My Happy Place

1st evening at the beach

I may have given some readers the impression that my happy place is a craft store or the paint department at the Home Depot.  But the truth is, the beach is one of the few places in the world that brings this kind of smile to my face.

I love beach food, beach clothes, beach skin, beach toes, the smell of sunblock, little blond whispies around my children’s freckled faces, The Hubs goofy sun hat, drippy ice cream cones, the Beach Boys blaring from our mini-van windows as we cross over the Pamlico Sound, and a new bathing suit that each time it’s worn to my neighborhood pool will remind me of our 2012 Outer Banks Vacation.

But the laid-back, let’s-not-do-anything-but-sit-here-and-watch-the-kids-play-in-the-sand-and-the-surf attitude trumps them all.  It’s so simple, so beautiful, so sublime, to observe as they play together at the beach.  *Sigh*  I wanna go back.

This is where we stayed.  Most Outer Banks rentals are big enough for a few families to stay in together.  This one was perfect for us:  four bedrooms and two full baths with a second floor pool and hot tub.

That’s right.  Second floor pool and hot tub!  It was the selling point for me.

What a luxury to be able to walk out of the living space to the pool deck.  You can see the bay windows from the living room/dining room area overlooking the pool in the photo below.  Not to worry, the giant steel girders below deck kept the pool and our whole family from falling to the ground level.

My mother-in-law and brother-in-law drove down on Sunday and stayed with us until Wednesday, mid-day.  We took full advantage of the extra help and went out to our favorite restaurant in Duck, The Blue Point for a vacation date night.  It just doesn’t get any better than five hours out alone on vacation.  Thank you Grandma and D’Uncle!  We are so grateful.

Here’s my first attempt at playing with my new Instagram app on my Droid.  I love it!

We’re not big into sugary treats and ice cream at home.  But somehow, while on vacation, that goes right out the window.  We indulged at Duck Donuts, Lighthouse Bagels, Dairy Queen, Grammy B’s Ice Cream Parlor, and Big Buck’s Ice Cream and Coffee Bar.  I’m pretty sure we had enough donuts and ice cream to last us until next summer.

The kids thoroughly enjoyed their first crab steaming and picking experience.  It took me back to my days sailing with my family on the Chesapeake Bay.  Smarty Pants and Dimples loved the crab meat, and that’s a good thing, because I might just question their sanity otherwise.

We tried REALLY hard to get a family photo at the Whalehead Club and around the Currituck Heritage Park.

My brother-in-law will be handing off the rest of the photos in due time.  Based on these two photos, something tells me there’s no “money shot” among them.   We shall see.

We had a day and a half of rain, and to be honest, I love a rainy day at the beach.  My brother-in-law and I took the three older kids to see Brave at the little movie theater in Corolla.  We all enjoyed it.  As far as Disney-Pixar movies go, I thought it was excellent.  The animation truly was amazing.  Once the rain blew over on Wednesday around lunchtime, we headed to the beach to find tidal pools everywhere.

Hours of sandcastle building ensued.  Given how rough the surf was that day, I was happy to have some nice cool tidal pools for everyone to play in.

Just look how exhausted Bright Eyes was from all that digging!

Not one, but two naps that day.   Exhausted kids:  add that to the list of things I love about the beach!

We have returned to life at home refreshed, renewed, and re-committed to our little family.  It’s a great feeling, in spite of how much I miss being there, away from it all.

In case you read my post before we left about packing I can happily report that I brought everything we needed.  Without question, I was happiest that I packed light on two occasions:

1.  When The Hubs saw everything outside on the lawn and said, “That can’t be it!  You are amazing.”

2.  When we had to pack up to come home and it took us no time at all.

Wherever you go, staycation, or vacation, I hope you are having a summer filled with happy memories!

Categories: Parenting Reflecting

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