Thursday, August 21, 2014

Vacation roundup

Eggs Eggs Eggs Eggs Eggs Eggs Eggs Eggs

Okieeeeedokieeeee, where was I?  One of my Creative Writing professors in college suggested we write. Every day. Even if it was only what we'd eaten for breakfast. We were to keep a tiny notebook in our bag/purse/back pocket/somewhere on our person so that we could write every single day about something. She was firmly convinced that if we wrote every day, "something will break through the eggs. So do your eggs eggs eggseggseggs." I think of her often when I sit down to attempt to blog.

Right now, the problem isn't lack of material. The problem is that I don't have any idea where to start because we've been to the beach and back, school has begun, and we've bought a house.


I know, right? Eep. You see my dilemma.

Okay, beach it is, I guess. We packed up our beach stuff (and may I just toot my own horn here and say we packed MUCH less than in previous years, yay us) and began our multiple hour trip to the ocean. We left on a Thursday evening and dropped off Triskal (no beach for you) at the farm. She's still there with Grandma Barb and Pap. Anyway, we continued on into Pittsburgh to stay the night with Aunt Jana, Neva and Noah. We headed out in the morning the same time they took off for a trip to Kennywood. It was fun to give some love to everyone and earn small smiles from little Noah. He's almost two already! *sigh*

We sat in traffic for what felt like half of our natural lives once we were south of DC. Yes, it was a Friday. The interesting thing was that we noticed on the way home (also on a Friday) that they were sittingsittingsitting in the exact same place a week later. Horrors, to think that some people sit there every single Friday! Eek.

Once past that mess, we made it down to the OBX (Outer Banks, NC, for those of you scratching your heads) relatively smoothly. I had to endure comments from the back seat like, "what would happen if the ocean started leaking into here" as we tunneled under the water on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Those of you who know me very well know that I'm not a big fan of depths, and I really don't like the idea of being under water with idiot human drivers with a huge possibility of error to cause a disastrous accident. It gives me the shivers. Since I can suck it up with the best of them, that's what I did, gritting my teeth and taking big breaths once we got out of the tunnel.

Once at the OBX, we took over my aunt and uncle's house and got everyone settled. The kids were thrilled to see Dutch, their Elkhound, and Annie, their German Shepherd. Dutchie is pretty old and we weren't sure he'd still be there to greet us. His left hip is in pretty bad shape, and while we were there Annie really favored her left hip and leg, so that really put a crimp in her ball playing that she so loves. Poor Annie. She'd bring us her football with so much hope in her sweet face, but it just hurt our hearts to see her gimping after a few tosses. She'd play until her legs all fell off if you'd keep throwing that football. Such sweet dogs.

We spent most of our time at the ocean. We didn't go to the Sound this year, as there had been a 12 foot alligator killed in that general area soon before we arrived. Apparently he'd been run over, doing axle damage- naturally, by someone who hadn't known he'd been around for 50-80 years and was often seen in the area. Poor old thing. Just the same, aunt Lainie was not big on the idea of letting us loose over there just yet. The ocean was very cooperative, as the weather was, and it was only stormy one morning before we went. We did a good job this year of just taking it easy, waking when we woke, not really planning anything, just doings things as they came. Carrie got brave on a boogie board, even Liam and Damon tried them out with Dada, nobody got burnt, and Muggin and I collected seashells and sunbeams to our hearts' content. It was a blissful week of sun and sand and smiles.

David, my cousin, joined us for mini golf one evening, and the kids just loved that. We had a great time laughing at each other and cheering or crying out in dismay over the putts. We even ate our fair share of Booty Treats, which featured shaved ice and mini melts (think Dippin' Dots) and ice cream. The kids can never get enough.

On the way back home, we spent a night at Uncle Rob's new house in Maryland. Now that he's an official Navy Sea Chanter, they'll all be relocating. I believe we may have been his very first house guests. It was great to check out their new place and go to breakfast at a fun diner close by. I'm glad we could keep him company while his family was still in Pittsburgh, even if it was only for a night and a breakfast.

We made it home and have worked our way through the sandy laundry, the new swimsuits from the Swimsuit Magpie Aunt Lainie, and the stay quiet in the car toys, but haven't sorted out our seashells yet.

School started yesterday and both big kids had terrific days. So far they like their teachers and seeing their friends. Carrie spent a few times running around through her schedule at the junior high and practicing opening her locker before schools started, so she was pretty confident on the first day. She even made a new friend who'd dropped his colored pencils all over the stairwell, much to his mortification. I love that girl's helpful heart.

Liam will be home any minute from Day 2, so I'll have to leave house news for another post. Perhaps tomorrow. Damon is missing the big kids while they're gone. I'm trying to keep him busy. He just about talked my ears off today. Tonight is karate and shoe shopping since Liam's outgrown his tennies. Have a great night!