I forgot how intense the sun can be at the beach and I did not put enough sunscreen on all of us, so our first foray into the full sun with exposed bodies did not do us well. We had lots of fun at the beach, and the water was a little chilly for our Floridians, but for us West Virginians, it was great! The kids stayed in the water most of the time and the waves were quiet enough that they could play safely without worrying about the undertow.We collected seashells...
...Dug in the sand...
...and buried ourselves.
It was a great time for sure. I'm also quite positive that if my sister had not brought the tent for us to hide from the sun, our burns would have been that much more severe! Thanks for bringing that, Teena, along with everything else you brought!
We spent the next day at my sister and her husband's place and swam in their pool. I was more diligent with the sunscreen this time, but 2 days out in the sun was just too much. Poor Evelyn suffered sun poisoning and her face swelled up to where she looked like a different girl! We had plans to go to the zoo the next day, but knowing that would be more time in the sun, I cancelled that and we stayed inside, out of the sun. It took about 48 hours for her to look like her old self again, with lots of water, children's pain medicine and rest out of the sun. The other kids were luckier, and did not have poisoning, just a few blisters and peeling everywhere.
Evelyn got to do a scroll-saw project with Grandpop and they had fun doing that. Being 8, she's the right age for doing that, and scroll sawing is similar to a sewing machine, just a different medium, and Evelyn is already good at that! Dad got a bunny bowl pattern, which is perfect for Easter. If we had stayed longer, he would have tried to get time in with all the kids-- well, maybe not Peter, but each of them would have had a bunny to take home. After cutting it out, Grandma helped Evelyn paint it and got the other kids other little wood cut-outs to paint. I wish I thought to take pictures, but I didn't. We were just having so much fun and really lived in the moment that a camera just never made it out.
The time went so fast, it hardly seems like we were there for 4 days, and it wasn't long enough. Andrew and I seriously thought about the pros and cons of moving to Florida to be closer to my family, but then we'd be far away from his family and my Aunt and Uncle, too. Living near the beach is awesome, year-round fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmer's market is a BIG plus, easy access to shops is nice, but we're happy where we are. sigh.. Too bad we're not closer. It takes a full day of driving to get there, which is not so bad, but it's not easy to get away either.
Definitely, we'll have to visit more often.. three years between visits is much too long, especially for the kids. I really want them to know Grandpop and Grandma well, not just someone they see only once in awhile. While on the way home, we were texting our progress to them and Dad made me laugh, saying, "the house got QUIET all of a sudden." Yeah, 4 kids leaving your house will do that! :o) The kids were pretty good though, except for Peter and his curiosity-- we really had to keep an eye on that one! He got into a few things, (sorry!) but we were able to keep him occupied most of the time.
It took a few days to get back to normal around here, once we got back. I miss everyone like crazy and the kids ask when we can go back, often. One day, I had the kids with me to the store and on the way back, Evelyn found my mapquest directions to Florida. She pretended she was me telling Daddy where to go and I played along, making imaginary turns. Sylvia burst into tears when I pulled into our own driveway, fully expecting to arrive back at Grandpop's and Grandma's house in Florida. Sorry baby girl, we're not going back yet.
It was a good trip, went too fast, and it's good to be home again. Hopefully, next time will be longer than 4 days. :o)
(Thanks for everything! Love to you all and miss you much! xoxox)