TLDR – Dad day to Sandymount strand for some fun in the sand and water – 9 hours and 20km of fun.
Always on the mission to give the kids a great time Thursday, we decided it was a beach day. I wanted to go to Sandymount but I had some fears the water quality might be horrible. Checking online turns out water quality was fine. Great, now to work out how to get to the beach. Options are bus, walk, and Dart, or Luas and walk. None of the options are less than an hour. Checking schedules and tides and places to buy snacks, Luas seems like the simplest option. Michelle was getting over not feeling well, and Thursdays are normally her workday with no kids. She stayed home and worked – The Dad, kids beach day has begun
We rode the LUAS to Charlemont station, got off, and walked along the canal for a bit. Near the end of our time on the canal there was a small food tent market setup; Perfect place to stop for some foods. Maddex ordered bratwurst and the girls ordered some chips. We sat behind the tents on a bench and ate our lunch. Walking along the canal it difficult not to notice how shockingly clear the canal water is today. Seriously the water is crystal clear. You could see the bottom at every depth.
Made it to the beach
It’s about 45 minutes walk from the LUAS to the beach. Our path was not direct, we took a detour to a Tesco Metro. About five minutes to the end of the walk we went to a Tesco for snacks and ice cream. Only Maddexs ice cream was fully consumed by the time we jumped a stone wall to climb down to the sand. On the sand, there was a quick stop to remove shoes and socks before the kids were off running, screaming and yelling in excitement on the beach sand.
“This is the best day ever” – Mila as yelled as she found a small tide pool to splash in. The beach is so deep at low tide I bet it’s almost 3k of sand to the waters edge. With breaks to splash in pools it took us over an hour to walk to the water. The sand, the water and the horizon, It all blends together in the distance. I can’t even tell where the sand ends and the water starts.
The kids found a nice 6” deep tide pool they are swimming in as I’m typing this. It’s 21 out, slightly windy with sparse cloud cover. In my mind perfect weather for the beach. Not too warm, UV index is low, the tide is slack right now so we have hours until we’ll be underwater. Loads of time to play and relay. Turns out the UV index was not low enough, epic dad fail on the sun screen. We all came home a bit sunburnt. Me the most as I had my shirt off; bad dad.
Eventually the sand was a few cm underwater, then the water was ankle-deep. There was no real waters edge where the waves crashed there was only slightly deeper water. Big plus, the water was actually warm on the feet; perfect to play in. The kids had a blast running around in the water mixed in with paranoid screams from Mila any time she thought she saw a crab or we came across a jellyfish. That girl sure can scream and run in fear.
Instead of heading back towards the spot we first set foot on the sand we walked towards Booterstown in the south. Slightly closer to home. The path back towards the shore was a good hour of walking in the shallows splashing each other trying to avoid stepping on crabs. The beach under the water was mostly sand with blobs of grassy seaweed. Perfect to walk in, we did not have to worry about stepping on a rock or sharp shell. Making it simpler to enjoy the experience and frolic about.
The cloud cover is thicker now, and the wind has picked up a bit. Poor little Roxi is starting to get cold and shiver. She put her jacket on and I wrapped up her lower half in a towel. She started hanging out next to dad to warm up while the older kids tried to swim in the water. She did not mind at all being out of the water, she had dad snuggles and snacks.
Following in Roxi’s lead the girls were starting to get cold wanting to be wrapped up too. Was a challenge putting towels on them in the wind, but we managed to work out something. Maddex would have spent the rest of the day in the water, but we needed to get out of the wind and warm up. Off in the distance we could make out what looked like a different shape in the stone sea wall. I was thinking it was stairs up, but it was difficult to tell. Turns out it was stairs up to walk way, and a bridge over the DART into Blackrock park – Score!
On the other side of the train track we setup in the grass to dry off, eat a bit, and get dressed. Mila covered herself in a towel and changed out of her swimsuit into a playsuit. Then she held a towel around Khaleesi so she could do the same. Roxi was already dry, she put her pants on over the top of her swimsuit. Maddex, he put on a jacket, socks, and sandals and was good to go. We came across a super steep grassy hill the kids rolled down. Mila figured she would not itch because she was well covered in clothing. – No itching, I guess she was right.
After the hill, we ran around the pond until Maddex saw a playground off in the distance and started running. The girls followed him running. Dad, carrying three backpacks slowly walked to the playground. In my mind I was thinking the kids might be slowing down, in reality they were still working full power. It’s about an hour walk home from here, with a stop at Mcdonalds, call it an hour and a half. I sent Michelle a text letting her know we would be home between 1830 -1900.
Mila and Roxi peed in the water, Maddex peed behind a tree. Khaleesi needed to go. Across the street from the park is a mall; Malls have public bathrooms? We stoped at the mall to use the bathroom and buy some ice cream. Bathrooms were working, no ice cream. While waiting for the girls to come out Maddex and I chatted about why fire doors are made of wood and not metal. He had some great ideas, then he went Minecraft and wanted to build fire doors out of diamonds. Not far from the mall we cut through a grassy area filled with trees – “Dad we have to stop and climb these trees! we love to climb and these trees are perfect” – all of the kids in unison.
The kids are so amazing, not one of them complained today, not one of fought with another. They got along and had fun all day long. 20km and 9 hours of walking and playing. It was 30,000 steps for me. Which I bet is around 50,000 or more for Roxi. Impressive kids. One tree they climbed on Maddex was able to get into, then he helped the girls pulling them up into it so they could all play. They did not ask me for help, they worked it out as a team. Getting closer to Mcdonalds they decided the order would be Ice cream and fries to dip in the ice cream – Sad face – no ice cream. We had chips sitting on a bench followed by some treats and hula hoops from Dealz.
It’s well past 1900 now and there is still 30 minutes or more travel time home. Again, the kids show no sign of slowing down. At some bricks, they played tag for 20 minutes before I made them stop and keep walking. They were not happy about me asking them to stop playing. Before we carried on Maddex has me look down his shorts “I need to shower when we get home, look at all of this sand” – his shorts are filled with sand. He kept trying to work out how the sand got there. At home, we unpack, shower, clean up, then straight to bed.