This morning Calvin and I went to a new playground, way out by the beach. It took about 25 minutes to drive there, but the distance was worth it.
When we arrived it was gray and chilly; the sea air felt invigorating and we had the playground to ourselves. I can imagine that the playground will be quite busy and popular over school holidays and the summer.
There was plenty for Calvin to do. I don’t think I’ve mentioned on this blog before that New Zealand playgrounds include much more potentially dangerous equipment components than nearly any playground I’ve been to in the states. I think perhaps this is because of New Zealand’s restrictions on lawsuits, which is possible because the country provides accident insurance to everyone within its borders.
(We experienced this benefit firsthand when Evelyn fell and tore up her knee badly on the blacktop at school; we paid a small copay at the doctor’s clinic and the country of New Zealand paid the rest of the bill. Because this type of coverage is provided by the national health system, people who would otherwise perhaps file lawsuits in cases of injury or death typically are not able to do so.)
Anyway. That’s my take on why Calvin could climb on crazy high structures and scoot down fireman’s poles taller than a two-story house and ride a zipline from a 20 foot high platform.
Needless to say, he had a great time.
When he had his fill of the playground we walked across a small road and over a grass-covered sand dune to a beautiful sand beach. Although the clouds were still low and hazy, the temperature felt comfortable. We sat for a few minutes watching the waves, which were quite high due to high tide, and then Calvin asked to go down and walk in the sand.
Actually, I think his exact words were, “can we go down there and play in the sand?” I said no to the sand building but yes to strolling along the water’s edge.
We only saw a handful of people, some driftwood, and tracks from a vehicle, running along the dunes.
Cal asked if we could go out on the fishing pier that we could see in the distance, so we did that before heading home for lunch and quiet time.
The morning was pretty magical, and I think we’ll definitely go back when the girls are out of school. Perhaps it will even be warm enough to kick off our shoes, build a sandcastle, or splash in the surf.