A week away.
20 people in one mansion on the beach in the Outer Banks of North Carolina (specifically, Corolla).
My parents, my family, my brother's family, my other brother's family and my sister's family.
Could have been a disaster but instead was a magical week.
We left at 5:30 AM last Sunday. We packed up the car full of STUFF - clothes, toys, pack & plays, food.
And we left. And I was nervous and worried the kids would go bananas and cry.
I LOVED the car trip down. It was 8 hours total (including 4 stops). We passed farms, it was beautiful, it was fun. The kids did great. Benny slept a lot. Layla slept too. And we had fun.
We made it....
and thus began the week of -
Eating. Napping. Pool. Beach. Playing.
Benny slept horribly at night but got better as the week went on.
Layla was a champ and slept all night long (but woke up earlier as the week went on).
I went to bed fairly early every night because I was up all night with Benny.
Layla still hates the water. She went in the pool a bit but stuck to playing in the sand. She wouldn't go near the ocean.
Benny loved the sand until he started eating it. Then he needed to be held.
He's in a very big "mommy" phase right now and wanted to be held quite a bit - not an easy task but we managed.
It wasn't exactly relaxing but it was perfect.
How lucky that my entire family gets along so well? I know how blessed I am.
The kids had the best time playing together. Layla LOVED waking up every morning surrounded by her cousins.
For those wondering, we went through Twiddy (google them) -- you need a 4X4 to drive on the beach (our house was about 9 miles up the beach). It was easy to leave town (we left often for Dunkin Donuts, woo!). We rented a Ford Explorer and it was fabulous (we may get one after Josh's Mercedes lease is up). Our house had some issues (the hot water heater broke. twice and the hot water heater broke) as well as minor issues (the toaster not working, etc) but they were very accommodating.
Our house was huge - i mean, really huge. 12 bedroom and 14 bathrooms. Crazy. It had a huge kitchen with double everything (two sinks, two refrigerators, etc). Huge table that sat all of us. They provided everything (dishes, pots, pans, etc) as well as linens and towels. It was nice. There were a lot of bugs, that was not nice. I mean...bugs in the house, bugs on the porch, bugs everywhere. Yuck.
Overall, it was a fabulous week. The pictures below (out of order) speak volumes. I didn't take one picture with my real camera (uhhh) so they are all iPhone pictures.
I wish I spent more time relaxing and less time worrying ...next year I vow to sit more and just relax.
I guess summer is officially over - WAH!!
Heading to Florida on Friday with Benny for Nicole's wedding.
Turning 30 in 19 days.
And booked Disney World this morning.
How did I get so lucky?
|Ready for our trip... COSTCO!|
|Let the 8 hour car trip begin... <3|
|Our first stop!|
|Nursing monster ;)|
|We made it!! Playing while we wait for our house to get ready!|
|Our home for a week!|
|A stunning view. Pictures do no justice!|
|Pop-Pop in the movie room!|
|Our amazing "Jammalsbar" sign - Justin, Abbey, Max, Marley, Ava, Layla, Samantha, Benny, Andrew and Remi|
|Marley, Layla & Remi playing in the outside shower.|
|She sat here every morning and drank a Danimals - haha, her version of coffee!|
|Playing on the beach!|
|One of our stops...an amazing farm! Layla loved it!|
|Afternoon nap. Yum.|
|I loved seeing my Mom relax and read outside.|
|All of our signs!! Summer 2013, Jammalsbar and Soloff, Kushner, England.|
|Early morning love from Taxi for Layla & Remi|
|Admiring the sunrise.|
|No vacation is complete without baby breakdowns ;)|
|Driving on the beach. So amazing.|
|Andrew & Layla looking at the horses!|
|We always found them together, playing and giggling. Layla & Andrew.|
|To avoid any tan, I clearly used a lot of suntan lotion. HA!|
|My bathing beauty!|
|Abbey, Ava & Marley ready for the beach!|
|Photobombed by Matt!|
|My babies & I|
|I think this was around 6 AM. We had very early mornings.|
|Adam tossing Layla!|
|My little Red Stripe lover!|
|Playing in the trunk!|
|Laying with Mom-Mom!|
|Naps on Mom-Mom. On the beach. Is there anything better?|
|Taxi & Justin!|
|My big boy!|
|Late night with Andrew!|
|Driving on the beach causes naps!!|
|Benny with the wild horses in our backyard!|
|The entire crew. My favorite picture from the trip.|
|Benny swimming with a crab, ha!|
|Yummy ice cream!|