The school year starting a week early, combined with my School Board responsibilities, really scrambled our family vacation strategy this summer. No matter, we still got to a happy place for us, which is Rehoboth Beach. Saturday morning was typical for us, including a luxurious breakfast, a trip to the Y, and a nap for Asher. I skipped my nap to pack the car, so when Asher woke up a little after noon, we were ready to go.
Traffic wasn't too bad: 3 1/2 hours door to door. We got a cute little beach house above a restaurant right off the boardwalk. Just steps from the beach and Funland. The front door opens up into the kitchen, with a TV area, bedroom, and full bath on the same level. Up one is another bathroom plus two bedrooms, including one that has a little nook off to the side where you can look out onto the sidewalk and people-watch. So Asher got his own bedroom, Aaron decided to sleep in the nook, and the nook is practically separate from the rest of the bedroom so it was like Jada got her own bedroom too.
After unpacking and making a grocery run, we went for an evening stroll to reacquaint ourselves and of course to get ice cream. The kids sunk right into the beach life. Amy and I are still a little frazzled from the logistics of packing and traveling. Give us a day. Thankfully, that day will largely be spent at the beach. See you on the sand!
Sometimes the first full day of vacation can be dicey, as there's a chance Asher won't acclimate to the new surroundings and will get up at an ungodly hour. Thankfully, that was not the case. Our first order of business was to go for a walk on the boardwalk. The sun had just risen, and it was so nice to breathe in the ocean air and take in all the sights. We returned to the beach house for breakfast and then gathered everyone else for a walk to the local playground. That was enough morning activity to induce Asher's nap (although it took a little bit for him to get down), and I was able to go for a refreshing (albeit embarrassingly short) run and get a nap in myself.
In fact, Asher's nap was so long that we missed the window of sunshine for the day. The morning and early afternoon had been sunny and hot, but by the time we made our way to the beach in the mid-afternoon, we were met with clouds and wind. We still had a good time playing in the sand and in the ocean, but it wasn't much of a day for lounging oceanside. We called it an early day, got ourselves and our stuff cleaned up, and I went back to the boardwalk to grab a pizza and bucket of fries to bring back to the beach house. After dinner and TV, we headed out to another playground to enjoy the evening air, before retiring happily to bed. A good first full day for our beach vacation.
Asher did good again overnight, as I didn't need to get him until about 6:30am. This time, I let him luxuriate in cartoons over breakfast, before taking him for a walk once the older kids had gotten up. Given the capriciousness of the sun the day before, we took our chances going to the beach in the mid-morning. It was less windy than the day before but more windy than later that day, so once again we didn't time it so good. No matter: we still had fun, as Asher really got into letting the waves wash over him (and at times knock him over). At one point, I sat down next to him and he climbed into my lap. What a sight, the horizon off in the distance, the huge ocean before us, and my littlest one's big round head otherwise blocking my view. Bliss.
All the sun, running, and getting pummeled by waves got Asher good and ready for a nice long nap, during which I capitalized by heading to the Y for a quick swim and the grocery store to stock up. When Asher finally woke up in the mid-afternoon, we headed to Funland, procured a big wad of tickets, and let the kids go nuts. Jada and Aaron went off together while Amy and I let Asher lead us to the next ride he wanted to try.
We ate dinner back at the beach house, and Amy convinced me to buy the kids ice cream again, so we went back to the boardwalk for that before returning to the beach house to put Asher to bed. With the little on safely tucked in for the night, I took Aaron and Jada back out, to ride go carts at Midway Speedway. It was insanely late for us but well worth the nighttime excursion. Such is the vacation life.
Clouds still looming over Rehoboth Beach. Not sure what to do, so as always we look to our King Baby. Asher looked sufficiently tired - I think having his own room is so exciting that when he wakes up in the morning he likes to bounce around rather than going back to sleep - so after a morning stroll, breakfast, and an extended playground run, we put him down for his nap. Good call, because three hours later he was still chugging along, and in a rare moment, we actually got him up instead of letting him be. I mean, we were all ready to go to the beach!
Asher found his rhythm on this day, alternating between letting the ocean pummel him and puttering along in the sand with his beach toys. It was really sweet to see. Amy went for a long walk on the boardwalk, Aaron splashed around in the water, and Jada took everything in from the comfort of our base of chairs and blankets. I took turns being Asher's individual lifeguard and watching him from a distance when he was safely far away from the ocean and contentedly playing in the sand. I may have even gotten a few moments of relaxation gazing into the horizon!
We took Asher to the Y for a quick workout - he had made such good friends with the workers there the day before that he jumped right back in once we arrived again - and then came home, got food from the boardwalk, and ate at the beach house. We had procured a birthday cake for this day, and sang to Amy while holding Asher back from the cake. We devoured that thing within minutes and then called it an early night. All good here.
Another morning, another rejuvenating morning walk with our earliest riser. Asher and I walked the boardwalk, said hi to dogs, and gawked at the fancy houses before returning to our beach house for breakfast. It was so nice out even first thing in the morning that we took our chances going to the beach first, and the beach did not disappoint. It was the first time in four trips that we actually needed sunscreen. Asher petered out first so I took him home and put him down for a nap. Jada and Amy weren't feeling well so they went back too, and I returned to the beach to watch Aaron have the time of his life in the waves. I finally coaxed him to come in and brought him home for lunch.
I snuck in a quick swim at the Y before returning to the beach house for a cat nap before Asher got up. Once we were all up, we headed to Funland to spend down the rest of our tickets on rides. The bigger kids hit all the big rides and Asher got in all the small rides, so everyone was happy. After that, we made the short hike to Henlopen Acres to have a cookout with friends of ours who had graciously invited all of us over. They have a very lovely house, and I held my breath the whole time wondering if Asher would take a wrecking ball to it. Mercifully, he was reasonably well behaved, so we all survived and not only that but had a wonderful time with food and conversation.
The evening walk was beautiful and peaceful, and soon enough everyone was in bed with smiles on their faces. Another good day at the beach, the only downside being that unlike last time we were here we're only here for a week and not two, which means our vacation is now on the descent. All the more to make the most of the few days we have left!
Of course we're finally hitting our stride here just as it's time to pack up and go home. Asher and I ate breakfast over TV before Amy got up and joined us at the playground. We got a good long session in so he could nap after, and boy did he ever. But he finally did wake up, and we headed for the beach.
It was the sunniest day yet, the wind and clouds from earlier in the week now long gone. We stayed a good long time, with Asher even making a friend with a kind older boy near us who let Asher play with his army men and toy cars. We headed back to the beach house to clean up and then headed to the Y for a quick workout before hitting the grocery store to grab dinner and dessert. Alas, we now only have one more full day...why can't we repeat today's schedule several more times before we have to go back to work and school?
A solid final full day of vacation had us counting down the days until we can do this again. Morning walk, lazy breakfast, playground fun, extended nap...all a prelude to our last trip to the beach. It was the sunniest and most crowded day of them all. Asher kept protesting that he wanted to back to the beach house - after he got pummeled by the waves, after his feet burned from the hot sun - but each time he found something else interesting to do. Meanwhile, Jada and Aaron lived in the water and Amy soaked in the rays.
I took Asher to the Y to get a quick swim in, and even there he was treated like royalty by the child watch workers who'd been with him all week and adored his love of books and gusto for new toys. We returned home, ate up all the food in the house, and went back out for one more ice cream before returning to the beach house for bedtime and packing. This trip was too short but we're glad we were able to take it. We'll be back!