Sunday, August 03, 2008

Tank turns one!

Our little one turned a year old today! He wasn't feeling well, though. AND, if you look at the picture of his reaction to tasting cake, it's clear he's thinking, "I thought they said STEAK, not CAKE!"

Mommy took him outside to wash him off, then stuck him in the "big" pool with his cousins, which he LOVED. He is a true water baby.

The "big" surprise for his gift was a hermit crab from his Aunt and Uncle and their two sons. Mommy chose crabs and lobsters for his birthday theme, so his Aunt decided to get him a real one! Mommy, when she was pulling it out, almost freaked out because she thought it was a tarantula (she's deathly afraid of spiders). They decided to name him "Crab Cake."

The house was really stuffed -- family, some friends -- even his grandpa from NY came down for the celebration. And, to top it all off, he's starting to walk! Took several steps -- even for my camera!

He'll be the baby of the family for a few more months. Let's enjoy it.


Friday, August 01, 2008

Day 12 of Vacation

Whiteville, NC to Home

Eleven hours on the road is no picnic! Poor little Grandson felt tortured. Granddaughter cried when Grandson screamed. Boppa grumbled under his breath (usually). Nee Nee ended up sitting in the back for awhile to keep things calm.

I don't count this as a vacation day, believe me! We must remember this next time -- being with the kids is fun ... traveling with them in a car is not!

Give me the train anytime.

But Mommy and Daddy were happy to see them!

Day 11 of vacation

Ocracoke, NC to Whiteville, NC

We ate breakfast in the room, then packed up to go. We drove to the Ocracoke Lighthouse, when Granddaughter announced she needed to go to the bathroom, so we drove back to the motel office and used their restroom. We did a little more shopping, then drove out to the ferry (this one takes reservations). We watched the geese for awhile, and also went in the NPS store, where we saw stuffed geese, geese eggs and all sorts of shells and bones. We finally got on the ferry -- a 2 hour ride -- and Granddaughter immediately adopted herself to a family of boys who were playing games. She insinuated herself into their activities. We made friends with their 3 year old who played a fishing game with Grandson for a little while. They stayed pretty busy. Grandson liked playing "Go Fish" and matching the cards, but near the end, he threw an absolute tantrum and I had to walk him outside for a bit.

Finally, it was time to get back in the car, but Boppa was busy talking to someone. I finally picked Grandson up and just started heading to the car. Of course, we were parked right next to an RV that took up part of our lane -- and I could hardly get the door opened wide enough. But we got them into the car (Boppa followed with Granddaughter) and it was off to Cedar Island and parts beyond.

It took awhile to get Grandson to fall asleep. Our plan was to drive to Wilmington and find a hotel for the night, but we decided to drive the bypass -- and no hotels. Then just beyond Wilmington, we got into a ferocious thunderstorm -- driving rain, and had to slow down to 30 mph. Granddaughter fell asleep just as Grandson woke up. But he was fascinated by the storm, so he was pretty good. We finally found a hotel in Whiteville, and Granddaughter stayed asleep through the whole process.

Day 10 of vacation

Buxton, NC to Ocracoke, NC

One more session in the pool, and then we headed to Cape Hatteras and took the ferry over to Ocracoke. We had to wait 2 hours to get on the ferry, but the kids were really good waiting. I made sure they had some snacks and drinks, but we couldn't watch movies since the car was off most of the time. We let them crawl around in the back seat because we weren't moving, and they thought that was great. Plus we had the windows down while we waited. Once we got on the ferry (it was a 30 minute ride), we watched from the deck for awhile, then moved into the A/C lounge. They got to stand on the seats and they could see pretty well.

Once we got off the ferry, we headed to our room at Silver Lake Inn which overlooks the harbor. After a little rest, we went to the Jolly Roger to eat. Granddaughter fell asleep at the table. She woke up just as the food came. Again, they didn't eat much, but did eat a little. I tried to do a little shopping and we also got some ice cream (Granddaughter ate all hers, Grandson ate a few spoonfuls and Boppa finished off the rest). Since there was no pool, I put them in the tub to play for awhile, then we watched a movie on my computer, and then went to bed.

Day 9 of vacation

Buxton, NC

Another full day in Buxton at the Lighthouse View Motel. Another 2 sessions in the pool. This time they graduated to doing "Cannonballs" off the side of the pool. I was so impressed. They both came up laughing. They saw some other children doing it so they figured they could do it. Grandson even swam the length of the pool, much of it underwater. I know because I swam alongside him. (I sat out most of the pool sessions, letting Boppa have the honors).

There was a little girl there who swam without water wings, just a bit older than Granddaughter. Granddaughter (our social butterfly) kept asking her "What's your name" but the little girl wouldn't answer. Finally, after watching our kids count "1, 2, 3 -- cannonball!", this little girl decided to do the same thing! "1, 2, 3" she shouted as she jumped in. Granddaughter turned to Boppa and said, "She CAN talk!" I guess they thought she was mute!

We went back to Dirty Dick's for dinner, but it wasn't as good as we had hoped. Crab cakes were overpriced and not well-seasoned. We didn't order anything for grandkids except fries because they said they weren't hungry. They didn't even eat the french fries, so we brought them back with us to heat up in the microwave if they got hungry later (they didn't).

It was easy to get them to sleep today!

Day 8 of vacation

Buxton, NC

Today was a pool day. Grandson and Granddaughter spent nearly 4 hours (total) in the pool with Boppa today. We had water wings on them, and at first, they were quite cautious. But some other kids showed up, and they got a lot braver. In fact, both decided to practice swimming with their faces in the water, and Grandson ended up loving that. I think he realized he could go quite a bit faster that way. We took a trip to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, so they learned what a lighthouse was. We couldn't go up inside. First of all, the kids were too small, secondly, it's 257 steps and no A.C. and third, it's a $7 per person charge! We did get to go inside the base and take pictures.

We went in the Visitor's Center and the kids had a good time looking at all the toys and books. I bought them a small toy -- a plastic turtle coming out of a shell. We went to lunch at Dirty Dick's in Avon (Granddaughter loved the name) and Grandson slept through most of the lunch. We got back to the room, rested a bit, and then it was back into the pool. The change from the morning session to the afternoon session was amazing. They were swimming like ducks!

Day 7 of vacation

Gloucester, VA to Buxton, NC

We said a sad good-bye to our family and headed down the road to the Outer Banks of NC. Grandson knew we were going to the beach, but he didn't know how FAR it was! Every 10 miles it was "Are we at the beach?" It took us over three hours, so that was a lot of whining.

But once we got there, it was worth it. The first thing we did was go to the beach. Of course, the Atlantic coast is not as kid friendly as the Gulf Coast -- water was cold and too rough to get in. Drops off very quickly. The sand was pretty coarse and stuck like glue to the kids. After Boppa lugged all our luggage up to the third floor room, we went and changed into our bathing suits and went back to the beach. I opened a set of 12 plastic dinosaurs, and we played archeologists in the sand. I would bury the dinosaurs just under the top of the sand, and they would use their hands and shovels to "smooth" until they found the dinosaurs. They also practiced counting to 12 to make sure we had them all. This fascinated them for quite a long time.

Our room overlooked the pool and the ocean. Since it only had one bed, Boppa blew up the nice air mattress we brought, but he ended up sleeping on it himself!