Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Family Vacation: Part II

If you know Chris and I, you know spontaneity is not our strength.  I am a planner to the core.  I am also indecisive (being married has made this worse since I always have someone to defer to!).  When we planned our trip to Pennsylvania a year ago we just figured we'd do the trip and come on home.  That was when we thought it was only a six hour drive from here.  Then I did google maps about a month before we left and found it was ten hours (more like 11+ stops).  Going for a long weekend seemed like a lot of time in the car in a short span of time.  I started looking at the map more closely and started seeing the word beach in areas that didn't seem all that far away.  Another google map search revealed we would be less than three hours away from the beach.  I love the beach.  I started making hints to Chris that perhaps we should extend our trip by a couple days and do the whole beach thing with the kids.  At first the answer was no.  Then we talked some more and Chris realized that he could use a full week off from work (he is great about taking a day off here or there, but really bad about allowing himself a full chunk of time to get away, rest, and rejuvenate).  At first we were going to just enjoy those extra days at home.  Then on Tuesday, as I'm madly packing, Chris sends me an e-mail and says "Let's do it!"  So Tuesday night around 10PM we finally booked a hotel and made it official.  Once we packed up camp in PA on Sunday, we would travel south to enjoy the beaches of Delaware and Maryland.  Hooray!  I'm so glad we figured this out before the suitcases were completely packed so I had time to sneak in the extra needed outfits, undies, and socks!

This was probably one of the most spontaneous things we've done recently.  And it was awesome.  It was such a great time to show the kids the ocean for the first time, have no agenda beyond waves and sand, and just enjoy our togetherness!  The kids loved it!

First stop was Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Grace got there, saw the water, and instantly said, "I go to water!"  This girl loves to get wet!
Joshua, on the other hand, was not too impressed by the water.  He kept saying, "I don't like that water!" 
It was okay that he didn't like the water.  The sand was a perfect compromise for him!  He loved it!
Grace enjoyed the sand too....
...till she ate it.  She said, "Hmm...its crunchy Mommy!"  (Take note of all the sand smashed around her mouth and face.)
Jacob had fun splashing in the waves too!
You don't get a whole lot of rest on vacation, so here he is chilling out on the sand.
A lap full 'o love!
After Rehoboth Beach we made our way down a coastal highway to our hotel.  We'd hoped to see more of the beach along the drive, but there were too many buildings.  It was a bit disappointing, but we did get to go through some cute little beach towns.  We stayed inland a bit from the beach to make the hotel more affordable.  We were about 25 miles inland and it worked out great.  Except for the fact that Joshua hums before he goes to sleep and it keeps everyone else in the room awake (and the fact that kids needed to be in bed at 8PM and Mom and Dad wanted to stay up later...hotel dwelling with little ones is a bit tricky!).
The second day we went to Assateague National Seashore in Maryland.  This is a barrier island and they have wild ponies in the park.  Well, the sign said they were "reintroducing" the wild ponies to the island.  They didn't seem that wild since they all congregated in the parking lot looking for food (despite the MANY signs not to feed them, I am sure people still do--they even have a special bike force called the Pony Patrol to keep people from getting too close or feeding them).  It was kind of neat to pull into the park and see ponies randomly walking around on the dunes or next to the road!
We loved Assateague National Seashore so much!  It was sooooooooo much better and enjoyable than Rehoboth because it was much less commercial (we could do without parking hassles, tons of shops, and a bustling boardwalk).  This was perfect.  There was a little boardwalk across the dunes to the beach and then just beach as far as the eye could see.  No buildings disturbing the beauty of it all.  Nothing commercial trying to capture our attention.  There were restrooms at the edge of the dunes (well, permanent outhouses, but they were sufficient) and showers to use after your day of fun to get the sand sort of off before getting into the car.  We spent the entire day here.  We could have stayed longer, but I think the kiddos were just getting worn out from the sun and needed some sleep.
No surprise Gracie was eager to test the water here, too!
All the kids really enjoyed the sand!
I really enjoyed getting my feet wet.  The water was a bit chilly though and people kept finding jelly fishes.  I didn't really want to venture out too far....
Chris and Jacob had no problem with the temperature of the water or the jelly fish sightings!  They both gave the boogie board a try and mastered it!  So proud of Jacob being brave enough to give this a try!
Gracie told me she needed to, "take a rest."  What a little sun bather!
Daddy worked with Joshua to help him not be so afraid.  They went to check out the water...
...and he got in!  After saying all day the day before, "I don't like that water" he ended the day saying, "Mommy!   Oshua likes that water!"  So proud of him to conquer that fear of the waves!
When we got back to the hotel we had three very sleepy, worn out kiddos!
We loaded up and hit the road pretty early the next day.  Vacationing is hard on the little people!

Vacationing is hard.  It is hard work to plan and prepare, to pack, and be ready.  It is exhausting when you get home (ummmmm, can you say mountains of laundry??).

Was it worth all the planning, the stress, the tension, the hard work before and after?  Yup.  It was worth every bit of sweat, every sleepless night, and every penny spent.  So many wonderful memories were made.  We hope to do it again soon!


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