Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Beautiful Time

Beautiful weather. Beautiful beach. Beautiful waves. Beautiful swimming pools. Beautiful hotel. All with my beautiful family. And, it was a a beautiful time of relaxing and laughing and memory making.
Grady Lee could jump in ocean waves all day long. Seriously - all day long. Micah is content to ride his body board on the waves for a while, jump in waves for a while, throw a football for a while, dig for a while, and then cycle back to riding his board again. Interested in everything, but for shorter periods of time. Annalyse is content to be wherever Grady or I am. The big waves scare her unless Dad or Mom is close by and the sand isn't fun to dig in unless Dad or Mom want to help.
Since the waves were tame the week we were there, Grady and I could watch from the sand while the boys played. Of course, we jumped and rode boards a lot of the time, too, but it was nice to be able to finally be parents able to relax on the beach instead of nervously grasping little hands and keeping faces above water.
Our hotel had several pools and a water slide, which was the perfect way to spend the afternoon hours after a full morning on the beach. When we all needed a break from the sun, we'd enjoy a picnic lunch poolside and relax in comfortable chairs under an umbrella. And, if we opted for an hour or two of rest, our hotel room was just steps away. The location was really great.
My boys say every summer that visiting the beach is their favorite vacation our family takes. And, while we are not extensive travelers or posh vacation-takers, we do travel enough that their comments about liking the beach the most says a lot. Maybe it's because they are free to run and jump and kick and play all day. As loud as they want. As much as they want. And pretty much anywhere they want. Although I'm not a fan of sand - at all - I have to agree that our weeks at the beach have always been great getaways.
My five-month pregnant belly did okay jumping in the waves and riding water slides into the pool, but riding a body board in the ocean was another story. Grady has some chaffed legs and arms to prove he spent a fair amount of time on his body board, and to also prove he's not 20 anymore. (Sorry, Babe.)
Each summer we choose a different beach to explore and visit, and because there are so many wonderful beaches a short drive from us in NC and SC we haven't chosen a favorite yet. And, if I'm honest, our beach choice for the year often depends on where we find the best deal. No shame in admitting that, right? We're hoping we can squeeze in one more quick weekend trip to the shore yet this summer. We're just not ready to hang the body boards and sand chairs up quite yet.
I asked my kids what their favorite thing about the beach was.

Grady Lee: "Being able to play in the waves and the water isn't cold. I really wish that we could have found lots of starfish and crabs at this beach, but it was still a fun place."

Micah: "Having the beach and the pool be so close together. And, that Dad let us take two night swims."

Annalyse: "Pushing the buttons." (This, friends, is referring to the elevator buttons in the hotel. I'm not even kidding - this was really her favorite part. She'd race through the lobby each time doing her best to beat her brothers to the elevator bank so she could push the buttons.)
Evening walks along the shore. Strolls on the boardwalk with ice cream. Fun dinners out. Cartoons in bed. Miniature golf and more ice cream. A beach vacation is so much more than just the sand and waves!
Suddenly, without much notice, our beach vacation was over and it was time to load the van and head home. And not a moment too soon, either. The morning we left Grady Lee woke up with a headache and by the time we arrived home, we was ready for bed. Later that evening he woke up with a high fever, an upset stomach, and his head pain had worsened.

Today is one week later, and my little man is just getting back on his feet. Two hospital visits and lots of concerns later, he's on the mend. More on his story soon. For now, we're thankful he's healthy and we're thankful that he didn't come down with the horrible virus on vacation!

1 comment:

  1. I almost feel relaxed reading this glad you guys were able to get away and just enjoy your family!!! You've had a crazy busy summer!! And I am so super glad that Grady Lee is better and back to his spunky self! :-)