The first day of our vacation started as most out-of-town adventures do: with massive amounts of last-minute packing, potty reminders, and many "what have we forgotten??" conversations. Eventually (and on time), we loaded ourselves into the van and headed south.
|Road-trip Annika, at your service!|
We had a comfortable two-bedroom condo with a full kitchen, dining area, two bathrooms, living area, and balcony. To hear the ocean waves crash, all we needed to do was open the sliding glass door to the balcony... it was music to my ears!! (Let's just say, that door was open a lot during the week!!)
Surprisingly, we had daily deer sightings. Apparently, there is a game sanctuary in the neighborhood, and the local deer saw the timeshare grounds as part of their territory. We saw a few different groups of deer, including a few babies who still had their spots.
Because our first day was all about getting there and getting settled, we didn't try to take on any activities. We pulled out the decks of cards, checkers, and dice and played games ... all to the sound of the oceans just outside our door. Ahhh...
It was on this day that we discovered Conor is VERY fond of Checkers. Every morning, as we rolled out of bed, Conor was asking everyone if they'd play a game (or 15) with him. He loved the strategy, thrill of victory, and joy of shouting "King me!" ... losing, not so much his favorite part.
|Conor taking in the view while lounging on our balcony|
|Some of our regular visitors|
|Lots of gulls were there, too|
|Part of our view|
|More of our view|
|Gearing up for sunset|
|Annika and Conor playing "Go Fish"|
|Conor, future pro-Checkers player|
|Most nights provided us with breath-taking sunsets|
|Annika at sunset|
|Saying good night to the sun|
On our second day, we decided to explore the area and find the fun things to do. We decided to start with with bumper cars and mini-golf, both of which were a lot of fun. Because we arrived at the bumper cars shortly after they opened, we were the only people in the bumper car area, giving us the time and space to help the kids figure out how to drive.
After our time bumping into each other's cars and perfecting our best "evil professor" laughs, we climbed out of our bumper cars and made our way to the mini-golf course. OF COURSE, as soon as the kids saw the mini-golf was attached to an arcade, we HAD to stop to play some games, too.
|Conor and Annika, just like their parents, love air hockey!!|
|Eric lining up his shot|
|Conor showing off his putting prowess|
|Annika prepping for the mini-golf version of the LPGA ... |
would that be the LPMGA??
|"This is how it's done, kids."|
|Snorkel Boy raring to go|
|Snorkel Girl happy as a clam|
|Eric and the kids enjoying the hot tub|
|Daddy Circus Trick, part 1|
|Daddy Circus Trick, part 2|
And if that wasn't enough for the day, the kids and I decided we also needed to explore the beach a bit before the sun went down. After all of the kid flipping in the pool, Eric was ready to shower and kick back for a bit. So, we left him with his book while we figured out the best way to get down to the beach (we were on a bit of a bluff, so it wasn't a straight shot to the sand and surf.)
The kids had a marvelous time working on their sand castle building and hole digging skills. I had a great time practicing my silhouette and reflection photography skills. We watched the waves crash, the sandpipers run from and toward the waves, searched for sand dollars, found pretty rocks, and enjoyed the feeling of the sand below our feet. Before we knew it, the sun began to set, which signaled we'd better get going back to the condo.
|Small kids, big ocean|
|Conor collecting wet sand for his sand castle|
|Run, little sand pipers!|
|Annika's family heart (our names are all printed within it)|
|Dig, Conor, dig!|
|Annika giving her sand creations a big ol' thumbs up|
|Our girl enjoying the feeling of the ocean on her bare feet|
|Practicing my silhouettes and reflections all in one shot|
Before long, we were on the balcony doing a family count-down until when we thought the sun would dip below the horizon. Rarely were we accurate, but it was a fun nightly ritual we adopted over our week away.
|Day 2's sunset|
Bonus Photo: Daily Deer Sighting