We traveled to my MOST favorite place on Earth last week, Emerald Isle, North Carolina! I don't know if it's the gorgeous weather, beautiful ocean, or amazing company but I just love returning here year after year after year. I actually started coming here when I was a baby to my grandparent's cottage and have been here every year since!
Chris, my husband, and I decided to do the straight 12 hour drive from New Jersey to the beach in one day. Crazy, right??? You do what you have to do to see family, especially when you live FAR from everyone. We loaded the car with snacks, small toys, lots of books, and of course movies for our DVD player. And can you believe that neither child slept the entire 12 hours----WHAT???????? But thankfully, they were troopers because who makes a 3 year old and an 18 month old stay in their car seats all day long. A huge shout-out to Quaker popcorn cakes, the Madagascar movie, and our handy-dandy iPad to keep us going!
Before my kids were born, the beach meant LOTS of napping in the sun, listening to music with my headphones in, and many novels being read. Ha---in my dreams. We headed down on Saturday morning with the two boys and lo and behold, Andrew cried the ENTIRE first trip down while Aiden could barely get within thirty feet of the water. Oh boy, this is going to be a LONG week with one child crazy fearful while the other one could hardly move if the water got too close!
I have to admit that neither kid became a beach LOVER this year, but their tolerance of the sand, surf, and sun grew and we did have some fun moments down at the beach (in small doses)! Andrew loved to drive his trucks all over the sand and we finally got Aiden to sit where the waves were lapping. I am eagerly awaiting for the years where the boys will be jumping in the waves, building sandcastles, and hunting for shells---hopefully only a couple years away:)
A huge shout-out to my parents for helping take care of the boys at different times throughout the week and Chris who often headed back to the house early with the boys to prepare lunch and put them down for naps while I could hop into the ocean for some swimming---I just LOVE the ocean!!!
Since we only last so long at the beach, we found some other great things to fill our time there (and crossed off a few things on our Super Summer List!). Around the house, we loved to fill our pool up and splash around. We also played a lot of Zingo, watched a few extra cartoons, and got out on a couple family runs. One of our favorite evening family activities is to head out for some putt-putt golf. With these two boys, it was quite a workout---I think I spent more time chasing these two around the golf course than actually concentrating on my awesomely horrible golf skills. It really was quite comical watching these two explore, if you weren't the one chasing them. And these two weren't the most amazing players, but you do have to check out this awesome clip of Aiden (scroll to bottom), where he got a hole in one at 17 months!
Another afternoon, we headed over to the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. The boys loved seeing penguins, fish, otters, and even the snakes:) Aiden LOVES penguins and was very thankful for the new stuffed penguin that his uncle bought him and his brother;) I highly recommend visiting the aquarium if you are around this area, especially with young children.
This picture was just too adorable not too share----my dad does some amazing photography and happened to catch this picture the night before we returned home:)
Despite the fact that bringing along two little ones add more laundry, LESS sleep (especially when we all shared one room!), and lots of craziness...I love creating memories as our own little family. Where is your summer vacation taking you to? Hope all of you enjoy your summer vacations as much as we did---now off to catch up on some MUCH-needed sleep!