Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Beach Beach Beach!!!!

For the third year, we spent our vacation at the beach. I love the beach but I hate heat, sun, and crowds. So we always wait until after Labor Day to go....lower prices, cooler temps, less crowds. Two years ago it was hot, last year it was chilly. This year it was perfect! Our vacation was in immediate danger of not happening - two weeks before we went, Hurricane Irene rampaged right on through our beloved beach and then it was again threatened by Hurricane Maria. Luckily, the damage from Irene was minimal and quickly fixed and Maria decided to take a quick turn back to sea. Other than some clouds for the first day, the days were perfect. Sunny but not scorching, cool breezes but not chilly.

We arrived on Thursday, early afternoon. I had been told that we should be able to check in early but our room was not ready. Our hotel allowed us to go ahead and park and use their lobby bathroom. We headed straight to the beach....Mari and I playing while my mom took advantage of the afternoon to scour the coupon books.

Mari love love loves the beach. It is pure nirvana for her. From the sand to the salt water, she is completely content on the beach.
Beach, beach, beach. Finally at the beach!

Mari and her grandma hanging out on the balcony. We spent a lot of time on the balcony. So relaxing.

Me and Mari - she just can't help being silly sometimes

More silliness.....

Packed a backpack full of toys and all she wanted to play with was her baggie full of Squinkies. Guess I could have saved us some packing.

Did I mention that Mari is a little silly sometimes?

The view from our balcony....we stay next to Neptune park. Lots of activity but removed enough that it doesn't bother you. And the playground is nice, although she really wasn't interested in it much this year.

View in the other direction. We loved sitting on the balcony watching people. Beach-people watching is so much more fun than regular people watching. We saw some engagement pix being done, watched a wedding, watched a near-rescue by the lifeguards.

I usually take lots of sunrise pictures (which I did) but on Friday morning the skies were too overcast to see the sunrise. I was fascinated by the pools of light on the water from the little breaks in the clouds.

We were originally supposed to go on a pirate boat cruise on Friday morning but it got rescheduled (we were the only ones signed up that morning) and since it was cloudy, we headed to the Virginia Aquarium and Science Center.

Mari took this picture of me and my mom.

Hanging out with the turtles.

Shark food!

Mari was fascinated by the crocodiles (who would have guessed?). They were pretty spectacular. She was healthily intimidated by them but kept wanting to go back to see them. I think her face says it all. But she really did love them.

Back to the beach for a beautiful afternoon. The water was so rough this year because of the hurricane offshore. There were red flags up all weekend and the lifeguards were hyper-vigilant. I couldn't give Mari as much freedom as she wanted but she was happy just to be playing on the beach and getting into the shallow water with me.

One of the best things about our hotel was the restaurant downstairs. It was affordable and yummy. What's better than eating a big plate of steamed shrimp oceanside?

On Saturday morning we went to the Shriners parade (their convention was in town) and then walked the boardwalk back to our hotel. We found this little "park" between a couple hotels that had a bunch of hermit crab statues. This is as close to a hermit crab that Mari would get....I was all prepared to bring home a hermit crab this year for Mari to take care of. She wouldn't even look at them at the store....they completely freaked her out. Needless to say, no new pet in this house!

Back to the beach! Did I forget to mention that someone LOVES the beach?

Like really loves?

Found a fun little pizza place around the corner that served a little bit of everything....and gave kids a free frisbee as a plate (yeah, it's the little things that make a 4-yr-old happy!). But they had fantastic murals on the wall.

Then it was off on a pirate boat tour! We were so excited about was to be the highlight of our vacation. It was fun and Mari had a good time but it wasn't everything I had hoped for. Part of the problem was that our original pick of the Friday 10am tour was cancelled and we had to go on the Saturday 5pm tour. It is a cruise geared for little kids....singing, dancing, games, face painting, etc. So it was disappointing to be on a boat with a bunch of drunk adults. And I was surprised that they were serving alcohol on a kid's cruise (especially since they do offer an adults only tour)....I'm guessing the 10am cruise would not have been so intoxicated. Mom and I both agreed we'd have probably left if we weren't in the middle of the ocean.

But Mari had a pretty good time. She was a little overwhelmed/scared by the appearance of Blackbeard (a guy in a motor boat that we got to shoot water cannons at) and she was so tired and hungry by the time that we were back to land that she was ready to get off. But she did get some good pirate gear!

Sunday morning was a beautiful morning....sad that we had to leave. I decided spontaneously (very unlike me!) to take Mari down to the beach in her PJs. I wanted to take some fun pictures in the brilliant light....she was just overjoyed about going to the beach in her PJs. She's still talking about going to the beach in her PJs almost 2 weeks later!

Although the picture above is one of my all-time favorites, the one below sums up our vacation. This chickadee LOVES the beach!


The Taylor Family said...

Looks like you had a great time. Great pictures, too. The pools of light on the ocean at sunrise was so interesting. I've never seen that.

Very cute swimsuit wardrobe! You find the absolute perfect outfits for her!

Troy and Rachel said...

Glad you had a great trip! I love her hair by the way!! We've been to the museum and like it also!! Loved the picture of the light on the water - very neat!