Our long-awaited trip to the beach finally arrived! We'd be counting down the days for months and getting more and more excited as the days got closer. Finally Saturday morning arrived and we were beach-bound as soon as we could get packed up and headed south.
We spent the week with our very, dear, terrific, fantastic, wonderful and adventurous friends - the Liles! Hill and Catherine Ellis are best buds and Pailet and Caroline became fast friends (as friendly as two-year olds can be! ha!). They used to live in sweet home Alabama, but moved to Virginia last year and we've missed them SO. It was a wonderful week that started off with Tropical Storm Andrea - rip tides, big waves and lots of rain, but only lasted a day and a half and the sun came out and the rest of our time was gorgeous.
Catherine Ellis and Caroline LOVE the water - they are like little fish - ready at a moment's notice to hit the beach, pool, wherever water can be found. Caroline was old enough to really enjoy the water this time (we went in September and she still too small to grasp waves, etc.) and Catherine Ellis turned into a swimming machine (with her floaties). Hill was determined he was going to learn how to swim this week as well - so David had his hands full. Pailet was indifferent - she seemed to enjoy the pool, but the ocean had to grow on her.
This was the first time I had been able to spend a lot of quality time with Pailet (you'll remember she's my gorgeous god-daughter). I really enjoyed getting to know her and her spunky little self. She's delightful, calm and plays well alone (something I wish she'd teach my children to do!). She's also got a squeal that will light a fire under you - and when she uses it, just know she means business. We bonded and she even let me bathe her (something she doesn't enjoy) several times! She's adorable that one! Don't you agree?
I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking - just know that it was wonderful. I hope we can do it every year and rest assured we learned some valuable lessons that we'll put into action for our next trip together (like kids grow tired of the beach (and each other!) after about 5 days and Daddy's are crucial to a successful trip with all the hauling of beach items, tent, throwing of kids in the air, jumping of waves, surfing and swimming). Thank you Liles for inviting us and helping us kick off the summer vacation style like we never have before. We love you!
WARNING: There are LOTS of pics here - cherishing memories!
Story time as soon as we arrived - Pinkalicious was a huge hit!
Braving the waves with Daddy the first day
Caroline LOVES a thrill - you can tell CE is a bit more cautious
Rainy and huge waves
Dancing to Panic under the tent during a downpour
Dinner at Lulu's our first full day
Twos sisters chatting it up
We got to see these special folks - the girls ADORE Erica and Brock
This tells the real story - ha!
Allison and Hill taught CE great games - this is Crazy 8s
Snuggling with my boo - this girl LOVES her mama.
Swimming practice with Hill - he's doing great!
Little mama demanding snacks - we eat no matter where we are - seriously.
Typical pic from this busy crew - after dinner at Wolf Bay
(first time in my life we've ever been an no wait!)
These two can scurry when you yell "rain" - a quick clean up
This one is always working hard
Practicing her wake board moves
Ready for her first plunge
She did it!
Hill ready for his wave ride - so much fun!
Wave jumping on a much calmer beach day
Cutest wee one ever
Digging to China
The entire crew digging and building sand castles
Taking a snack break
Running in the surf
Admiring all the fish at Wolf Bay/Zeke's
Quick family pic
Fun in early morning tidal pools
Pai hard at work
Pool fun under the tent
Post-nap popsicles - works every time!
The crew minus David
Me and my best girls - photo by CE Cain