Thursday, July 31, 2008

Summer Trip: Sidetrips

While we were 'stationed' at Blair's parents, we decided to take a few side trips. My college roommate only lives about an hour from them in the village of Hatteras. I got to see her last year too, but I really miss her and wish we were closer. So, I packed up the girls and headed down the beach for lunch and a little visit. It took us 2 hours to get there because it was raining HARD for the first part of the trip...all the way to the Bonner bridge. After hearing all the latest controversy about this bridge, I was a little apprehensive in crossing it...especially in driving rain. Luckily the rain stopped right before we got there. But this is definitely a situation where ignorance is bliss!

Anyway I made it to her house with the use of my handy-dandy gps. The landscape has changed quite a bit since I was down there last, thanks to Hurricane Isabel. We grabbed a little lunch and then headed to the Hatteras light house. Unfortunately, it was thundering so they wouldn't let us go inside, but we did check out the keeper's house that's been set up as a museum. They were just ordinary looking houses, but Rachel had a rather unusual response when we walked in. She immediately pulled back and said "mommy, this is a scary place." I thought that was rather odd and I never did figure out what made her feel that way, but I found it fascinating. The lighthouse really is impressive up close and my girls were fascinated with the other lighthouses we saw along our trip.
When we left there, we headed over to Karla's mother's house. It's a good thing too, because they have moved since the last time I was there. I might just have stopped by the old house for a visit. What a shock that would have been! I loved the new house and it was so good to see her mother again (her father was at work). We had a nice visit, but it was time for us to head back to Southern Shores. It only took a little over an hour to get back.
Next up on the sidetrips was a family trip to Williamsburg. Really it was more of a trip to see our good friends Joe and Maureen, than to see any of the sights. They have 2 ADORABLE children...a 2 year old Joey and a 1 year old (almost) Nikki. We had our 2 dogs and they had one of their puppies with them. What a crowd we were! Luckily the hotel had a pool and that kept us entertained on Saturday. Everyone swam, then everyone napped. After a little pizza for lunch at ........5:00!......we headed for Colonial Williamsburg. I got to shop at my favorite kids store and get the girls some really, really cute fall outfits. Last year I got Rena a frog necklace from here because when we left home there were little frogs EVERYWHERE! She's worn that necklace all year, so this year I got her sisters their own. Rachel got one with a hummingbird on it. She loves birds and chases them all the time. I'm convienced she's going to catch one one day. Riley got a necklace with ballet slippers on them. She's starting ballet soon and she has been dying to go the whole time Rena's been going. I can't wait to see how she does.
Anyway, we just hung around outside in Williamsburg for awhile. The weather was great and there were lots of things to keep the attention of 2 year olds and a 4 year old. Rachel, who's never met a stranger, had a long indepth conversation with someone dressed in colonial attire sitting on the courthouse steps. They talked about the horses pulling the carriages and more importantly, the poop that was left behind. Fascinating. Then she introduced him to her sister Riley. Too funny. I wonder if she will always be that outgoing.
The next day we headed to the outlet mall. I showed great restraint in not buying anything. All the kids clothes are just toooooo cuuuuuteeeee. I can't stand it! But we don't need anything. Arghhh! Then it was time for us to head south and our friends to head north. I hate that we live so far apart because we really love hanging out with them.
And so ended our side trips. I didn't get any pictures in Williamsburg. Bummer. But back to Grandmom's for one more day and then on to my brother's . Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Summer Trip - Second Stop: Southern Shores

Next up on our summer vacation is a trip to Grandmom and Grandpop's house. Even though they live at the beach, you don't really feel like you're at the beach unless you want to. You feel like you're at Grandmom's. Rena and Grandmom went to the big girl salon to get a haircut and a manicure. Rena had a great time. Riley helped Grandmom with nightly dinner

and Rachel spent her time relaxing on the beach or eating while hanging out with Grandpop.

Blair and I even squeezed in a date night which was long overdue. Thanks for watching the girls Grandmom and Grandpop! Our time here was very relaxing. Last year we walked to the beach everyday which was really great. This year, we only managed to do it once. We did get to go to the beach a couple of times, though. We just drove instead.

