Our First Family Beach Vacation

Yesterday Riley, Jordan and I returned from a full week away on vacation at the beach!  It was the first time we’ve gone on vacation for more than a few days, and it was Riley’s first time ever at the beach.  It did not disappoint!  Having a full week away definitely brought us back more rested (or as rested as you can be from a vacation with an active toddler 😉 ), and Riley loved the beach (or “Oh-sen” as she calls it) more than we could have hoped.

In the car on the way to the beach.  All morning Riley and I had been singing, "Going to the ocean, going to the ocean, going to the ocean hey hey hey hey!" :)

In the car on the way to the beach. All morning Riley and I had been singing, “Going to the ocean, going to the ocean, going to the ocean hey hey hey hey!” 🙂

So here are some pictures along with highlights from our trip:

ImageFirst, we arrived at this beautiful water front house near Beaufort, NC where we stayed with 6 of our closest friends through the weekend!  Our friends Hannah and Chad were so generous to let all of us stay at their family beach house.  As you can see, it was huge and gorgeous.  It provided for a very fun weekend!

We arrived on Friday right in time for Riley’s nap, which was perfect.  We put her down in the pack & play, and immediately joined our friends laying on floats in the lake with drinks in hand.  Can you imagine a better way to kick off your vacation?!  I can’t :).

That night we grilled out: burgers, hot dogs, chicken, veggies, the whole deal.  Riley loved running around in the huge yard, swinging on the Hammock, and playing with her best friend Caley (pictured below).

Image

Riley and her best friend Caley playing on the floor

Image

I promise Riley enjoyed the hammock more than she seems to in this picture 😉

After Riley went to bed, the rest of us stayed up late (or late in my opinion, anyway), talked, and played Apples to Apples.

The next day, we went boating, spent a few hours at the beach, some of us took afternoon naps, then the guys watched Riley while the ladies sat outside drinking wine and chatting (glorious), Riley went to bed, we made sweet potato/black bean burritos for dinner, sat outside eating and laughing for hours, and wrapped the night up with a hilarious game of fishbowl :).  In other words, an ideal evening with friends.

Riley and Teddy, waiting on everyone else to get ready before heading to the beach

Riley and Teddy, waiting on everyone else to get ready before heading to the beach

photo (4)

Still waiting patiently

 photo (7)

photo (6)

Boat ride snuggles, my favorite part of the weekend!

photo (5)

Riley is our little Sand Baby 🙂

The beach really wore her out!

The beach really wore her out!

The next day, I was able to have a little “me time” out on the dock by myself, mimosa in hand, listening to worship music.  That time was so sweet, and good for my soul.  I needed to talk to Jesus about a few things.  Because even as idyllic as our outside circumstances may have been, internally I was struggling with a few things that even a vacation cannot erase.  Thankfully, Jesus is alive, he lives in me, and he met with me in the midst of my raw emotions that weekend.

Four of our friends headed out that day, and Jordan, Riley and I stayed one last night with Hannah and Chad.

A family pic taken before we left

A family pic taken before we left

That Monday, we headed to our second beach destination: Wrightsville Beach!  For this part of our trip, we found an awesome deal via airbnb.com.  An adorable little condo 2 miles from the beach, for half the price of a hotel (umm, hello $58/night!).  We had a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room, pool access, and tennis court access.  Way better than a hotel when you have a toddler :).

We went to the beach for a couple of hours each morning, came back for lunch and Riley’s nap (between 11-2 or 12-3, depending), then headed back to the beach after she woke up, until around 5 or 6pm.  Then we would head back for dinner and get Riley ready for bed.

We brought all of our own groceries, and cooked most of our meals there, but splurged on one delicious lunch out on the Marina.  In the evenings, Jordan and I would drink wine, read, and watch movies or catch up on Season 4 of Parenthood.  It was very relaxing!

Day 1, heading to the beach!

Day 1, heading to the beach!

photo (2)

(oh yea by the way, I’ve cut all my hair off. As you can see.)

I love this picture.

I love this picture.

There's no laying around reading on the beach when you have a busy toddler ;-)

There’s no laying around reading on the beach when you have a busy toddler 😉

Our little sand baby, at it again!

Our little sand baby, at it again!

photo (13)

photo (21)

photo (22)

I wasn't kidding.  Girl loves some sand.

I wasn’t kidding. Girl loves some sand.

We still had to build forts, and read books together at the end of the day:

photo (17)

One morning, Riley and I gave Jordan some time to nap and rest (he had been so sweet and had been getting up with Riley each morning), so we had a little mommy/daughter date out for coffee and apple juice :).  Then we went shoe shopping, since we were not smart and let Riley wear her shoes in the water, which meant one of them is now lost at sea.  (And we were also not smart in that those were the only shoes we had packed for the trip.)  So, Riley and I were on a mission for new “pibby” (pretty) shoes.  It ended up being sweet time together (although I had to dissuade her from some “pibby” shoes with huge, obnoxious flowers on them that she couldn’t even walk in).

photo (14)

Riley loves a good cup of apple juice.  And a cool straw doesn't hurt.

Riley loves a good cup of apple juice. And a cool straw doesn’t hurt.

We ended our trip with a sweet goodbye to our airbnb host.  She even bought us two Wrightsville Beach coffee mugs for souvenirs!  She was so sweet, we really enjoyed getting to know her throughout the week.  We would highly recommend her place to anyone looking for somewhere to stay at the beach, and we would love to stay there again sometime.

And then we headed to the beach one last time, before returning home.

Our little beach-ready diva

Our little beach-ready diva

Cracking open an iced cold juice box on a hot but beautiful beach day

Cracking open an ice cold juice box on a hot but beautiful beach day

photo

Happy summer!

KM.

Advertisements