Posts Tagged “Vacations”

While we were on vacation, we took the kids to the local aquarium. It also happened to be “Shark Week”, for the 21st consecutive year, so the emphasis was on sharks there. There were shark statistics, one being 22 people were injured on the toilet; the same year there were 6 injuries caused by sharks.

There was a large tank that had 3 sharks in it; Pierce loved that part. If you look at a shark up close (preferably with a thick piece of plexiglass in between), you ‘ll see they’re a beautiful fish. They have a silvery-purplish color that changes, like an opal. It’s fascinating. I’d love to touch one (preferably a very small one in a tank). But I see how researchers get so mesmerized by them.

Shark size ranges from 9 inches (pygmy shark) to the ginormous whale shark that grows up to 39 feet! Interestingly enough, the whale shark eats plankton and other tiny fish. Some sharks completely replace each of their teeth every 2 weeks, ensuring they’ll be sharp enough if you happen to stick your arm in its mouth. The life span of most sharks is 20-30 years, while others (like the whale shark) have been known to live 100 years.ย  Sharks can also smell one drop of blood in as much water as an olympic-sized pool can hold.

There was also a petting tank in the aquarium, which is always Gab’s favorite part. There were a couple species of rays, a fish that I can’t remember the name of, and some horseshoe crabs. In a smaller pool, there were sea anemonies, starfish, and hermit crabs. Pierce preferred to look and not touch. Maybe next time.

And, speaking of shark, we went to a great restaurant that served the best shark steaks I’ve ever had. Paul got the same dish and said the same. Gab had never had shark (I guessed she missed the times I cooked it), so I gave her a bite of mine. She was very hesitant,ย  but thought it was delicious, too.

So the next time you’re out in the ocean, and you see a shark coming towards you, rows of teeth bared, open your mouth and take a bite! They’re fantastic creatures ๐Ÿ˜›

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We decided not to take Cooper (aka Squeaky Chicken) to the beach with us, for numerous reasons. The main reason being that we simply did not have room in the car. We had so much baby stuff. So we found a place kinda nearby that looked and sounded good and took him there for the week.

Then one day, Wednesday, I think, Paul got a call from the owner saying our Chicken had escaped twice, and on the second venture, had cut his leg so she took him to the vet. When we filled out the requested paper work, there was a page that said if something happened to the dog, we were still responsible to pay for the vet bill.ย  We didn’t really think he’d get hurt at the place; Paul said it was set up well.

So we were thinking, great, now what?? Are we going to have to leave early to pick him up? How much is the vet bill going to be, on top of the kennel charge? And WHY did they let him escape the second time??? My opinion was (is) that he was just trying to find his way home…he’s a very loyal dog and it’s in his breed to stay close to his owner.

The owner said the dog was going to stay over night at the vet and had to have stitches. At this point we knew it wasn’t a little scrape like she was making it out to be. But she told us she’d call the next day and let us know how he was doing.

The next day when she called back, she told us Cooper was doing well and apologized profusely. She also paid the vet bill and told us not to worry about it! Yay!!!ย  ๐Ÿ˜€ย ย  So while we may not need to use a kennel again, if we do need to, we’ll be taking him back there again.

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So we’re back! The drive home was uneventful, except for one stop we made. We saw a “U Pick” sign with a big peach on it, and we thought it would be fun to get out of the car and see how much it cost to pick some peaches.ย  The orchard was off the road a couple miles and was very pretty, lots of trees and green hills. The kid at the stand said it was $10 a peck, which turned out to be quite a lot. Pierce liked picking up the smaller unripe peaches off the ground, and somehow he managed to sneak a few into our bag. Once we were done, we paid and sat in the car and Paul and I each had a peach. Let me tell you, there is nothing better than a freshly picked, juicy, sweet, Virginia peach!! It was like eating candy; so good. We looked at each other and said, “We should have gotten another bag!”

Another stop was at a local-grown market, and their peaches were $17 a peck, so we really kicked ourselves for not getting another bag at the orchard. I ended up making a peach crisp for dessert that night.

Back to the vacation itself…one of “the” things to see at the Outer Banks is the Wright Brothers National Memorial. If you look at the pic on the link, there’s a long path up to the big memorial. That is not fun pushing a stroller up!! Do that twice a day and you’ll have calves and butt of steel. Then we walked down the other side, around, and back to the main building and parking lot. It was only 66 years from first flight to first flight to the moon…absolutely amazing.

