Thursday, February 25, 2016

Yah Mon!

The time had come once again for the Royal Family to leave the frozen wastes of their homeland for warmer climes.  Although this winter season had been less frigid than prior ones, the week before departure had provided enough cold to make the holiday eagerly anticipated.

The trip had been suggested by good friends of the Queen and King, and their own two little princesses (who happened to be mermaids) would make for great playmates for the Lightning Kid and Shark Boy, even if the mermaids were a little older.

Upon arriving, the members of the family were to be awarded magical bracelets that would could be used to procure food and drink at will, but collecting them proved to be a challenge - the bracelets were closely guarded, and so the Queen could not collect bracelets on behalf of the others while the King kept the princes busy, no, they all had to stand in line to collect their own magical bracelets.  Trying to keep the princes still while waiting in line proved challenging, as they were extremely restless from a long voyage there, and in trying to catch the Lightning Kid from running way, he got a scratch on his face.  Though he was looked at by a nurse to treat the bleeding, he would wear the mark for the rest of their week on the Southern Isle.

The people of the Southern Isle made the Royal Family and their friends always feel welcome with smiles and jokes.  One evening, they enjoyed a meal where the preparation of the food was performed in front of them, with feats of knife-juggling, drawing with the food, and song.  One of the most amusing parts was for the guests to try and catch food in their mouths - the two princes were blindfolded and the food was tossed from very, very close range.

Some of the most fun of the holiday was to be had in the water.  There was both a pool on land, that had shallow parts to wade in, as well as a beach and island that could easily be walked to - in fact, on their first day, the King and Lightning Kid saw a beast that resembled the one seen below, rest assured, it was harmless.

The Lightning Kid's favourite thing to do in the swimming pool was to push his father in, and have the King make a big theatrical display of falling into the water.  As the King grew tired of this, he tried many things to reduce the number of falls he had to take including sacrificing the mermaids or Shark Boy to the cause (i.e. having the Lightning Kid push them in instead).  The best tactic, however, proved to alternate between being pushed in, and having the Lightning Kid practice jumps into the water - something he had been practising with much trepidation in his swimming lessons back home.

It wasn't only jumping into the water that the Lightning Kid improved on - it was all of his swimming skills and confidence.  He went from not wanting to be in the water unless it was in his mother or father's arms to being able to swim on his own, provided he was wearing his magical water wings.

He even got so confident with diving underwater, that he'd swim with the same abandon even without the water wings, and the important aspect of coming up to the surface for air became the King's responsibility!  He would be removed from the water once lips were blue or shivering was visible, but only under extreme protest.  The ocean water proved warmer than the swimming pool, and depending on the tide was often shallower.  Still, there was a bit of a current that children tended to not take notice of, so that they would drift away from where they were expected to be.

The beach and adjacent island occasionally provided fun out of the water - even Shark Boy needs to dry off in the sun from time to time!  He would make castles, with moats and other fortifications, while the Lightning Kid would draw patterns in the sand that probably held some secret magical meaning for him, and no-one else.

All this exposure to the water emboldened the Royal Family to make voyages on ships.  The first took them to a reef, where they all tried on devices known as snorkels.

It would be their first snorkeling expedition as a whole family.  The King and Queen had enjoyed the activity on their honeymoon, and the King had high hopes that Shark Boy would get the hang of it, but being able to take the Lightning Kid into the water made the outing extra magical.

Shark Boy

The other ship was to be boarded at night.  It cruised through a magical lagoon filled with tiny, tiny creatures that would glow when the water was disturbed.  As magical as this adventure sounded, it was a little difficult for the King and Queen as the lack of life preserving vests was vexing, and they were told not to touch the bottom which was impossible if you wanted to tread water and support your children who might be struggling. 

Still, the glow of the creatures did not disappoint.

Overall, the Southern Isle gave the Royal Family and their friends some much needed time to relax, smile and enjoy each others company.  They even picked up a few expressions native to that land, and the Lightning Kid was encouraged to say "Yah mon!" to everyone's delight.

1 comment:

  1. What a great place for the Royal Family to get away to! It's delightful to see how the Lightning Kid became comfortable in the water.