(click on photos for larger images)
Every year we head to the Texas Gulf coast for a long weekend. I seem to have yearly posts on the trip (although we've been going many more years than I've been blogging!) and it's fun to look back. I was shocked, however, to realize how easily Sammy took to the sand and the water the past couple of years because this year, from the very first step off the end of the boardwalk, he had an absolute phobia of sand.
Yes, sand. Terrified, I tell you.
As you can imagine, it isn't so easy to avoid sand at the beach! We never figured out what the problem was and he never got past it. He was convinced that the sand was scary in some way. It was a bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy because his instinct was to try to wipe the horrific substance off the bottom of his foot on the inside of the other leg... and that is exactly where he has the most trouble with his eczema. It's not surprising that salty sand is really painful on eczema-cracked skin. But even when he seemed to be able to accept that no rattlesnake or sand crab was going to get him, and the sand wouldn't hurt if he didn't rub it into his wounds, he was still frightened!
James went to town and bought Sammy some water shoes that encased his feet more than his little flip-flops and they helped... but they didn't fix the problem. He wanted to be carried from the boardwalk to a chaise lounge, where he would sit on his platform and lean over to dig in the sand with a shovel. He seemed to have a good time and was mostly happy doing that. Occasionally he would venture onto the hard-packed sand near the water but never, never onto the softer sand farther from the shore. We really tried to talk him into it, coax him along, insist that we weren't carrying him... but he was frozen with fear and screaming in terror. And then he would end up grinding the sand into the already bleeding skin from the last time and we had to scoop him up and go wash him off in fresh water... so it ended up seeming just not worth it.
I showed Sammy pictures of last year when he played in the sand with no problem. He says he's going to be done with being scared of the sand next year. Even with the strange sand-o-phobia we had a great time overall! The weather was beautiful. Two days were sunny and hot and two days had some rain and a lovely little fall chill, though still plenty of time to be on the beach.
I've been playing around with some of the images I liked from the trip, so I thought I'd share those. (As always, click on the images to see them bigger.)
[If you are interested in the post processing done on these photos, check out Pioneer Woman's FREE photoshop/elements actions. Those are what I used and they are really fun!]