Our house met all our needs and was in a great spot, less than 2 blocks from the beach. That close proximity seemed like a "nice to have" when we were booking the house... we didn't realize just how valuable it would turn out to be as we toted 3 kids, 4 beach chairs, 2 umbrellas, a cooler, various bags, sunscreen, hats, and Will's bath chair to the beach each day. Thank goodness for the Radio Flyer wagon that we rented for the trip!
We were also very fortunate to be able to take Otis with us on the trip (that's a story for another blog post), and that the temperature all week didn't top 90. This was great for all of us, but especially for Will.
After the first day, Luke took to the beach like a fish to water. He just loved it. We put him in a bright orange surf shirt each day so it would be easy to spot him in the sea of children. He made me proud when he wouldn't go out in the sun before putting on his "scunscreen" and hat.
Luke made a new best friend at the beach each day, which was fun for us to see, and a nice break from his brothers for him! He enjoyed building sand castles with Grammy and taking beach walks with Papa. I think his most favorite thing was running into the 65 degree water (brrr!) up to his knees, turn around, and run screaming back up the beach. This provided hours of entertainment. Unfortunately Luke couldn't wear his orthotics at the beach, so we had to limit the running after a while because his poor ankles and knees started to hurt him quite a bit.
Will and the beach are not the best combination. Over the course of Will's life, we have gone to the beach 4 times. On each of those occasions, as we literally were driving into the beach town, Will would vomit. No joke. It was like he could smell it. "Oh, no... salty air... the beach again?" Barf. Thankfully for us, this time was different. No vomit. Score!
We brought Will's bath chair with us on the trip. We thought he might enjoy sitting on it on the beach and feeling the ever-present Outer Banks wind on his face. But Will really didn't enjoy sitting in the chair. In fact, the only way we could keep him happy was to put him in the backpack for a walk down the beach, throw him around in the water (this was short-lived because of the really cold water), or cuddle with him in a beach chair. Thankfully between all of us, we had many willing pairs of open arms with which to hug our little beach-hater.
Last but not least... Matthew (I always write these stories in birth order). Oh Matthew. What a serious kid. He would not crack a smile for the first couple of days near the ocean. He would stand, belly stretching out his surf shirt, fists clenched, and stare at people. He loved to stare, stone-faced, at sunning girls in bikinis. Go figure. At least they laughed about it.
After the couple of days it took for Matt to get used to the feel of the sand on his toes, he quickly joined his brother Luke in enjoying the beach. He was very independent and loved to run around, dig holes, attempt to eat little rocks, and steal other kids' toys. He was a little boy in baby clothing.
Stay tuned this week... I have a lot more photos to share from some of our other fun times on the Outer Banks! It has actually been really hard for me to weed out the photos I want to share!