Beep, beep, beep, beep!
Daddy’s alarm was going off. Ashton was already awake. She ran into her parent’s bedroom to wake him up. It was Saturday and very early. Today she and dad were going to the beach. On this day, she would discover the mystery of The Pink Princess.
Ashton had been waiting all week for today. Her father had promised that she would get a special day with him. Mom and baby brother weren’t coming. He had told her a magical story about the Pink Princess earlier in the week but said she would have to wait until they get to the beach to meet her. Ashton couldn’t wait.
“Wake up daddy,” said Ashton “turn off the alarm before it wakes up baby brother.”
He opened his eyes and smiled at her beaming face. He gently turned off the alarm and got up.
He sent her off to brush her teeth and pack her backpack. She giggled and ran off. She brushed her teeth, but her backpack was packed for five whole days. She had her swimsuit, a bucket, shovel, towel, and sandals. She was ready.
Dad made breakfast for the two of them. The car was packed; dad did that, then they were off.
Ashton asked, “Will I meet the Pink Princess, daddy?”
He said that she would, but she had to be patient. Ashton wondered if she might be a mermaid.
The beach was empty when they arrived. Mornings on the beach had always been her fathers favorite. He talked about when he used to wake before the sun did and go surfing. But he seemed just as happy to be here with her. They spread out their blanket and stuck the giant umbrella deep into the sand. Ashton unpacked her backpack carefully. She arranged her towel and put her beach tools in the bucket. Today she and dad would build a sand castle. Maybe the castle was the home of the Pink Princess.
They trekked their way down to where the sand was wet. Her dad said that this was the spot for a castle. Ashton was puzzled, “Dad,” she said, “the ocean is still way down there,” and she wanted a real mote with water in it. He looked at Ashton with kingly confidence and said in an English accent. “If our castle is good, the ocean will come to us.” Ashton was impressed. If her dad could make the ocean come to him, surely he knew the Pink Princess. They labored all morning. The piles of sand were beginning to look like the castles from Ashton’s story books. She noticed the ocean seemed to be interested in their progress. Each wave came in for a closer look.
Dad decided it was time for lunch. They went back to the blanket and relaxed in the shade of a giant umbrella. Ashton opened the basket and passed out sandwiches. Her and mom made them themselves. They drank some lemonade. One extra sandwich remained in the basket, but the Pink Princess must not be having lunch with them. She offered it to daddy; he was pleasantly surprised and scarfed it down.
Ashton was anxious to finish the castle. She couldn’t wait to fill the mote. You see, you can’t have a proper castle without a mote. As they approached the castle, it was apparent the ocean was pleased with their work. The ocean had come right up to the front door. Dad handed Ashton the shovel and pointed to a special spot and told her to shovel one deep scope of sand into her bucket. She reached down and pulled the sand away, and the water flowed in. It looked as though the ocean was giving their castle a hug. “A mote,” squealed Ashton “there is a mote with water in it.” Now the Pink Princess would come for sure, she thought.
She carefully place a piece of driftwood down across the mote and together they decorated it with shells. She stood up and backed away to view their masterpiece. “It is the most-beautiful castle I have ever seen,” said Ashton. Dad was still sitting in the sand, so she kissed him on the cheek. “Thank you for the best day ever.” Ashton then quietly told her dad, “If the Pink Princess can’t come it’s ok.” He just smiled.
Dad took a picture of Ashton and their castle. Ashton couldn’t wait to see it and show mom and baby brother. On the way, home Ashton fell asleep. She awoke the next morning in her bed. She went to brush her teeth. She saw herself in the mirror and noticed she had turned a little red from being in the sun all day. Back in her room on her desk she discovered the picture dad had taken the day before. There she stood her face pink from a day in the sun, the beautiful castle and the ocean.
On the photo her dad had written:
Dear Pink Princess,
Thank you for the wonderful tour of your royal castle. I enjoyed our day at the beach. Lunch was great. Hope to see you soon.