The clouds were tinted pink.
Only the sound of the waves crashing on the shore and the calls of the seagulls could be heard.
Down below our eleventh floor balcony the birds gathered on the sand in search of sustenance, while a couple wrote their daughter a Christmas message on the sand.
This time, however, JR did not want to collect shells and sand; she wanted to play with it.
She built a sand castle.
Climbed up and down a sand hill.
And inspected her surroundings.
Yousef had learned his lesson about the waves and approached them with caution.
Chose to slide down the sand hill,
The beach was followed by lunch at one of the handful of restaurants open that morning. An Asian buffet of steamed mussels, clams, and crab legs, sushi, and hibachi, was concluded with marshmallows dowsed in the chocolate fountain.
Needless to say after all the chocolate neither kids napped that afternoon. I, on the other hand was exhausted and craving a coffee. Yet desperate as I was there was no coffee to be found; everything was closed and the Starbucks we had been to that morning for coffee was a car drive away. But instead of attempting to nap which I knew was only going to result in frustration, I took the kids out on the boardwalk.
Down further from our hotel we spotted a playground. A playground on the beach; that was a win!
After we had soaked up the sun, I convinced the kids to return to the hotel to soak in the hot tub and cool pool. They agreed. We started back. From the window I saw some people gathered by the cafe chatting holding coffee cups. There also was someone behind the counter serving them. Could it be what I thought it was! Did they decide to have pity on us coffee addicts and open the cafe? There was only one way to find out!
Yes, it turned out, they were offering coffee, any coffee, for free!!! And fruit, and juice, and cookies, and muffins. It was their way to say Merry Christmas, and I, for one, appreciated it. My grande mocha never tasted so good.
Once done with our treats, we headed to the elevatros. There on the check-in counter, we had a surprise. Somehow I had been selected guest of the day, and was offered a free Starbucks drink as a treat. And while they had spelled my name wrong, JR still recognized it and actually walked up to the front desk to ask them to fix it. Two free coffees in one day, jackpot! Now my spirits were up!
Jacuzzi, pool and bubble bath later it was time for bed. The kids had quick cooking oatmeal for dinner, Jeff and I had burgers from Sonic and the day was done. Our bones were beyond tired and rest was much needed. The kids shared their double bed and slumbered peacefully until Yousef woke up in the middle of the night asking for me.
We had had a wonderful day at the beach, and looked forward to two more.