Location: Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Born in Malta but in Canada since age 5. Has written three books and presently does several columns about wine and food for various magazines.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 8th The Beach, The Girls Get Sick And A Night To Remember .

July 8th A Day At The Beach
Beaches have never been a priority of mine. Even when I used to collect my aquarium specimens (Salt Water) I used to only use the beach as a way of getting into the water from which I swam to the nearest reef.
However, 911 and airport security made my collecting my own salt water fish etc. a hassle so that stopped. You can't fit a prize specimen into a 100 ml container.
When the family and friends said that they wanted to go to the beach-----that did it to me. First of all the nearest beach was about an hour away meaning that I would have to drive into unknown territory once more----and you know how much I love driving.
We embarked on the trip in the morning and drove to Foz Do Arelho Beach not far from Obidos which was a very historic town with an amazing fort and castle. Driving on a Sunday was not bad but parking at the beach was a chore.
As one entered the beach area the road was beset by traffic. Eyes had to be kept sharp for meandering roadways, speedy drivers who were as impatient as their speeds, bathers crossing the road without a hint of a care for their lives and finally for the myriad of birds feeding on the leftovers of those who threw their remaining food into the garbage---though some landed on the road.
The elongated parking area was actually part of the road and stretched for a linear mile and a half until it ended at the beach which wrapped itself around the little town. The only thing one could do was to follow the road back down the parking area until some person decided to leave thus leaving a free parking space.
We lucked out for as we drove down the road we encountered a free space across from the beach and directly in the middle of the parking line.
The car was parked and off we went to the beach area which was to the right of the road. The beach stretched a number of miles and the surf was powerful. We actually stayed at two spots: one---one a  lagoon known as Obidos Lagoon noted for its therapeutic qualities where the water was warm, shallow but a bit ripe on the nose. We moved to another area right on the main beach where the breeze was much fresher and the water much rougher. I kicked myself for not bringing a bathing suit since I was not a "sun baker" and while the two girls blistered in the hot sun, I walked around just looking at the gorgeous old buildings of the town that was wrapped by the beach. Darlene did the same but took pictures when not under an umbrella she purchased.
Regardless how lovely a beach could be the most any person could take while sunbathing was a maximum of two hours. By the time I returned to the beach area and cooled off by dipping my feet in the rather cool Atlantic, the tribe was ready to go. It was getting late and we needed to stop for supper. We opted to go to our favourite spot not far from Lagoalva.
The ride back was pretty uneventful and the girls were glad to refresh themselves with a dip of the restaurant pool. They had a light supper and spent their time going in and out of the pool. I retired to the WFI area of the restaurant and began to work on my blog and articles.
Sickness Hits   
Taryn joined me to do some work on Face Book. Jess was at the pool. Shortly after Jess showed up complaining of a very upset stomach. Within minutes of her coming she was in the washroom very ill. The illness became worse and we had to leave for Lagoalva.
The next few hours were quite anxious as Jess continued to be very ill. When her stomach subsided a bit and when she appeared to be resting Taryn and I decided to go down and watch some television in the building's living area. By then it was about 9 PM and we watched a movie. Taryn and I would periodically check on her but she did not seem to be getting better and I was anxious since the next morning we had to leave for Lisbon. Darlene was kept appraised of the situation and rested in our room while we continued to watch the movie. I remember the movie and ironically it was "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire". Taryn remarked again how similar the surroundings of our building resembled those of Hogwartz Castle.
It was about 2 PM when  Taryn went to bed but since Jess was still not better and was still being sick I could not sleep. I did my best to keep Jess hydrated by telling her to take very small sips of the bottled water available. I tried to find ice so that she could suck on the cube but after searching through the building's area, I came up with nothing.
I could not help feeling the spookiness of this old building as I went into the dark areas---up and down old staircases as the myriad of pictures looked down at me as if wondering what I was up to. I was prepared at any minute to see some spirited figure in white. My imagination ran away with what I was thinking.
By 4 AM it seemed that Jess had settled down somewhat and finally decided to lie down.
As I was drifting off to sleep and was at the cusp of awake and dream state there was a knock at the door. It was Taryn--------"Dad, I think I have it now. I have a stomach ache!'.
It was 4:30 AM and I knew my sleep was over for the night.
End of Day 11