Friday, June 18, 2010

Our Gulf Coast Vacation




Hey friends. We got back late Wednesday night from the beach. We had a good time with the people we were with, but the beach part was pretty depressing. I wanted too keep you up to date on Facebook because I knew everyone was wondering what it was like down there, but I just couldn't post depressing news the whole time.  



When we first got there the beach "looked" fine. The sand was beautiful and clean, and the water looked like it usually does, but when Ben and Tim got in we noticed that there were tiny reddish brown spots in the water and sticking to them. It was sad, but I thought, "Well, I can handle this."


Later, we went for a walk down the beach and we quickly noticed that tar was building up on the bottoms of our feet. It was kind of like stepping on several hot sticky pieces of gum on a parking lot. They have "Tar Wash" stations set up at every hose with a brush inside so that you can scrub down. I heard that the smell was unbearable, but I don't think I smelled oil but a couple of times the whole trip. It didn't really even smell like oil, it was just like what you smell when you first step out of the car at the gas station, it wasn't strong at all. Luckily the place where we were staying had a pool, so the kids did get to swim, but it just wasn't the same. When we go to the beach we are there to see the beach and the fish and the sand, we want to see what God made and appreciate nature. I don't know that my kids have ever even been in a pool at the beach more than a couple of times before.


They come through and clean the beach every night, and you could tell that they were keeping a close watch on it because a helicopter flew over every few minutes. There were also several boats in the water working and we saw lots of the orange booms out. It seemed like they were scrambling around doing something constantly.


The last day we decided to put old suits on the kids and let them get in one last time in case they never get to again, but when we got to the water something looked weird. There were long rusty colored strips, one right after another, stretching as far as we could see, coming towards us.




 We realised then that he kids had missed their chance. As it started washing in my little hippie heart couldn't take anymore, I cried. It was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. Sitting there looking out at the ocean, filled with oil as far as you can see felt so overwhelmingly hopeless, like an old friend with an incurable cancer. I didn't see one living thing in the ocean the whole time I was there.


Just in case this comes up in any g**gle searches and someone besides my blog friends see this, I want to say that I am NOT up for ANY political discussions about this. I heard enough of those while I was there. I am NOT trying to talk people out of going to the beach, in fact, I think it would do us all a little bit of good to see it with our own eyes. I'm actually leaving in the morning to ride back down with my mama, mama-in-law, and a couple of friends so that they can see it. As a homeschooling mama, I see this as a tremendous learning experience for my children, and as sad as it may sound, it is history. I also hope that people do continue to support the gulf coast the best they can. God knows they need it. I'm just a beach loving mama who is telling my family's story and the way it made me feel. That's all.


Our family will be participating in the Craft Hope project. If you have any question about what else we may have/haven't seen, bring it on! If you aren't going to be able to get your kids down there to see it, tell me what you want to know about. I can be the homeschooling mama's scout. Like I said, I'm heading back down just for the day tomorrow and I can try to get specific pictures for you or your kids if you let me know by then. You can let them leave comments/questions too if you like and I will answer the best that I can. Sorry for such a depressing post guys, but I knew that you would want the truth. xo, Sam

16 comments:

Kimberly said...

Up here in our state, the news is hardly covering the situation and when there is coverage it's the who's blaming who and who's going to pay... Thank you for sharing your thoughts and pictures - it is so sad and it is history. I'll be sharing your pictures with our children.

Dee said...

We were just talking today on whether or not to head down south for vacation this year--but with the oil spill and a $2000 wisdom teeth bill coming up, we decided not to! Thanks for your honest assessment and first hand reporting because now I don't feel so bad!

ShirleyC said...

That is truly sad. We are in Destin on Miramar Beach right now. So far there is no oil. Only some nasty seaweed. There is a constant patrol of helicopters and Coast Guard boats. We have 2 more days here, and we are just thankful our family got to all be here together before any oil comes this way.

organicmommy said...

Hugs hon, I am in the middle of the country and pretty sheltered from most of the spill, however it makes me so sad every day when I read more and more about it.
How sad for you and your family and that the kids didn't get to play in hte water more!

Julia said...

This is so sad!

Crystal said...

We live fifteen minutes from the beach. A beautiful white one with gulf sea as far as the eye can see. We went in March to take photos but not do too much playing. If I had known, we would have stayed all week. I blogged about that being out last outing and how sad it is that we can't enjoy where we live anymore.
With babies that would eat oil-slick dirt, I just can't risk going. I live pretty much literally on the gulf. My backyard is ruined.

Renata said...

Oh that is so sad. I'm glad they're trying to clean it up though. I can't imagine the politics going on - not fun. Thanks for sharing your pictures - made it more real for me - over here all we hear is what the news wants to bring us.
Have a lovely weekend
Renata:)

LAnderson (Southern Stitches) said...

This just makes me soooo sick - I just don't know how the Gulf Coast will ever be the same again.....soooo sad!

Diana said...

That is soooooo sad. I have one of those hippie hearts, too... I woulda cried with you. I have never in my life been blessed to see the ocean... probably never will... but it's sad that this has happened.

Too bad people can't be big enough to own up to what they've done and stop pointing fingers at someone else. Shame on them.

Thank you for sharing this. In spite of the problem, God's beauty still shines through. And your kids are adorable! {hugz}

Cherishing My Days said...

Makes me heart sick. My parents are in Pensacola, so it hits home. The only comfort in this seemingly hopeless situation is that we know God is ultimately in control.

Debbie said...

Thanks for posting the truth and oh my, what a picture. Our nephew was married there on the beach last weekend. No oil yet thankfully for them.
I'm certainly praying for a miracle in all of this. We all know, with prayer, He can.

Goosegirl said...

Oh Sam, how very sad. I am so sorry you could not swim in the ocean. I love the ocean so much and feel so badly about what has happened. I worry about the animals and their habitat. Thank you for showing the pictures.

Kim said...

I was just telling Chad today, even as sad as it is, I want to take the girls there just so they can see it. Like you say, it is history, and I hope it's a once in a lifetime chance.

Mama Lusco said...

Heartbreaking! Thanks for sharing pictures. We'll never see it first-hand and glad you shared. I'm making wash cloths for Craft Hope, too, and have blogged about the latest project.

Melody said...

Yes, like an incurable cancer, that's how I feel, too. We're 15 minutes from the beach. We moved down here so we could enjoy the gulf. We're heartbroken watching the daily battle of fish, birds, and wetlands trying to survive this.
I found you through a link on someone's Twitter, glad I did.
Thanks for sharing and being honest about what you saw on your vacation.

v8grrl said...

My home is Destin, Fl. I now live in Colorado...but I lived there forever and I just can't even think about it. it kills me. It's like trying to describe how white the sand is there...no one believes you unless they go...now we can tell them how oily it is.