Sat 7/9, day 24
Calvin’s present from us came in the mail and so Nathan and Annie spent the morning playing Chinese Checkers with the kids. We thought this would be a good gift, a) it’s a 6 player game, and there are 6 Collins, b) it was one of Nathan and Annie’s favorite games growing up, c) Amazon would be able to ship it before we left in a few days. A few things about Chinese Checkers, 1) it didn’t originate in China or anywhere in Asia, 2) it is based off of a game invented in Germany in 1892, 3) Chinese Checkers was the brainchild of the Pressman brothers in 1928 as a market scheme, their name Hop Ching Checkers was dropped for the simpler Chinese.
By the time I looked up, the game had lost 3 of its initial competitors, including the birthday boy. Four might be a bit too young.
The weather was nice and the kids were dying to go to the beach. I normally try to avoid the beach because I am really good at getting a sunburn. I get burnt, then I feel sick, then I’m in pain, then I start peeling, and then I am pale again. Not super fun, but I’m game. It usually takes me an entire car ride to get sun-screened up. I think the kids were a bit worried about the amount of sunscreen I felt the need to put on. But it was a glorious day.
We got a beach cabana and Nate and the kids got the last inner-tube and headed to the water. It was really fun to see Nate play with the kids in the water. Dan, Annie, and I gave up on getting our other present to Calvin to work: a kite we picked up in Chinatown in San Fran. Apparently we needed an instruction booklet or YouTube tutorial. We were very unsuccessful and there wasn’t an absence of wind either.
When Nate and the kids got tired of being in the water, they worked on sand castles. The boys were fearless about going in the water and convinced of their swimming acumen. Nate asked if they could swim and they both nodded oh yes. Annie in the background assured Nathan that they couldn’t really swim. They however, were not deterred. Nate and the girls were busy flipping each other off the tubes and I was very content watching them swim in very cold water.
Eventually Annie, Dan, and I got in the water and played a bit. But Uncle Nathan was the star of the show.