Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Trip to the ocean

What an adventure we had last week! We headed out on June 30 for a 15-hour drive to the Outer Banks in North Carolina... little did we know (because we hadn't caught any news from that morning) that a storm traveling ahead of us had knocked out power in most of West Virginia and Virginia. We arrived at our hotel for the night and discovered no power and no gas in town. We had just enough gas to make it to the next major town, where the hotel we had booked at the last-minute also had no power. Luckily Brian was able to race across town and gas from one of the few stations there with fuel remaining. But we still had no where to stay for the night. After dozens of calls to hotels by us and other family members, my mom booked us a room at a possibly sketchy place near Richmond, Va. We made it there after 10 p.m. with an infant in the back seat who was beyond the end of her rope. Ellie was tired, but the endless stream of Dora shows we'd allowed her during the drive seemed to quell her nerves. Honestly I don't think Ellie had any idea that things had been heading south for the start of our trip, and mom and dad were close to a panic for most of the afternoon and evening. I suppose it's better that way... and this will all make for a great story for her some day. We all happily crashed for the night (in a Roadway Inn that turned out to be not-too-scary), and started fresh the next day. All week I had a hard time complaining too much about our trials on the drive easy because hundreds of thousands of people across that area were left without power for much of the week, while we joined most of my family at a beach house for the holiday week. The sweltering heat we endured was certainly countered by the proximity we had to the ocean. I feel for the people who had to last days without air conditioning during that crazy heat wave. Our whole trip was amazing despite the rocky start and intense heat during the week. Lots of love and thanks to the family we got to share it with!
(Above) This about sums up the hotel stay that first night. (Below) Here's Katie trying to keep cool after taking a dip in the ocean :)

 Cousins! Ellie, Katie and Mason.
 Freeze pop time.

 Happy 4th of July!

 Ellie being fearless in the pool. After a lesson the first day from daddy, she would jump into the arms of anyone willing to catch her!

 I tried just about everything during the week to take Katie with us to the beach while keeping her cool and out of the sun. Given temps around 100 all week, though, Brian and I spent most of the days taking turns bringing her back to the house to cool off and nap. "Vacation" with two small children certainly is different, with our activities needing to be scheduled around naps and hours spent applying sunscreen and packing for or bathing after the beach trips. But it was all worth it when we got to see our little fish Ellie splashing in those waves!

 The group! Ben, Candice, Chris, Maggie, Dan, Jen and Mason, Brian, Ellie and me. (Katie was up at the house with grandma.) An unforgettable week!

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