I love swimming (I know, I know, no surprise!), and so, when I went to Argentina with my little family, in the middle of (their) summer, I wrote a whole bunch of love letters. One to a pool in a beautiful palace, one to the world’s widest river, where I went for a swim in Uruguay, and another to the Atlantic Ocean.
To get to the ocean, we had to drive for 5 hours past fields and fields of cows – it felt like we were in the middle of Saskatchewan, with the odd roadside parilla and queso-selling farm stand. The ocean seemed impossible far away. But we kept on and drove through a thick pine forest. It felt like those cottage roads, where the sun is suddenly filtered through trees, dappling the dirt road. We drove until the dirt road gave way to sand and there we were, at our hotel for the weekend. The air went from smelling like pine to smelling like salt.
“You have to be patient, Mommy,” my 3-year-old kept insisting as my fella and the hotel employee traded Google translated sentences.
The sun was already on its way down and I was grateful I had packed a bag with just bathing suits and towels. We grabbed the key to our room and grabbed the bag and headed for the beach, just steps from our door.
The Atlantic was loud and much rougher than I had imagined. This was not a swimming ocean. In true LZV form, I got in to my knees, the undertow pulling at my legs, and bailed. I took a break, watched the wind whip my baby’s wispy hair, and then went back in and dove through the waves. The water was warm, the air was cold and it was perfect.
That night, we walked home from dinner along the sandy road, and down to the beach. We held our babies under the Milky Way and listened to the crashing waves and showed the kids Mars, and marvelled at this glorious life we’ve made, our great luck, our great fortune.
Usually driving for five hours for a 36-hour visit with 2 small kids doesn’t add up, but when you add in the ocean and a bajillion stars and sand castles and pockets filled with shells, it is more than worth it (even when you get lost on the way home and the 5h drive takes 7h and all you have to eat are tubes of no-name Pringles).
More from that glorious trip to the ocean over on Swimming Holes We Have Known…