Saturday, July 27, 2013

A week at the beach (part one)

I'm splitting this into two parts because it was just that awesome. Oh, and there are about a million pictures. 

I grew up in North Carolina. And, many of my childhood vacations were trips to the beaches of North Carolina. My mom would rent a beach house, then us kids would spend a week splashing in the ocean and digging in the sand. I have lots of memories of spending time at the beach, including my one-and-only trip to the ER for stitches. (Darn you sharp-tailed sea creature, I still have a scar!) But, despite the emergency room visit, I still loved going to the beach.

Obviously, living in Kansas hasn't afforded us nearly as many opportunities to beach it up. Especially having kids. But, my mom had a big birthday this year and wanted to celebrate with a big family trip to the North Carolina shoreline.

So, July 14th, we packed everyone up and headed to the beach. My mom rented a house again, and 16 people were going to be staying in it. Many of those 16 people chose to drive to the house in Emerald Isle, NC, but we decided to take the easy way with two children and fly.

My dad also flew with us because he had decided to have neck surgery two days before we left, and didn't think it would be wise to drive. I'm not so sure flying was that smart, either, but he made it there and back and is still alive, so I guess it turned out ok. But, that explains the neck brace in all of these pictures. I promise, my dad's fashion sense is iffy at best, but not that completely crazy. :)

Molly, Charlotte and my dad after getting off our tiny plane in New Bern, NC.
We rented a car and drove from New Bern to Emerald Isle. The girls were dying to see the ocean. It was both of their first times to see or be at the beach. So, after unpacking, we immediately went down to check out the water.
Such a great view from the deck of our beach house.

Sea shells!

Our beach house is the one on the right. We were majorly intrigued by the monolith on the left. We finally did some cyber-stalking on it and discovered that it rented for a mere $11,000 a week. 

Some girls and their dad.

Whee! My feet in the ocean.

Having fun.

The girls then decided they needed to be in swimsuits.

Molly loved being in the water.

Charlotte decided the sand was more her speed.
The next day, Jake, Leigh and Sarah had arrived. So, after breakfast, the kids changed out of PJs and into swimsuits. We were so lucky that we were right on the beach. It made going down to the water no big deal.

Suited up and ready for the ocean.

Jake and Molly striking surfer dude poses.

Playing in the surf.

An action shot to prove that Charlotte did go in the water, however briefly.

Charlotte finally decided she liked the ocean as long as she got to sit in someone's lap and no water got near her face. Gigi obliged and played in the waves for a while with her.

But, really, she liked the sand the best.

A couple of mermaids.

We played in the beach all day Monday, but Tuesday, after playing in the water in the morning, we headed in town to check out the aquarium.
Before heading to the aquarium, though, we had to make a stop to pick up some more beer. Turns out, 12 adults can certainly plow their way through an impressive quantity of beer. 

An awesome sand sculpture of sea turtles in front of the aquarium.

Molly, Charlotte and Jake got to "rescue" sea turtles in an interactive exhibit at the aquarium. They thought it was awesome.

A family picture with the girls riding the back of a sea turtle. Are you sensing a theme, here?

That night, all the other ladies (Regie, Marcia and Jan) planned a big birthday dinner to surprise my mom. We even brought a queen "cape" of a trash bag that the girls had decorated, some crowns, and a sash. There was even a scepter and royal goblet. I don't know that my mom was thrilled with the beauty of these items, but it was all in good fun.
My mom, surprised at the dinner.

Posing in her royal regalia with her little princesses.

Molly checking out her cake.

My dad even got in on the action with his own crown, decorated with Regie's birthday flower clip.

We think my dad was on pain pills and beer ...

Because he was awfully goofy!

To be continued with part two ... Amanda's arrival!

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