Saturday, September 4, 2010

Corolla 2010

Last Saturday our little family departed for our annual trip to the OBX. In past years we have always stayed in a big house with family or friends, but not this year. This year we found one of the few condos available in Corolla Light and settled in, just the five of us. I was very wary about not taking playmates for my children, especially when they kept asking, "who's going to be there?" and "who will we do stuff with?" I am very happy to say that despite the occasional time we had to pry our children's claws out of each other, everyone got along swimmingly and all three brothers had a great time just being together. We always go to Corolla the week before school starts because the prices go down substantially and because it is always nice to have this trip to look forward to at the end of the summer. Since this week falls at the end of August and beginning of September, there is always a risk of bad weather- hurricanes to be more specific. We've been there before when a hurricane has hit just south of where we stay and it was actually a little bit fun to hear the winds and walk on the beach afterwards to see everything that washed up on the beach. When we heard that Earl was forecasted for during our stay we didn't worry about it. The kids enjoyed participating in programs at the Wildlife Center where they did crabbing again, which they loved last year and wanted to repeat, and also did some cane pole fishing where Cameron and Gavin both caught fish, and also went to a class on the organisms that live in the sound where they used nets to catch and examine all kinds of little creatures. One day Jeremy took Cameron and Gavin out on a jet ski in the sound which Cameron kept begging all week to do again. The community where we stayed had a big oceanfront pool that was perfect to hop into for a bit after a sandy day at the beach and they also had an indoor pool which was perfect for when we had had enough sun. But oh how we love the beach. Every day until Thursday we went for a few hours, building sandcastles and jumping over waves. Gavin surprised us all by his fearlessness as he swam over and under even the biggest of waves and he kept trying to venture out farther and farther. There were a couple of red flag days when we weren't supposed to get in the water and Gavin refused to heed the warnings, so we were constantly having to drag him back out of the surf. Cameron was content with the water up to his knees and poor little Mason wanted nothing to do with the unpredictability of the waves. The very first night we were there we took the kids down to dip their toes in and Mason got pummeled by a big wave. After that he only wanted to sit on a chair or be held. We watched a little bit of the weather while we were there but didn't really think much of it until my sister Lisa called on Wednesday asking if we were going to evacuate. That's when we watched a bit closer and learned that the county just below us and the Carova 4 x 4 beaches just above us were under mandatory evacuation. It was just us and Duck that were left and Thursday morning they made it mandatory that all visitors leave. We were looking forward to the two remaining days, even if they were rainy because we had puzzles and games and movies to keep us busy, so it was a bit of a bummer. We packed up our stuff, tried to eat the food left in the refrigerator and set out at noon. The rental office was 3 miles south of where we stayed. Since everyone else was leaving as well, it took us 2 hours to go those 3 miles! The traffic was at a complete standstill and eventually I got out and walked to turn in our keys. It took nearly 4 hours just to get off the outer banks which is less than 20 miles down. We decided to stay the night in Williamsburg and get one more day out of Busch Gardens. We had stopped there for a few hours on our way to the beach and had planned to stop again anyway on the way home. After the rain stopped on Friday we enjoyed no lines on all of our favorite rides. It was the perfect end to an eventful week. This may have been our favorite beach week yet, even though it was just us. Not only do I love my family, but I just really, really like them and bonding times like this make me like them even more.

This is where Mason preferred to stay: (he was still worried about the waves)
Or here:

Our sand castle:
And sand turtle:

This was our first time bringing kites:

Cane pole fishing:

Gavin caught the biggest fish of the class!

There's a crab at the end of their line:
Exploring the sound:
Jet Ski with Dad:
Traffic! People were all getting out of their cars
This is how Jeremy felt about it:
Good thing we had some new movies for the kids to watch (Thanks Mandi!)


Tami said...

We were there, too. WE got evacuated, too. It was good while it lasted. :-)

Mandi said...

That is a really great family picture of you guys- the first one of the post. It looks like so much fun.

My stomach is still turning today. I feel so nervous- how are we going to cope when they go to college? Or missions? I can't even begin to think what a wreck I will be.

Hang in there- we only have 4 more hours :)