We spent a week at John's family's beach house on the outer banks of north carolina, the first visit there for me and the girls. After a much less than great travel experience getting there, everyone got down to the business of enjoying the beach right away.
The weather was a bit of a shock at first, bringing me flashbacks of summers in Chicago. I woke up at 6:00 on our first morning after arriving at the house late the previous night, and I figured I'd sneak out to the nearby grocery store to get some drinks and cereal and things I know my family likes. When I stepped outside, even at that early hour, I was just blasted. You just have to get used being sticky all of the time.
Our first day was overcast all morning, not that it seemed to lessen the heat and humidity at all. Having the ocean to cool us off was great.
Uncle Jeff spent time on the beach fishing, though he didn't catch much and when he did he always threw it back. Still, he seemed to enjoy it. The girls loved collecting the plentiful shells.
We were all having a fun first morning, and then the wind picked up a little bit and another family on the beach, a good 30-40 yards away, started waving at me and shouting something as they packed up to leave. I couldn't hear them very well so they just pointed behind me, towards the sky. I turned away from the ocean and saw these huge black clouds coming towards us, rapidly:
John and I gathered our things and the kids and started the short walk back to the house. At the top of the small dune separating the homes from the beach, I took another photo. The house on the left side in the photo is the Fergy house.
It was about lunch time anyway. So we came in and ate and what turned out to be a not really impressive storm rolled through, sprinkling a little off and on. But the worst of it passed quickly and after a little while we went back outside.
A view from the balcony:
Just as in Hawaii, Allison by far spent the most time playing in the waves. She loved it.
Kate almost always had a shovel in hand.
Erin tried the waves off and on, and Kate did a few times too, but Allison was always all smiles.
Sometimes Jeff had a fishing assistant. Allison thought she'd try her goggles in the ocean. About 5 minutes later they were lost.
Later that afternoon the sun came out, and Oma and Opa arrived from Pennsylvania.
After dinner that night Grandma showed the girls how to attract and feed the pretty gulls from our balcony.
The next day Mom and Peter arrived from the Raleigh area.
And much of the week was spent like this. Get up, eat breakfast, go to the beach, come in for lunch, come in for dinner. Lots of hard work involved.
Allison and Kate watched some big boys boogie boarding. Though they didn't have boogie boards they had fun placing their boards on the beach and tried to remain standing as the surf came in.
Dad brought a bean bag tossing game along and everyone played at various times, though no one was able to beat him.
There was always a lot of digging and building going on. Castles and moats and ditches and these little seats in the sand which Jeff and John tried to surround with tall enough walls to keep the water out. When the water rushed in and took down the walls and flooded the seat, the girls laughed hysterically.