Monday, September 7, 2009

OBX Baby!

We returned last night from our annual trip to Corolla, NC. This year we went with my sister Kristin and her family and my dad even joined us for a few days. The week before, the forecast looked sunny and warm, but the day we left there were clouds and rain predicted for every day! We made the most of it and tried some new activities this year. There is a fantastic Wildlife center in Corolla that offers free classes and we learned crabbing with the kids and all about frogs another night.

The Wildlife center is right next to an old mansion called the Whalehead house which is on beautiful grounds and on the sound which is perfect to watch the sunset. One night we went as the sun was just making its descent and enjoyed the surroundings.

We even broke down this year and decided to drive our Expedition on the beach. Corolla is at the northern tip of the Outer Banks and where the paved road ends you can still drive your car on the shore line. This is where the wild horses live and there are actually houses built out there. I was nervous the entire time, especially as we passed a car that was stuck in the sand, but we made it and it was really a neat experience.

We also went down to Roanoke Island and learned about the first English colony that settled there before Jamestown. That same day we headed to Jockey's ridge, a desert-like park that has enormous sand dunes (like 50 or 60 feet tall!) that you can climb and slide down. This may have been the highlight of the trip and it was a day that we were glad it wasn't sunny or hot because it was very comfortable to walk on all of that sand! The kids had a blast running up the dunes and then hurling themselves back down. Except for the occasional sand in the eyes, there were no complaints and nobody wanted to leave. We will definitely make this a tradition and bring a kite next time.

During the cloudy, cooler days we spent a lot of time doing this:

And of course we braved the wind and cold to go to the beach anyways.

Gavin chose to lose his pants and eventually was swimming in his sweatshirt and undies. It takes more than a little cold air to stop this kid from enjoying himself!

Our house also had a pool and the kids were brave enough to endure the chilly weather a few days and then warm back up in the hot tub. Towards the end of the week the sun came out and we were able to get our "beach fix" in. After all of those clouds we were not as diligent with the sunscreen and after spending 5 hours in the waves the first day we were all feeling it that night. We learned our lesson.

This year Cameron loved to jump over waves and even tried boogie boarding for the first time. He and his cousin Rachel became really good friends during this trip and were almost inseparable He also loved playing in the sand and digging holes.

Gavin was a little daredevil this year. I brought his life jacket for the pool but ended up using it more at the beach because there was no stopping him! He LOVED the waves even when they knocked him down, he always got up with a smile on his face. He also spent plenty of time with his trucks in the sand and asked to be buried again and again.

Mason was a trooper. He enjoyed the waves even when it was cold and loved picking up seashells for us. When he got sleepy he just went right ahead and conked out on us.

A plane!
Our Octopus

Cam and Rachel (and Daniel)

It was a lot of fun having my sister there this year, we usually go with friends, but having cousins around sure was wonderful. I have to say that the layout of this house was fantastic. It had a pool/game room on the bottom level with a TV where the kids spent most of their time and then the middle level with four of the bedrooms also had a TV and sitting area and then the top level had the spacious kitchen/dining/family room with a big TV and plenty of seating. There was a place for everyone. My only complaint was the distance from the beach. It was a good 2 blocks to get there where in the past it seems like we have always been a bit closer. What a great start to the school year. I love having this last hurrah every year to look forward to at the end of the summer. Even though the weather didn't cooperate as we would've liked, we really made the most of it and had the time to do some exploring and branching out from the norm. It was a great vacation and now I am ready for school!


Brooke said...

I'm glad you had fun. Love the undies picture.

Robyn/Lauren said...

What a bummer about the weather! We had some rotten weather too at Bethany. So glad you had a good time with the fam!

Mandi said...

You got some really good family pictures! Thanks for cheering me up today!