Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Vacation to Remember

After four years, four months, and twenty-three days, our little family finally had the opportunity to get away together - just the three of us.  We've taken some pretty amazing trips over the past four years with lots of people we love, but there's something to be said for intimate family time and, lately, I'd been craving it something fierce!

Thanks to the generosity of some wonderful people, we headed down to Emerald Isle, NC for a long weekend and it really couldn't have been more perfect.  I tend to have too much get-up to my go on vacations, so I had to make a conscious effort to slow down and actually relax.  Once I got the hang of it, I didn't want to come home! All three of us slept until at least 9:00 each morning and started the day with no agenda - it was simply whatever we wanted to do and whenever we wanted to do it.  Doughnuts for breakfast at 10:00 a.m.? Sure thing.  Golf cart rides around the campground at 10:00 p.m.? You got it.

I'm telling y'all - it was awesome.

Not even the rain could get us down.  In our opinion, a rainy day at the beach beats a sunny day at work, so we made the most of it and headed to the aquarium.  Growing up on the coast of NC, I have a fond appreciation for all things "ocean", and I love me an aquarium.  I had never visited this one as a kid, so I really enjoyed experiencing it alongside Jeramie and Ethan for the first time!

Me: Ethan, why are you SO cute?!
Ethan, shrugging his shoulders: That's just how God made me.

Checking out the hermit crab in the touch tank.

Turtle rescue station.  Our turtle was evidently suffering from extreme constipation and needed some enema action.  I'll never look at a cute little turtle tail the same way again.

Be still, my beating heart.

And, can we give some love to the 50mm for these next few shots? Half the time I have no idea what I'm doing with it, but the aquarium seemed like as good a place as any to practice.

Found him.

On our way back to the camper, we were pleased to see the sunshine and decided to take a late-afternoon dip in the pool.  In just a few weeks time, Ethan has gone from an anxious, water-fearing kid to Mr. Independent.  He still has some reservations about "going under" and definitely doesn't want to go in without some sort of floatation device, but he's come a long, LONG way!

Friday was our big beach day and probably my favorite! Other than the sand that seems to get everywhere it shouldn't, I love the beach.  I love the sounds of the waves and seagulls, the saltiness of the ocean, and the way sunscreen smells on our towels and bathing suits.  I've said it before, but I consider myself so lucky to have grown up on the coast.  My love for it is in my genes and, apparently, in Ethan's as well.

As we approached the four-hour-mark of sun, waves, and sandcastles, we gave Ethan the option to stay at the beach for a while longer or head back to the campground to swim in the pool.  He chose to stay, and my heart did a happy-dance.

Another perk to the beach? It's the perfect spot for kite-flying! Since getting a kite for his birthday in March, Ethan has reeeeeeeeeeally wanted to try it out.  But, between a rainy spring and my forgetfulness, it's just never happened.  I kind of surprised myself with even remembering to bring it with us, and I'm glad I did.  He was so proud and enjoyed it so much!

Throw in a seafood dinner, a trip to Dairy Queen, and an outdoor movie, and I'd call that a pretty fantastic vacation.  So great, in fact, that Ethan cried off and on for about an hour on our drive back home.  "I just want to go back to the camper!", he'd say in the most pitiful voice ever, and I assured him that I couldn't agree more.

While coming home to car shopping and laundry and grocery shopping quickly brought us back to reality, I'll cherish the memories we made that weekend, look forward to the ones to come, and continually thank God for the blessings He pours out on our family.

He is so, so good to us.

Emerald Isle - August 2, 2013


Sherry said...

I love this post! What a perfect beach vacation. I do love those special "intimate" family vacations too, and the beaches of eastern NC are definitely in my blood too! Your pictures are just gorgeous, and Ethan is definitely a cutie!

Carolina Carters said...

I love it!! The pics are amazing and it looks like you all had so much fun! Glad you got a little family get-away. :)

Oh, and E's little freckles...omg.

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