Fort Rodd Hill – The Lighthouse
Who knows where kids will have the most fun? I do my best to guess. I mean, cannons, hey, they should be fun to touch, to climb on, to pretend to shoot…
But who would have guessed a boring old lighthouse would be fun?
After seeing and climbing all over Fort Rodd Hill, we made our way out to Fisgard lighthouse. This is a picturesque point in Victoria where couples come to get wedding photos, where tourists flock to capture with their cameras and where little boys, aged 7 and 11 roll their eyes when they’re told we’re going for a walk to the lighthouse.
Ok, I know I used the word ‘walk’. That’s kidspeak for Boring McBoring king of Boring Town.
But it was a glorious Victoria day. The grass was golden, the clouds a smear in the blue sky, the wind blowing just enough to make it cool. The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world and I were having a great chat with my writer friend and her husband, and the boys seemed to be getting along for the most part. Oh sure there was a grass sword fight that left some burn marks, but no one held a grudge or got too upset. So, it was off to the lighthouse.
What made it fun, to be fair, was the wind.
By the time we made our way along the causeway to the lighthouse, it had reached gale-force levels. Ok, I don’t actually know if that’s entirely true, but it blew a lot. Like a LOT.
The boys loved it. The Oldest could stand at a 60 degree angle and just let the wind hold him up. The Youngest wanted to climb to the top where he was pretty sure he’d be blown off. Luckily we distracted him with a game of checkers.
Inside the lighthouse, they had all sorts of authentic-looking late 19th century paraphernalia and as part of that display, they had plastic soup that all the boys stuck their finger in, a sea chest (sadly not filled with gold) and a box that folded out into a checkerboard. With checkers.
The Youngest wanted to play and the other boy with us was keen to give it a try. With his dad giving instructions on how to play (and advice on how to move), the two took on The Youngest. But The Youngest wasn’t daunted. He played for about 10 min until it became clear that the whole thing was taking too long and both boys moved on because the real fun was outside where the wind was howling.
The wind could have kept them amused for hours, I think. We all watched a vulture try to soar against the wind and fail, hurtling backwards as he let the wing catch his wind and carry him away. Even the gulls struggled. The Youngest threw his own weight in stones back into the sea. The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world took pictures of big silver balls as we giggled. She also took some beautifully artistic shots of the lighthouse that made me wonder if she’s got a hidden talent.
But time was running out and we needed to get some food before heading off to see my BFF. We stopped briefly for the younger boys to climb into a WW2 jeep and pretend to drive. The Oldest would have none of that. He couldn’t see the point so I sat with him and we talked about how effective the brass coyote statue was at keeping the fields goose-free.
The little statue was a very clever thing indeed. Looking like a coyote taking a poo, it had a tail that would move with the wind. Genius. When we first saw it, we thought they’d let a dog on the field. So if they could confuse us, the geese had no chance with their small bird brains. (My guess is that by the end of summer, they’ll have figured it all out and begun carpet bombing the field with poo.)
It was a perfect day. The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world got to meet one of my most lovely friends, the boys got to play in a fort, straddle cannons and nearly get blown into the sea. We all got sea and sand in our hair. Many pictures were taken.
This was how to do a day with kids. No forcing them to sit in a coffee shop. Lots of running around while the adults talked.
Just like I planned. Yeah. That’s the story I’m telling now.