Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day 13: Buddies at the Boardwalk

In very stark contrast to the last Buddy Walk we attended, only a short week prior, Samantha and I found ourselves at the warm, sun-drenched Boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ, for the 21 Down Buddy Walk this past Sunday.  21 Down is the Down syndrome organization serving Atlantic, Cape May and southern Ocean counties, areas just east of where I grew up.  It was odd, but I really felt at home with the people there, felt a sort of kinship with people so familiar to me, so similar to those I grew up with, but in the equally familiar context of how my life has changed over the last 5 years.  Flashbacks throughout the day were fast and furious, and welcomed

The group was larger than I'd expected, with probably about 500-600 people.  It started out in a large indoor gymnasium, with a band playing music loud enough to bring any sensory-overloaded child to tears (surprising!), but fortunately there was a wide-open stadium attached where we could escape to feel the fresh air and listen to the sounds of the ocean on the other side of the parking lot. 

Btw, I'm totally in love with this t-shirt! 

It truly had to be the most beautiful day possible for the event.  Samantha and I met up with some new friends from my home town, played in the sand on the beach, missed the actual walk (oops!  I'll blame the joint lures of ocean and rides, both way too close to resist!), ate ice cream (why did I not know before that Kohr Brothers frozen custard is just about the best. possible. soft. serve. EVER?  Puts Dairy Queen to shame...), and went on lots and lots of rides.  Samantha has been hot and cold about rides over the years, sometimes enjoying them, sometimes crying, sometimes resistant to even trying them out.  But Little Miss Adventure Pants was all. about. the. rides on Sunday, wanting more and more and more.

I'm pretty sure these are the exact same speckly, fiberglass cars I rode in when I was little.  Gave me chills to realize that, seeing my own little one following so closely in my own footsteps, her little bottom sitting on the same seat my little bottom may have sat on oh-so-many-years ago...

And for the very first time, Mommy wasn't too chicken to let her baby big girl ride the carousel horse (the one that goes up and down, at that!) all by herself (instead of hovering next to her, keeping an unnecessary hand on her back), letting Mommy actually get to ride on her own horse and enjoy the ride as well.  Wheeeeee!!!

One more Buddy Walk to go, this Saturday, when we attend our own local event.  Our team pins from Zazzle have arrived, our fundraising goal has been met (see the thermometer in the side bar!), and I'm stalling this very moment from creating our new Team Sweet Pea United sign.  Yeah, yeah, I'm gonna do it...maybe tomorrow night...  *yawn*


e.Beth said...

how did you not know about Kohr Brothers? they are the best!

i just had to show off the pictures to my work friends because of samantha's hair. the HAIR! it's amazing. she's going to be rapunzel soon.

Rochelle said...

Love the pics of her riding the rides and how cool that you rode the same ones when you were a kid!

RobMonroe said...

Our Sammi Button is still hanging on our freezer even out here in St Louis. :)

I think that a beachside Buddy Walk is kind of aiming to lose participants, especially on a day like that! The Buddy Walk here was INSIDE Busch Stadium right before a Cardinals game. Pretty cool!

krlr said...

Love the pictures, the Tshirt, amusement park rides (though I don't love thinking about how many times those bolts have been redone!), hula hoops, and -of course- THE HAIR. Sounds like a great day!