This past weekend, we took off for the beach. I was in dire need of the ocean; there is a sense of my smallness and the infinite greatness there that I have come to need every so often. I need to hear the waves crash and watch the horizon.
Brad had a stash of hotel points, so we decided to stay two nights instead of doing our usual day trip. We had a suite, so we packed in lunches and snacks and settled in for the weekend. Brad made fun of me settling all the way in Friday night--right down to a bowl of apples on the kitchenette counter. We just enjoyed the hotel for the night after a lovely dinner.
Saturday morning, we got up, ate at the hotel, and headed straight to the beach. The kids gathered shells and played in the waves. Evan was initially very hesitant, but he finally really enjoyed the waves crashing. We spent the afternoon at the aquarium, and then had an early dinner at a fun seafood place right on the water. We watched the pelicans swoop and dive, which was a huge highlight of the trip.
Sunday morning, we got up and headed to a different beach with bigger waves. We all sat at the edge of the ocean and let the waves crash into us. It really is so lovely, and I loved listening to the kids laugh. They also were able to tell us exactly which pirates had been there and what battles ensued. I love that they can see the places they've been reading about all year. Thankfully, we arranged for a late check out because we were all in dire need of a shower before we headed out to see the river walk in Wilmington. We also went to the Cape Fear Museum, which was really fun! The kids loved climbing on board the model pirate ship to see how simple machines were used on ships. They also loved learning about the animals of the Piedmont, and Brad and I laughed ourselves silly as we showed them how pictures came in envelopes in the "old days." We ended our trip at an incredible Indian place that we will absolutely revisit.
We have a few pictures to remember, but the laughter and the memories are fabulous.