We just got home from our first ever family vacation. REAL vacation, that is. Sure, we’ve traveled a lot, but we’ve always stayed with family and I don’t think that really counts.
This time, we stayed in an actual beach house with the actual ocean right in our front yard.
Talk about a real vacation.
The weather was perfect. The location was perfect. The crowds were non-existent.
Once we got there I realized that I had somehow forgotten how to relax. I guess that comes from being on constant red-alert (you know, for crying, screaming, accidents, peeing in the bed, etc.) for the past nine years or so.
I remembered about three days in, thank goodness. The warmth of the sun and the sound of the waves worked some seaside magic and I actually fell asleep on the beach with a book in my hand.
That just does NOT happen.
My children counted down the days until this trip for over a year. Once we finally got there, they weren’t disappointed (well, except for one small incident involving a door, a certain 9-year-old, a yanked-off toenail, lots of blood and a visit to Urgent Care. But that’s another story).
Some of the non-disappointing things were:
Chasing fiddler crabs across the beach with flashlights after dark
Digging for buried treasures in the sand
Burying each other in the sand (but not me – I have an irrational fear of sink-holes)
Making sand castles with extra deep moats and flags made from a “mermaid’s purse”
Holding hands and jumping waves
Boogie-boarding (but not with me – I have an irrational fear of sharks)
Getting swept out to sea with Dad and spending the next two hours swimming back to shore
Making footprints in the sand
Petting sting rays
Watching sandpipers and sanderlings run from the surf so they won’t get their little birdie feet wet
Listening to Jed yell, “Hey! A big chair! Over dere!” when he’d see giant customer-luring Adirondack chairs sitting in front of businesses
Being on the lookout for wild ponies
Being on the lookout for pony statues, which were everywhere (we were close to Corolla, NC, where a herd of wild ponies lives)
Breathing in the smell of the ocean
Flying kites out on the beach
Watching Jed go “shishing” with his Daddy
Watching the brilliant sunrises and the pink and orange sunsets
Para-sailing 900 feet up in the air (but not me – I have an irrational fear of heights)
Seeing flocks of pteranadon-looking pelicans skimming over the water
Looking for dolphins (and looking out for sharks)
Finding seashells, shark teeth, and horseshoe crab skeletons
Watching the (bajillion) stars come out and fill up the entire sky
Each time I go to the ocean it feels like I’ve been away too long – it’s almost like it’s a part of me. I think my kids felt the same way.
I can tell because they’ve already started their countdown to our NEXT trip to the beach.