I can't possibly begin to capture all of our adventures, but I will sum up a few of the highlights for future posterity (and in case you're interested). This trip to the Outer Banks differed from our previous trips in two major ways. First, we experienced the indirect effects of two major storms: Bill and Danny. Fortunately, neither of them messed too much with our vacation, but we did experience some serious surf and a few storms. The rip currents were so strong that beach visitors were warned to stay out of the surf for a goodly portion of our trip. There was one day at the beach, Wednesday, I think, where the surf, while still amazingly active, was close to normal and all of the kids enjoyed playing in the waves. Even the baby.
The second difference was that we didn't really do any excursions this time. Usually, we take at least one day trip to a museum or to go shopping or otherwise take a break from the Swim at the Pool or Visit the Beach daily dilemma. It helped that we stayed in Avon, which has a real live grocery store and some of our favorite restaurants. When we stay in Rodanthe, getting to the grocery store is such an effort that we always feel like we need to make an afternoon of it and visit a landmark, too! But not this year--we stayed close to the beach house, either swimming in the pool or visiting the beach in the morning, followed by hanging out with our friends or doing a craft project with the kids in the afternoon, followed by a fun dinner (in or out).
It was a nice change of pace. The only excursions we took (apart from said grocery store visits) were to the pottery place, where all of the kids decorated a ceramic piece, and to the local beach store, to buy Brendan some shorts, because I forgot to pack his shorts! They were sitting in a stack right on our bed, and I told him I'd pack all of his clothes. And then I didn't. Oops! That's what you get for outsourcing, I guess!
- We spent an extra day in Raleigh due to Bill, and spent an afternoon at the Life + Science Museum in Durham. HIGHLY recommended for kids of all ages.
- The Treasure Hunt on the beach for all of the kids, followed by a bonfire and s'mores...always an anticipated event.
- The weather...yes, it was stormy, but in between those storms we had amazing beach weather. Hot and windy.
- Lots of craft projects for the kids...I brought a couple projects, my friends brought a couple projects, and as a result, there was always something fun or creative to make to help that last bit of the afternoon go by more quickly.
- Lemongrass martinis and Lemongrass Lemonade martinis...we made these for our friends one night. Not too bad, those. I think we all agreed that the lemonade ones were the best.
- My favorite cocktail of the week was something our friends call "Peach Vacation," made with peach cider and Malibu rum and lime juice (I think that's right). YUM. They made virgin ones for the kids, too, substituting coconut juice for the rum.
- Pirate gear and pop guns (I think we have some pictures of these).
- Hanging out and talking with some of our favorite people, and getting to know some other (new) favorite people.
- Seeing one of my best friends in the whole world. No matter how much time passes, we always seem to pick up the conversation right where we left off. I got the scoop about OCON, and we talked about ideas, and our kids, and life. Among other things. :o)
I worked a bit on the FamBlog while I was gone, but our internet connection at the house was pretty awful, so I had more downtime than I anticipated. I'll get that post up soon, and one with our beach pictures soon(ish) after that. Twitpic wasn't cooperating the last couple of days, and so did not post my pictures of one of our favorite OBX eateries and its slogan. So here they are:
And you absolutely MUST see this adorable picture of Morgan and Ryan asleep in our hotel last night. Delicious!
Partly due to the internet connection, and partly due to the status of my brain, I did not really work on any of the other things I had planned to. I always think of vacation as a time in which I'll somehow have extra time to write. Why do I think that, because that's just crazytalk! But I'm not going to beat myself up about it--I had fun and I was on vacation! I do feel rested and that's a good thing, since we are hitting the ground running this week. All of the kids' activities are in full swing. Brendan has a nice lead on a new contract (yay). I'll work on my projects this week, and I'm hoping to carve out some semi-regular time to myself. I think Starbucks needs a regular Saturday or Sunday morning customer, don't you think?
Less than 4 weeks until our NEXT family vacation! Can you believe it? Yes. At the end of September, we'll be in Orlando at Mickey's house, celebrating my parents' 40th wedding anniversary. And then the week after that--my mother-in-law gets married up in Wisconsin! And then after that, I do not intend to travel until next year's trip to the Outer Banks. :o)
Bye for now....you cannot imagine the amount of unpacking and laundry I have yet to touch.