Thursday, July 31, 2014

Vacation 2014

I'm finally getting around to posting about our vacation in June. Yes, it's almost August, I know. It's just been really busy around here. We've got full-on toddler messes to clean up daily, and it took me forever to find the time to edit the photos.

So here goes.....

First stop: Raleigh, NC
We got there on Sunday afternoon, June 8. Then on Monday morning, we headed out to Pullen Park. It was one of my parents' favorite places to take me when I was little. We met my aunt Marjorie, my cousins, Leslie and Amber, and their kids for a little fun.

On Tuesday, we left Dad's house and went to Nags Head, NC in the Outer Banks. It was our first time there, and we LOVED it. We just stayed one night, but we will be going back. Bryson was super excited to be at the beach.

As soon as we pulled into town, we stopped for lunch at Sam & Omie's. Then we went to the beach across the street at Jeanette's Pier so Bryson could run around after the long car ride. He was in heaven and immediately fell on his butt in the water.

After we chased him around a bit, we checked into our hotel, The Nags Head Inn. Bryson was still too excited to nap, so we got back in the car to explore a bit. We drove south to the Bodie Island Lighthouse. Bryson fell asleep right away, so when we got there we had a little fun taking photos from the parking lot while B slept in the air-conditioned car.

When we got back into the car, Bryson woke up, so we walked down the boardwalk to the waterfront.

As soon as we got back into the car B was sleeping again so we drove a little further south to see the huge sand dunes. After dinner, we went back out on the beach for some more fun.

Bryson really liked the hotel and running down the long hallways, yelling "Aaaahhhh!"

In the morning we were back in the car headed to Gloucester, Va., to see Scott's sister Emily, her hubby Eric and their two boys.

 We hung out and went to the park and checked out historic downtown Gloucester Courthouse.

On Friday morning, we were on the move again. Our destination was the Shenandoah National Park area. We stopped in Charlottesville for lunch on the way and walked around the UVA campus.

We rented a house in the Massanutten Resort, which has tons of houses, condos and a hotel, a ski resort, go-kart track, tubing hill, zip line, park, pools, golf and hiking trails. You really could stay in the resort for the entire vacation.

On Saturday morning we hiked one of the trails in the resort with Eric, Emily, James and little Aaron while Dad and Judy relaxed in the peace and quiet of the house.

We call this "the vacation of the deer." We saw them everywhere. At the resort and in our house's backyard. On Sunday, everyone but us went home, so we went to Shenandoah National Park to show Bryson a waterfall. In the parking lot, we saw more deer.....

We hiked down to Dark Hollow Falls from the Big Meadows area. Unfortunately, Bryson was not as excited as he had been on the trail the day before. He was teething in full force, so he whined and cried the whole way to the waterfall. We stopped for a snack beside the creek, and he cheered up a little. Water and rocks are his favorite things after trucks.

 We finally made it down to the falls. Bryson was happy to see that there were lots of rocks to throw into the pool under the waterfall.

That night was a rough one. Bryson hardly slept since he was teething. We even gave him Motrin and teething tablets for the first time. I felt so sorry for him. Soon after his fourth bottom tooth and one of his molars came in. And just after July 4th, two more of his molars came in, so I know he was in a lot of pain. We skipped a planned visit to see my mom's cousin Dan on the way back to Raleigh so we could get Bryson back to my dad's sooner. (Sorry Dan. Next time, I promise!)

Back in Raleigh, we relaxed and hung out around the house. My friend Sara Dowd visited too. It's always good to catch up with her!

We also visited the Marbles kids museum after a really good breakfast at one of our new favorite spots, Big Ed's, in downtown Raleigh.

Back in dad and Judy's backyard.....

our wedding hydrangeas in bloom

The next stop in our epic vacation was Garden City, SC, by Myrtle Beach where Kylie, Amanda and Sarah and their families were renting a beach house. It was good to catch up with my homeys and their kids if only for a night. As always we stayed up way too late playing catchphrase and reminiscing.

In the morning, our second Friday of the trip, we headed for Jekyll Island, Ga. We stopped for a quick and yummy lunch at my cousin Gray's house outside Charleston. (Thanks again Gray!)

On Jekyll Island, we stayed two nights at the Villas by the Sea in an oceanfront condo. Nice. And it was right next to the famous Driftwood Beach, which Bryson loved.

We went on a very scenic and very hot bike ride through the island's historic district, which has "cottages" er very big nice old houses once owned by the Vanderbilts, the Goodyears and the like. The island was once a playground for the rich and famous. It's now owned by the state and has limited development. It's gorgeous. We're planning to go back soon since it's only six hours from Fort Myers.

The extreme heat necessitated an ice cream break.

That evening we walked back out onto Driftwood Beach to take in the scenery one last time before our trip back home the next morning.

 There was a lot of chasing Bryson, who loved the rocks and the water.

On the way out on Sunday morning we stopped to check out the Horton House ruins at the north end of the island.

And we saw another deer. We actually saw several on our bike ride too.

It was a great trip! Bryson traveled remarkably well and came home with two new teeth. He was happy to sleep in his bed and play with his trucks when we got home.

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