Sunday, September 14, 2008

Back to Life.

We returned last night from our annual trip to the Outer Banks, NC. A week spent on the beach, in a fabulous beach house with great friends, was just what we needed to end our summer on a high note.

Here they are, the Perkins - just about the most photogenic threesome in the world.

This was the house - a departure from the one we rented two years in a row. We also decided to go with a different town this year - Avon, which is a slightly shorter drive than the town we stayed in before. Not much, but every little bit helps. I say that because we drove down. My original plan was to fly with the kids, but the Universe had other ideas. Hurricane Hanna proved to be too much for Continental Airlines; and so my flight was cancelled. Jeff and I decided to soldier on, through the rain and gale force winds because, damn it, we've been waiting for this vacation all year.

It took us about 11 hours to drive down there. Shudder. Enough said about that.

The house was wonderful. Lots of space for the monkeys and us to run around, lounge around, soak up the sun and unwind. There was even a pirate ship on the front lawn. The minute we pulled up to the driveway, the monkeys barrelled out of the car and hit it at full force.

After the long drive, they needed to stretch their legs. Their vocal chords, on the other hand, needed to relax after extensive use.

The kids were pretty excited about the house. They each had their own room. What especially caught their eye though, on that first night, was the elevator. The house had an elevator! From the perspective of a three year old, this was a glory hallelujah moment.

There was a pool table too. Jordan snuck off with my camera one afternoon to capture this shot.

While on the subject of pools, I'll say that the pool in the back was the hit of the week for my kids. They couldn't get enough of it. Even as we sat out on the beach itself, with the ocean at our feet, Jordan kept asking when we'd go back to the pool. He even tried to get clever about it by suggesting that he was cold and "need[ed] to warm up in the hot tub." The hot tub was conveniently located next to the pool. He had fun going from one to the other as the urge struck. I liked it because it did allow him to warm up quickly. The child has zero body fat, so winds up chilled in the pool very quickly, even when he's splashing around and jumping and swimming.

Jumping into the pool occupied much of their daylight hours.

Our buddy Grace, who at three can really swim without any help, confidently tackled jumps in the deep end.

Despite the rough start, weather-wise, we made it to the beach a few times during the week. It helped that it was right outside our door... just over the grassy hill.

The kids did their thing. Surprisingly, Jordan was not as thrilled by the beach this year as he has been in years past. There's just no telling with kids from one year to the next what interests them, I guess. Which is the nice thing about vacationing with friends who have kids of their own. They just get it.

Kids are mercurial. One minute they're loving the beach, the sand, and the waves. The next, they want nothing to do with the heat, the humidity, or the mosquitoes. We just try to roll with it.

Some kids are builders....

And then there are mine...

This year, we spent some time on the bay side of the island. The bay was always calm and smooth as glass. Since it was surprisingly shallow, I felt more comfortable letting the monkeys wander in and explore on their own.

Monkey Sr. surprised us all with his Old Man and the Sea skills.

He caught quite a few fish too.

The kids showed no fear in handling the small fish.

The fish were quite small, which made them suitable as bait. Luckily, some local fisherman were close at hand and were quite happy to utilize the bounty.

Here, Jordan puts the fish into their water cooler. I was happy to see that the fish were actually being used for something productive. Watching them flop about caused a momentary pang of guilt in me. Yeah...I'm not good with this sort of thing. I restrained myself from sneaking off and releasing them back into the water when no one was looking that's something, I guess.

On that note, I'll take a little break and continue the saga tomorrow. Way too many pictures to use up all in one post!
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