Ordinary into Extraordinary

barbie beach

About a year ago, one of my favorite authors, Karen Spears Zacharias
blogged about Barbie Beach in Turin, GA. They were celebrating March Madness at the time,
complete with Barbie cheerleaders. I was fascinated, and thought to myself how
much I’d like to go and see it for myself. I realized it was somewhere on 16
past our turnoff to my aunt’s house, but I wasn’t sure how far. So I put that
wish in my back pocket I guess.

Fast forward to the first Saturday in this past May. Princess T, our six year old, had a soccer
game at 9. Daddy took her to that game here in town. My sister, who had come down from Atlanta
with her son and stayed over Friday night, took the Moose (our four year old)
with her over to Mama’s for the morning. So that
left me and A’belle (our 15 year old) to head up to Newnan for her last soccer game of the season.

There are several ways to go, and believe me, I processed over and over the
merits of each one. Finally, a need to stop by our favorite coffeehouse (for more than
just coffee but that’s another story) dictated that we go by interstate part of
the way. I decided to take the route that we take when going to my aunt’s house.
We continued down the road quite a ways (35 miles on 16 before you do
anything!). As we were nearing that mark, I saw a sign, “Slow Royal Wedding in Progress.” I
smiled to myself. How nice! Someone is having a wedding, out there in
their beautiful wooded yard. A beautiful day for it….. Almost before I
could finish that thought, I saw a sandy area, complete with many, many Barbies out of the corner of my eye. A’belle and I both hollered at the same time, “It’s Barbie Beach!” I was
beside myself. I kept looking at the clock trying to figure if I could turn
around and visit at this point. But we were going to be only a couple of
minutes early as it was (yes, EARLY, people!), so the decision was made without
discussion that we were going to come back the way we had come (scratching my
earlier idea of taking the back roads home). It was a beautiful day for
soccer. The girls played hard, and we were done. Time to head back! We
stopped at a Chick-Fil-A about five or so minutes from the Ball Park and picked
up some lunch, and we were on our way.

Soon enough I saw the sign announcing I had found the wedding once again. A car in
front of us had just pulled in. Unfortunately they did NOT follow the signs to
park correctly, but just barely pulled into the driveway. (Isn’t it annoying
when wedding guests don’t follow protocol?) I pulled over and tried to get
out, but the traffic was daunting. We waited until they finally left, and then
tried to back up, but that was to no avail–I was sitting on the edge of a
ditch. I was so excited I could hardly stand it, but I took the time to drive
down the road a quarter of a mile and turn around. I pulled in, parked (in the
clearly marked place), took a deep breath, and A’belle and I headed over to this wedding scene
completely set up with Barbie and friends. How
much fun is that? All kinds of wedding guests! The lovely bride and groom in their carriage. All kinds of loyal followers watching as they drove by. Fortunately we were okay in our
non-formal attire. (Well my good gracious, there were even some “nekkid”
attendees, but I didn’t photograph them…..for the sake of the young’uns, you
know.) We saw Shrek there, and a Gnome, and Batman as
well. There was even a blimp; what wedding is complete without a blimp? And
then there were the relatives that you just wish you hadn’t invited (the ones
laying in the sand!). 🙂 We even got pictures of the signs by the road that
served as our “invitation.” A’belle was good-natured and posed, holding up the
corner of the sign that had come a’loose. But when I suggested she wave at the folks
passing by, she rolled her eyes and said something I won’t repeat and walked
away quickly.

Lastly we ambled back to our vehicle (which was properly parked–now next
to a cable service man who was paying his respects) where our post-wedding meal
was waiting, catered by one of the finest restaurants in the south (our previously purchased
chicken delicacy and sweet tea). 🙂 We made our way back home singing along to great music and flying high on the wings of our unexpected, delightful adventure. I just know it wouldn’t have
been as much fun had we planned to go!

This brought back memories of another Barbie wedding many moons ago. The
bride’s and bridesmaids’ and flower girls’ (the original Strawberry Shortcake
dolls) dresses were all crocheted. Dear Aunt had made the tux I
believe. Annie’s Song by John Denver was played on the
cassette tape player, and my younger cousin served as the minister. Granted I’m
pulling all this out of some aged files of gray matter, so I might not have it
right. I do remember a wienie roast reception followed, and it was so much fun!
I recall a beautiful day that had been long anticipated and was one of the
best childhood memories I have.

Today I am celebrating mothers who are creative and make fun and warm
memories out of ordinary things like Barbies and hot dogs. And I am
celebrating folks who make an ordinary spot (where the utility company cut down
their rose bushes–seriously, you can google Barbie Beach Turin, GA) into a
place and a moment to celebrate, laugh, and turn the ordinary into the
extraordinary. And I’m celebrating that I have a really cool daughter who
would play along and make a ride up the road so much fun!

5 thoughts on “Ordinary into Extraordinary”

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