When my sister, Kelsey, married Johnathon earlier this year, I gained a big brother and our children scored another uncle. From the very beginning of Johnathon’s interaction with our children, it was clear that he didn’t view them as “Kelsey’s nephews.” He loves them as his own. Naturally, the kids took to Uncle Johnathon immediately.
I’ve learned that Uncle Johnathon has a fun quality of being a kid at heart and never doing anything halfway. When Johnathon discovered that our family would be coming to visit them for vacation, he and Kelsey began thinking of things to do with the boys that would be fun and memorable.
One day Johnathon and Kelsey called us to share an idea they had for the boys to find pirate treasure on the beach. Super W and Humorous H love reading about pirates and we all agreed that this idea must absolutely be brought to fruition.
They dreamed and worked hard to make it something that the boys would never forget.
Johnathon did a lot of prep work. The first thing was to purchase three little wooden boxes. He spent hours free-handing their names on the top of each box in appropriate pirate handwriting.
Originally, he was going to create a map for each boy but then a better idea came to mind. Johnathon persuaded a friend of his to dress up like a pirate so that the boys could capture him and then be led to the treasures. (Talk about having a good friend!)
After many weeks of waiting, the day finally came for the boys to go treasure hunting. Johnathon had worked that day and the rest of us were at their house when Kelsey’s phone rang. Uncle Johnathon wanted to talk to the boys. She put him on speaker phone and the conversation went something like this:
J: Okay, here’s the situation. I’m at the beach right now and there are pirates EVERYWHERE. They are running around and I need your help!
Pirate: ARRR!!! Don’t take me treasure!
J: I need you to come help me catch pirates!
At this point, I could tell that the picture was starting to come together for Super W because his eyes were about the size of tea saucers and his smile was growing wider by the second.
Super W: We’ll be there soon!
J: Hurry before they get away!
We all piled into the van and sped to the scene as fast as the law would allow. Uncle Johnathon was waiting for us in the parking lot.
J: Okay, Intelligence has informed us that there are pirates on the beach so we have to catch them. Are you ready to catch them? Yeah? You’re NOT ready because you need weapons!
At that point, the boys were provided with styrofoam swords. They soon noticed a rogue pirate lurking in the tall grasses by the waters who kept yelling things like, “ARRR! Me treasure!”
The boys ran to him, swords drawn, and the most epic pirate battle in history took place.
It wasn’t long before the pirate found himself on his knees where he quickly surrendered and was apprehended.
The pirate was forcefully convinced that it would be in his best interested to lead the boys to his most cherished treasures.
Super W yelled, “TAKE ME TO YOUR TREASURE!”
Uncle Johnathon asked Super W what you look for if you’re searching for treasure. The pirate yelled, “A CIRCLE, A CIRCLE,” but Super W wasn’t fooled. He quickly found an X made of seaweed.
J: Is this where the treasure is, Pirate?
Pirate: That be were it be.
J: That better be were it be!
It was Little L’s treasure but, since he was feeling a little apprehensive of the pirate, Super W began to dig for him. The shovel soon hit the top of a wooden box. “ARRRR! He found me treasure,” yelled the pirate. The chest was pulled from the sand and opened to reveal sparkling gold coins, jewels, and candy.
This, of course, only gave Super W and Humorous H more motivation to find their own treasure chests. Sand was flying as they began to dig where an X had previously marked the spot.
It wasn’t long before they each had collected their booty.
The pirate was headed to jail, the boys had acquired all their treasure, and we thought the adventure was coming to an end. Johnathon’s phone began to ring and the caller told him know that the pirate had not been, shockingly, entirely honest. There was still one more treasure box to be found.
We soon dug up a small box and, inside it, there just so happened to be a gift card to the “Melting Pot!” Eric and I couldn’t believe our luck at finding such a valuable treasure!
The boys were not as excited as we were about the last treasure chest. That may have been due to the fact that they were busy recreating the combat they had had with the pirate earlier!
To this day, Barrancas beach is a safe place to visit now that the pirates are in captivity. Some say that there are three musketeers who have vowed to always keep the beach safe from this day forward. The fortunate ones might even see a musketeer gazing into the far horizon with his trusty sword near his side.
Everything about the Pirate on Barrancas Beach experience was marvelous. For me, one aspect that made my heart soar was that the boys truly believed that it was real. They lived out an adventure that had previously only been something to read about in a book.
Eric and I are thankful for Johnathon and Kelsey and for the many ways in which they demonstrate their love to our children. They gave the boys an unforgettable and priceless memory! (Thanks for setting the bar so incredibly high for us, you two! I’m pretty sure that we’ll never be able to outdo you in the role of “Aunt” and “Uncle!”)
A special thank you to Kelsey for providing these pictures for us!