He comes from a long line of shell collectors. I didn't grow up going to the shore, as we call it in my family, but I spent many hours admiring my Grandmother's treasures from the sand. Steve's family has a tremendous love for collecting things that wash up out of the sea. Eli stepped on the sand, watched us for a few minutes and then went straight to work.
He is especially attracted to large, perfectly intact scallop shells.
We tried and tried to get him to add the shells to his brothers' fort but he would have none of it. He clutched his shells in both hands and paraded around the sand for as long as his little legs could carry him.
Eventually he wanted me to stand at the edge of the water and throw all of his shells back into the ocean. Then he quickly tried to re-collect them before they washed away. His grand finale was to fill a hole that Andy dug with his complete collection, add a bucket of water and giggle with delight. He is going to have a great week here.