Almost every morning we spent at the beach, I would get up early, lace up my shoes, and head out to pound the pavement ... er ... sand. It was a little ridiculous how much I was looking forward to my morning runs, even before we got there. The first morning, I tried out a paved path not on the beach, but every day after that, I ran on the beach. It was awesome. Such beautiful views. And, I could take as long as I wanted because the kids were not going to be home alone. When I got back to the house, I would sit on the porch, watch the ocean waves and wait until I semi-dried off.
|Some mornings, I would read while I waited for the sweat to dry. Yup, that is the life.|
Wednesday was a very exciting day, as it was the day my best childhood friend and her daughter were coming to join us. Amanda lives outside of Charlotte, NC, now, so when my mom said we had space open in the house, I asked Amanda if she could come spend some time at the beach with us. Growing up, when we would go on vacation to the beach, we were sometimes allowed to bring one friend along. My mom thought it was easier (and way more fun!) for the kids to each have someone to play with. I always brought Amanda. So, needless to say, I was beyond excited when I found out that she could come. Her daughter, Mallory, is only a year older than Molly, so it was going to be great fun all around!
On Wednesday morning, before Amanda and Mallory arrived, we discovered some boogie boards in the laundry room of the beach house. We had been wanting boogie boards all week, so this was a very exciting discovery.
|Cory helping Molly float on a boogie board. Floating is pretty much all she did on it. She didn't really understand the whole "ride the wave in" business.|
|Jake named the dragon on his boogie board Ocean. It was a little confusing to hear "Ocean knocked me down. Ocean hit my leg," until I was told about the naming of the boogie board.|
|Some moms and their kids. Amanda and Mallory arrived.|
|I wanted a super beachy picture. Instead, I think I look like I came out of the 40s. Oh well.|
|Mallory and Molly hanging out on the boards.|
|Mallory figured out how to ride the waves, though.|
|Gathering water to work on some sand project.|
|Molly and Cory heading back out into the water.|
On Thursday night, we decided to switch things up a bit and head into town for some putt-putt action. The putt-putt course also had go-karts and bumper boats. I was super excited about the bumper boats because I, for some reason, had really fond memories of them. That would soon change.
|All the kids getting ready to ride go-karts. I haven't driven a go-kart in forever, so it was fun to drive with Charlotte. She had a blast.|
|Here we are, two soaked people heading up to the putt-putt course on the train.|
|And, Sarah, Amanda, Mallory and Molly heading up on the same train.|
|The kids were very, very well behaved during putt-putt.|
|And, we discovered Charlotte is a golf prodigy. The girl got some legit 3s on lots of the course. Sign her up for the LPGA now.|
|Me and my girly golfers.|
|The whole rag-tag team of kids.|
|Probably one of my favorite pictures of the whole trip. Cory and Amanda were competing the whole night. Winner had to buy dessert. They ended up in a dead tie.|
|So, Cory bought icees and Amanda bought ice cream. I think ice cream was the winner. It was also when Charlotte deigned to go off with Amanda. A score for anyone who's tried to get in good with Charlotte. Apparently, ice cream is a good ice breaker.|
The next day, after some more time at the beach, we packed all the kids and parents in the minivan and headed to the Maritime Museum and Fort Macon. (Funny side note about the minivan: First, Charlotte was disappointed because it did not have TVs in it like her friend Sydney and Melese's minivan, but then, when we got back to KC, she was disappointed that we had our regular old car. She kept asking where our new van was. Apparently, the concept of renting was lost on her.)
|Molly striking her "pirate pose" at the pirate exhibit at the Maritime Museum.|
|Charlotte standing in front of a capsule while holding her clipboard for her scavenger hunt for the museum.|
|Um, Jake's face just made me laugh. They all got to pick shells from the museum, and I think Jake is "hearing" the ocean in his. Molly, well, I'm not sure what she's doing.|
|We decided to take another family picture while we were sitting in front of the museum.|
|And, we made the kids pose for another picture, too.|
Next up, we headed over to Fort Macon. There was supposed to be a sea turtle talk in the visitor's center, so we headed there first, then explored the fort.
|This sign at Fort Macon just made me laugh. And, it was so true. There were no safety railings or ropes to keep people from falling off. It made me nervous, but they had warned us.|
|Amanda and I, ironically, in the kitchen area of the fort. Neither one of us belongs anywhere near there.|
|Up on the top of the fort, with absolutely no safety measures whatsoever. My heart was beating pretty fast up here.|
That evening, we wanted to take some pictures in the ocean. Ok, I'll be honest, I really wanted to take some pictures, and I forced everyone to pose with me. C'mon, I needed some good ones for my scrapbook!
We had one picture from one of those long-ago beach trips with Amanda. I found the picture a couple years ago and was impressed by how awesome we looked in it. Er, maybe awesome isn't the correct word. But, well, we looked like we were having a good time. So, I made Amanda pack up her jean jacket so we could recreate that awesomeness.
|And, here it is!|
|Then, we got the girls in on the action.|
|Took one with Leigh without jean jackets.|
|Then, we tried to get one of us with all three girls.|
|It was tricky getting everyone to look, smile and not pose up front with her arms up in the air.|
|But, we finally got a pretty good one, I'd have to say. Love this one!|
|Then, we did some shell hunting.|
|And, I'm just having fun with the pictures.|
|And, finally, the next morning, before we left, we took a family picture with Papa, Gigi and Aunt Sarah.|
So, then, we headed back to the airport and back to Kansas. We had quite a delay in Atlanta, but finally made it home. The girls were travel rock stars, and we got several compliments on how well they were behaved. (Nice way to make a momma feel good!). I can't believe how quickly the trip flew by, and I can't believe that the girls are already asking when we can go back. It's never enough. Geez. Thanks Emerald Isle for some great memories!