MARBLES CHILDREN'S MUSEUM - we are making great use of our ASTC passport card this year! We used it here in North Carolina to get free admission to this fun children's museum. There was so much to do and see here and the kids had such a fun time.
Sophie's favorite was this vet station where you had to follow a care plan to treat several different animals.
Davey has always loved farms and used this little wheelbarrow to harvest all the pretend food, and then carry it around so no one else could use it :)
Crab soccer! We thought these were fun to dress up in since we were beach bound in just a few hours.
AT THE BEACH - it's about a 3 hour drive from Raleigh to the coast, which always feel long coming right after a long flight, but it's always worth it once you arrive. The North Carolina beaches are so pretty!! And since it is such a trek to get there, it keeps the crowds away and makes for a very relaxing week.
The kids ran down our boardwalk to get a better view of the ocean when we arrived
Poor Charlie had a few run-ins with the ocean. The picture on the left is after he got hit in the face with a wave and it slicked his hair back and then it dried that way. Ha! On the right was after he did a face plant in the sand. Poor kid.
Sophie really must be part mermaid. She loves the ocean and sand and can spend hours playing in the water and building creations.
Best Beach Cousins
Cute baby footprints
Charlie found this little fish at high tide and carried it around in his shovel for a long time until another wave came and washed it back out to sea.
We had a few good wave riding days. Unfortunately there were only 2 boards for our whole crew, so you had to be an opportunist to get a chance on one, which is how I ended up boogie boarding during a storm once.
Dave with his boys
Davey was happiest on shore playing on the sand. He ventured into the ocean a few times, but it was still a little much for him and preferred to stay on dry land.
No big sand sculptre from our crew this time, but we did dig a big swimming hole that filled up when the tide came in and the kids had a blast rolling around in it and jumping in from the side.
Some cousin time
GRANDMA BETTY CATAMARAN MEMORIAL CRUISE - one of the main focuses for the week was the memorial for Dave's grandma, who passed last year. We went on a sunset catamaran cruise to spread her ashes and remember her wonderful life. It was a special evening to be together as a family.
On the way to the docks we stopped at a drive-in for some yummy food
In our matching reunion shirts getting ready to board the catamaran in Beaufort
Cousin Liam bought a pirate set in town before boarding and the kids had the best time taking turns with all the accessories, pretending to be pirates. Afterward we bought Davey his own set since he had so much fun dressing up.
Using his pirate hook to throw away everyone's empty cups
This night was also our 13th wedding anniversary - happy marriage to us!
SAND DOLLAR ISLAND EXPEDITION - Grandma, grandpa and Liz took all the cousins 6 and older on an adventure to look for sand dollars. They were gone all day. The took a ferry out to the island and then waded around in the warm, shallow water to search for sand dollars. Sophie brought home a few beautiful ones!
PINE KNOLL SHORES AQUARIUM - every other year we visit the little island aquarium. It's nice to take a break from the sun and sand for a few hours and the kids love seeing all the different creatures. Charlie was so amazed that we could hardly get him to move on from the very first tank to see the rest of the aquarium. He probably said "fish!" at least 100 times.
Recreating a picture of the not so little "littles" from 4 years ago. The original is here. We guessed on the order of the kids, but got it right!
Petting a stingray
Cute Charlie Crab
It was crazy to me to think there are otters out there the same size as Sophie!
And then it was suddenly time to head back home. I made Dave sit on a row with all the kids while I sat all by myself. It was payback for all the solo flights I had made with the boys and luggage, while he only had to handle Sophie. Of course it didn't last too long, because Charlie is a momma's boy and ended up back on my lap after just a short time. At least he decided to take a nap this time