Pedal boating and family bonding – perks at Shoreline Lake Park by the bay


I love paddle boating, I told my son John, daughter-in-law Natasha and grandson Eliott.  I stood corrected.  It’s pedal boating.  Okey, I love pedal boating.  So, John and family took me to Shoreline Park lake in Mountain View, CA last weekend, to enjoy an activity I experienced in the last five years.  This was the fourth since before the start of the pandemic.  All my expectations were met, and the weather couldn’t have been more glorious for that outdoor activity on the lake.

The first challenge was stepping on to the boat.  It was a slow process with a lot of help from John, Eliott and the Shoreline attendant. Surprise, the boat didn’t dip low into the water with my heavy step. Next challenge was taking a seat on the bench. Hmmm … a little hard plop on the seater, but not bad. Once comfortably positioned, this baby boomer Lola was ready for the fun adventure.

(Photos by John S. Jacob)

Of course, I choose always to be the passenger at the back of the pedal boat. I knew it was not easy to maneuver the boat, especially when there is more weight from four passengers. Eliott asked for relief after thirty minutes, his long legs cramped between the seat and the pedals. John took over with little complaint. But Natasha persevered the whole hour.  I was concerned about her getting tired. While pedaling could be excellent exercise for the legs, it could be strenuous.  But she said her legs were fine.

Eliott exchanged places with his Dad and sat beside me at the back of the boat. He then started to play around with jerking moves left and right that reminded me of the white water rafting at Pagsanjan Falls, Philippines, only, not as brisk and rushed and without the boulders of rocks on the sides. Strange, the jerky moves made by Eliott’s weight shifts added thrill and more fun to the ride, but I asked him to stop cradling the pedal boat anyway. Maybe, he should go back to pedaling to keep him engaged, I wondered. But it was nice just sitting with my grandson and grabbing moments of random chats with him.

While my three companions did the hard work, I basked in the warm sunshine fanned by the slightly cool breeze from the bay beside the lake. My eyes feasted on the scenery. Scores of wind surfers whisked by, their colorful sails either obeying or battling the wind. Some struggled to get back up when they fell into the water.  I was fascinated to watch how long getting back up took.  A few sailboats bearing families languidly sailed, and some kayaks calmly passed by. And there we were, steadily moving on gentle waves, and as I surveyed my surroundings, I felt like I was floating on ripples of crystals created by refractions of sun beams on the water. It was absolutely spectacular!  I would love to do pedal boating again.

A walk by the lake and on the bay lands was next on our agenda. With such lovely surroundings, who could resist? Not an avid walker myself, I did venture, but sopped midway to rest on a comfortable bench. Eliott kept me delightful company, while his parents continued on. I think one of the best perks of this family outing was bonding.  I so enjoyed having those precious  moments of conversation with my grandson, asking him about his summer vacation, his volunteer activities in church, his piano lessons, his friends, his videoing hobby. I then realized that when I withdrew from a physical group activity to rest, I would hear Eliott’s parents suggest to him, stay with Lola – and I so appreciated those snippets of bonding times with that boy, as on that day at Shoreline lake.

We couldn’t leave Shoreline without having the sumptuous meals at the café. While John, Natasha and Eliott had hefty sandwiches and salads, I ate a bowl of creamy soup with slices of beef stroganoff, the café’s soup du jour of the day – it was fantastic!  And of course, I didn’t pass on their thinly battered, crispy onion rings.

A complete wonderful treat from John, Natasha, Eliott at scenic and beautiful Shoreline Park.  I strongly suggest – go to Shoreline Park in Mountain View, while the summer weather is glorious for activities on the lake.

Linda P. Jacob