Thursday, July 07, 2016

Emerald Isle, take 2

Summer break is almost over, though it feels like it's just begun. That's kind of the downside of the year-round schedule—which, for the record, I'm very glad we got to keep this year!—because the upside is that the girls have already been begging to go back-to-school shopping and they won't even have to wait until August or September for those shiny new no. 2 pencils because we'll be going out to get them next week!

Anyway, we decided to squeeze in one last trip to the beach before school starts again, and we decided to do that squeezing today because we could. We had a few mishaps, like, someone forgot to pack bread for sandwiches (I'm not going to mention any names (fine: it was me)), my sweet little baby got a little too much sunshine, and the cable for one of our sliding doors snapped, rendering it mostly useless. But other than that we had a great time!

Right away the kids noticed that there was a shocking number of coquina on the beach today. They were just all over the place. We'd scoop up a handful of sand and then watch as dozens of little coquina squelched their way down into the sand.

Miriam with a handful of live coquina
Naturally Miriam had to try holding one in her mouth. That's kind of her thing right now.

Perhaps we should've collected enough for a nice pot of coquina broth (but we're not really a seafood loving family so we let all our coquina go free).

Zoë couldn't get enough of the surf today:

Benjamin also enjoyed the water. He was quite the little fish today; we could hardly keep him out of the water! Not that this picture really shows that...but still...

Here are a few pictures of Rachel and I boogie boarding. It was wildly windy today and the waves were fantastic. We'd be standing in mid-calf water and then waves would come and hit me in the back, completely knocking the kids over. It was awesome.

Miriam, Benjamin, and Andrew all did some boogie boarding as well, of course. Even Zoë tried it out today...

For lunch we did not have peanut butter and jam sandwiches because although I packed peanut butter and jam, and although we had plenty of sand, we did not have any bread. And I only realized this when everyone was starving. Instead we snacked on chips and watermelon.

After lunch Daddy took a well-deserved snooze while I played in the sand with the kids. We built a pile of sand castle as tall as Zoë, who was mostly interested in using the wagon as her personal chariot.

The kids were trying to use it to cart around loads of sand and/or water but, much to their frustration, Zoë kept climbing inside every chance she got.

The wagon is a lot harder to pull with Zoë inside!

And one last Zoë-in-the-wagon picture because she's so cute and, therefore, it's impossible to overpost pictures of her, but also because of Andrew in the background.

He was completely out!

After he woke up, I sat down to nurse Zoë, who fell asleep and then I was stuck holding her so what could I do but fall asleep as well?

Andrew said it's a good thing he didn't take a picture of me because I had my mouth lolling open and everything. I don't even care; it was a good nap.

While I wasn't sleeping I was watching those four little specks I call my own:

Here's Benjamin being king of the hill:

Also, while I was napping the kids found some sand/mole crabs, which Miriam also decided to give a whirl in her mouth. They are also edible so...maybe instead of being grossed out by these cicadas and mole crabs we need to expand our palates.

On the other side of Miriam's personality, here she is pretending to be a beautiful mermaid:

We tried burying Zoë in the sand as well but she really wasn't sure if/why this was a fun activity.

I mentioned that Benjamin was a little fish today, right? He was a mean, lean swimming machine!

He had so much fun playing with his sisters. I know life vests aren't a substitute for swimming/supervision, but I sure am grateful for this puddle jumper! Without it he wouldn't have had half as much fun. Here he is swimming with Rachel:

Here's Zoë "being soft" to Benjamin on his last break from swimming. Whenever we ask her to be soft she yells, "AHHHHHHH!" and starts patting/stroking the victim of her softness. We really need to work on that...

Benjamin did not want to leave. He kept saying, "After this towel time I want to swim some more!" Unfortunately for him, this was his last towel time. At 5:00 we took a few family pictures and then packed everything up and left.

Here's our normal picture...

And here's our silly one:

Because apparently when Andrew and I think of "silly" we both think "grab a kid and hold them upside-down." What's sillier than that? Probably nothing.

By the time we had the van loaded up and had rinsed off and changed into traveling clothes we'd used up an hour of time! Then we stopped for dinner (because we were starving because lunch was a joke) and used up another hour. And then we drove into a huge storm, which meant that we drove about 20 miles under the speed limit for about half our trip because once it started raining we could hardly see. And we had to stop twice to use the bathroom/get gas and once to use the bathroom/nurse a screaming, inconsolable child.

(These pictures are before it started raining, obviously)

Getting home took forever, but we made it all in one piece. Besides, it was such a fun day that the lousy drive was worth it!


  1. Fun day! Those stormy sky pictures are pretty.

  2. Wonderful! You are so lucky to be close-ish to the sea!

  3. I miss Emerald Island. Take advantage while you can because who knows when you'll be back. Maybe in like forty years? Have fun and love you all.

  4. I miss Emerald Island. Take advantage while you can because who knows when you'll be back. Maybe in like forty years? Have fun and love you all.

  5. When do your kids have to go back to school?! It's not even the middle of July yet...

    1. Haha, yeah. Next Monday! :)

      They get five weeks off for summer, three off in the fall, three in the winter, and three in the spring.

    2. Oh, wow. So it's kind of year-round? Do you like that? It almost seems like spreading out breaks and having longer ones throughout the year makes sense. Of course, I lived in the UK long enough to be used to the idea of things being a bit more spread out like that.

    3. Yes! I really do enjoy it. I feel like we get a break right when we need one and then when we're all going stir-crazy at home it's about time to go back to school. It's been really, really great.