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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Picture Perfect Summer Day

I know. It isn't summer yet. It isn't even Memorial Day yet. But it is Memorial Day weekend, it's hot, and the local pools are starting to open. No hotel pool for us like earlier in the week; we headed instead to Mineral Beach, a roadside park with a lot of appeal. It was our first trip there, and is definitely going on our warm weather list of Favorite Places.

The pool is huge, and yet 80% of it is a wading pool, with a long and gradual dropoff from 1 to 4 feet deep. This is disappointing if you are, well, a swimmer. This is heaven if you have small children who more than make up in enthusiam what they lack in swimming skills. The kids can "swim" in water well within their depth.

No need for Mom to try to keep within constant arms' reach of two frantically wiggling little people who are determined to sink like rocks. No need for flotation devices. No need, really, for Mom to be in the water at all if she so desires. (Oh, yes. I can already picture myself relaxing on a poolside bench with my knitting.) The kids are free to be kids (and to gain confidence), and I am free to not be a helicopter. Right there, it is a major win.

The pool is a "beach" style, which refers to the gradual slope entrance on all sides of the pool. There is no step, no dropoff, no enter the water exactly as you would step into the surf.

Our day had a sweetly nostalgic quality to it. The pool itself and the main building were constructed in the 1920s and are charming in their simplicity.

The park is located along a relatively undeveloped section of Route 88. In a region where every roadway is lined with commercial businesses and every unplowed field is being snatched up for new housing construction, we had this view:

There is a local produce stand across the road, and fields flanking the pool area. The park includes a home-cooking restaurant and a large lot where a weekly car cruise is held. While we were still swimming, we watched countless classic cars (mostly American-manufactured muscle cars) arriving. Smoke and a delicious aroma arose from the barbecue pit, and golden oldies played over the loudspeakers. (And I mean real "oldies", not this travesty of our local oldies radio station playing hits of the 1980's, yeesh!)

We got plenty of sun and a probably unhealthy level of chlorine exposure. We ate ungodly salty corn chips with nacho cheese. And for a bit of visual fun, we even saw a girl juggling.

(Here she is using balls. I failed to get a photo but--I swear I am not making this up--she later pulled out a set of juggling clubs.)

All in all, the afternoon felt so perfect that it could have been staged for a movie set.

1 comment:

  1. That might be a fun outing with the fam when we visit in a couple weeks.