There is also a little playground in the neighborhood, so we went there one day. We took a couple of sidetrips from here also. All in all, the trip here was both relaxing and chopped up. I liked it better last year when we were there for a full week. Next year! Rest up Grandmom and

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer Trip - First stop: Southport

While we were gone over the 4th of July weekend, our summer trip was really much longer - 2 and a half weeks, actually. We started off at my Dad's house in Southport because we wanted to be there for the 4th of July. We got there on Wednesday the 2nd and were busy the whole time. Thursday, we headed up the coast a ways to my brother's house for the day. His neighborhood was having a party with fireworks and a band. Who could resist! The girls enjoyed listening to and dancing with the band and watching the fireworks with their daddy. It got REALLY dark out in that field! It was hard to keep up with everyone. There were lots of people there that I knew, though, and it was fun to see everyone again.

We also celebrated my birthday with a little cake before all of the activity. Fun, fun!

We spend Friday in the little town of Southport and then on Saturday, we just hung out at my Dad's house. My brother and sister in law came for dinner. It was really nice to spend so much time with my family. My Dad and I got to take a little trip to Walmart before dinner in search of some Benedryl for the puppy. We ran into 2 different people that he knew so our trip ended up being really long and we were late for dinner! Whoops! One of the women we ran into worked there and was in the middle of a nasty divorce. Even thought she hadn't seen my Dad in years and she certainly didn't know me from Adam, she spent her entire dinner break telling us all the details of the last few months of her life including her husbands infidelity, her hatred for the woman he was sleeping with (including adjectives that included my least favorite word of all time) and her suicide attempt. But she's better now. I'm glad to hear it 'cause we've still got peanutbutter on the shopping list and we've gotta run! Nice to meet you, good luck with the new found mental health and all!

So, Daddy and I ended up back at the house in the middle of dinner. Rachel and Rena both managed to break crystal wine glasses, so I spent a good deal of my dinnertime cleaning up shards of glass.

It's really no secret the my father's wife doesn't really like me. It's a long story and one I won't blog about until after her death. But, this trip, she was really nice to me. We had some nice conversations and we actually kinda got along. It's too bad it hasn't been like this since the beginning. And the irony is this is probably the worst time we've given her. Our 75 lb. puppy threw up on her carpet twice, she also ate a flock of flamingos, my girls broke the 2 crystal wine glasses and later in the week Nixie (the puppy) chased her dog down like it was a rabbit and she was a greyhound. Her dog didn't get hurt. Nixie was having fun. But poor Denzel was petrified. I felt so bad.

Sunday we headed up the coast again. Next stop: Granmom and Grandpop's in Southern Shores.

Wrong side of the bed

Rena, obviously suffering from travel fatigue, got up one morning in a really grumpy mood. "Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed?" I chided. To which she replied in a gruff, grumpy teenage voice, "No, I woke up sideways!"

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Small town fireworks

We headed to Southport for the North Carolina 4th of July festival. I love being here for the 4th. They have quite a few events going on and they take their festival seriously. On the 4th, they have a parade. It's changed somewhat over the last few years. There used to be alot of 'little miss' pageant winners. I loved that. There aren't so many of those anymore but you do have your regular parade fare. There's also a street festivals with food and crafts and such. There are always lots of people there too.

Donkeys Horses and Dogs were invited. I love that the guy leading this donkey has his face covered.
Little Dare-devil cars. I LOVE these. They crack me up.

Colorful characters.

Patriotic mobiles.

Real live floats like you'd expect to see in a parade.

Bands and band leaders...this guy was jammin'.

The best part is that it's walking distance to where my Dad keeps his boat, so when we've had enough festival fun, we head over to the boat and just hang out there.

This year, Grandaddy (my Dad) taught the girls how to fish. Rena was interested. She even got to use real hooks. By the time I was her age, I was really fishing in the yacht basin in Atlantic Beach and catching spots and pin fish. I loved to fish and used to be pretty good at it. I wish we lived closer to the beach so my girls could learn that too.

After all of the festivities of the day, we settled in on the bow of the boat to watch the fireworks out over the water. It's great. Perfect view. No crowd. When a really beautiful display goes off, everyone whistles and blows their boat horns. All in all, it's a very patriotic day..