Investments are down, unemployment is high, foreclosures have peaked and morale has tanked. While adults are depressed, children don’t understand a bit of this and just wanna have fun and adventure. We adults owe them that much. We need to pull ourselves together and go give the youngsters some good times and great outdoors memories. Besides, doing so is like therapy for grown-ups.

Capt. David Bacon

Capt. David Bacon (Ramona Lisa McFadyen photo)

With those thoughts in mind I gathered up a few grandkids, spent about 10 bucks and took them on a chocolate and Cheetos picnic to Goleta Beach. The 10 bucks was a great investment in memories.

I was glad to see some other adults with kids and dinner or snacks. Not everyone shared our sense of nutritional values because I saw orange slices, string cheese and other good stuff. But dagnabit, I felt like treating my grandkids to their favorite treats and let them feel like we were living it up.

The kids swarmed the playground and immediately played with all the kids like they were ol’ buddies. They periodically took quick snack and drink breaks — sometimes in unison and sometimes individually — to run to the bench where I was guarding (and nibbling on) our goodies. After a quick snack they were off adventuring until the snacking urge overwhelmed them again.

Interestingly, I noticed that the younger kids had a particular fascination with chasing the ever-present seagulls. The birds hung around for the food scraps on the ground and were quite comfortable moving back as the little kids advanced. Then the kids would move back toward the playground and the birds would be almost on their heels, looking for scraps.

I saw only one person intentionally feed the birds, but enough food was dropped on accident to keep the birds successfully foraging.

As we neared dusk I began noticing goose bumps and shivers, so we packed up the remaining goodies, climbed in the car and headed for home. Have you ever listened close to kids after they have just had a bunch of fun? My grandkids sounded happy and well-cared for.

I’m certain there will be another high-adventure, low-nutrition expedition in the near future — because it’s fun!

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help.

Capt. David Bacon, Noozhawk Columnist

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.