record, I'm a planner.

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