The beach was beautiful and the waves were calm. Pierce had fun, but Gab really enjoyed it most. We took Dean for a couple walks in the evening and he seemed to like it as well.

We all had fun, but everyone agrees it’s good to be home. “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home!”

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Well, we arrived at the beach! We left our house at 8:40am and got to the beach house at 6:35; a 10-hour drive. Fun, fun! Gab rode with her grandparents so Paul and I just had the little boys in the car. They did absolutely great until about 5:30 when they reached their “I’m done being in the car” limit. Dean just fussed and Pierce could not stay happily quiet. This, of course, made the last hour of my drive rather uncomfortable, my left arm reaching back to Dean who would fuss without my hand on his face. Poor little guy. So it was great getting out of the car! The drive normally takes 7-8 hours, except when you have a 3 year old and a 7 week old.

The house is nice, of course, a very short walking distance from the beach. It has a nice little pool in back, too, when we get tired of the saltwater. Gabby is very brave in the ocean, much more than last year. And Pierce is really enjoying the pool. He is much more adventurous in it than the ocean; he’s intimidated by the size of it, as he should be.

The Outer Banks is a great vacation spot for families. It’s clean and “clean”. The beaches aren’t crowded and everything is geared towards families, including plays, aquariums, fishing, foods and clothing at the shops. Today we went mini-golfing, which Pierce loved, once he had free reign of the holes. He’s not much for structure and rules in games yet. There’s plenty of stuff we want to do and it’s going to be a great week.

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As the Wonder Pets would say, “We’re going to the beach, the beach, the beach.” For his birthday, Pierce got a dvd player from Paul and me, and dvd’s from everyone, so he’ll have movies to watch if he gets too bored on the way there. I think he’ll enjoy the drive, though. Dean’s very good in the car and I’m guessing he’ll sleep most of the way. And Gab, of course, won’t be a problem. She’s got her dvd player, too, though, if the trip gets too long.

We usually try to take it easy and not rush down there. We have a couple usual stops and that really helps break up the 7-hr-drive. All in all it’s fun. Hopefully we have everything we’ll need and I didn’t forget anything major, like one of the kids.

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A couple weeks go (not sure of date) my mom got into a fight with a horse and lost.

Somehow she got her leg hurt and, long story short, had to have surgery on Monday. The infection in the damaged part of her leg was deeper than the doctors thought, so they decided to go dig around and cut it out. She still hoped to come to the beach, but the doctor warned that an infection away from home could be very serious with a chance of losing a leg. And while it might be slightly amusing to dress up my mom as a pirate for Halloween**, it really is best she stay home and take care of her leg. Especially with the danger of sand getting in the wound.

So we’re all a little disappointed. We were looking forward to my parents hanging out with the kids at the beach for a week. But I’m thinking we should go to the Bahamas next year to make up for it!! ๐Ÿ˜€

**Disclaimer: the pirate comment is a joke!! No one write me telling me how terrible a child I am. I already know ๐Ÿ˜›

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I am very ready for a vacation but my body is not beach ready! Next week we’re heading to the Outer Banks for a week on the beach. It’s been a traditional vacation spot in Paul’s family since he was a kid and luckily I get to tag along.

I wasn’t planning on going this year; Paul and I had decided he would take the 2 older kids and I would stay home with the baby. I remember taking Pierce to Wisconsin for a few days and it was not the most pleasant trip we’d had.ย  He was a difficult baby and cried much of the time; the 11-hour drive was exhausting. So knowing I would be 4 weeks post-partum, I knew it would be best to stay home for multiple reasons. (can you say “hormones”??)

But things have a way of changing!! Dean came 2 weeks early and is a very easy little guy. I began to think about missing out on watching Pierce and Gab play and the wheels in my mind began to turn. Of course, Paul was all for me changing my mind. He wanted me there the whole time, but supported my decision to stay. But then another issue came up; my parents would be bringing Gab home (from her vacation w/them) and I couldn’t just turn around and leave them here. Luckily Paul’s parents invited them to come, so problem solved.

Ok, so that’s the background. Back to the point. I still have 15 pounds to lose!! I was a regular gym rat before baby came along and was in fairly decent shape. Babies have a way of changing things ๐Ÿ˜€ย  Luckily I can squeeze into my swimsuit and I found some good self-tanning cream to help with my blinding-white legs.

So while I still may scare many small children, and give the older folks heart attacks, I’m looking forward to a much-needed vacation!

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