Today, well, yesterday, officially marks the beginning of our last month here in Pennsylvania. I hate saying that, I do. Because I know the days will just fly by. And speaking of time flying by, I can't believe it has been a week since we left for the beach. That is crazy! I haven't even had time to enjoy the memories of the beach (let alone unpack) and it's been a week already. What is up with that?! (whoa, 90's flashback there.) But we did have a great time at Bethany Beach. I kept thinking that I wished it would have been one day longer, but then we had a little scuffle between a couple of the kids on the last day and that reminded me why we arranged the trip like we did. If only we had left a couple hours earlier, that never would have happened... oh well. Everyone survived.
We rented a 15 passenger van for the 11 of us and we were packed to the brim when we left the church at 7:30 am last Tuesday morning. I think the only thing we forgot to bring was my toiletries bag, which remained on my bathroom sink the entire week. I didn't let it get me down though because that meant I got to make a trip to Happy Harry's Drug Store to get some supplies.
Kinda creepy, huh?
We arrived around 3 pm (we made just a mere 4 stops on a 6 1/2 hour trip) and as quickly as we could, ran in to the house and dropped our stuff off in our rooms (everyone had to have the exact same rooms as last year), put on our beach clothes and ran to the ocean (just like last year.) Isn't it funny how traditions are formed and cemented after just one year? I guess that is a testimony to how successful last year's trip was. Dinner was at 6, followed by walking around the shops on the BB boardwalk, a little basketball, and once nightfall came, we hit the beach with metal detectors and fishing poles. Ocean fishing was not successful, the wind & waves were too much for us, and the only treasures we found in the sand were crabs. But everyone had fun.
The next day (wednesday, our only full day there) was beach day and the weather was perfect. Sunny and 83! We headed down with all of our gear immediately after breakfast, stayed until lunch, and then spent the entire afternoon there as well. Everyone swam in the 70 degree ocean for hours. Some kids rented bikes to ride around town for an hour, two girls got old-time photos taken (they were so cute!), we ate DB fries and snowcones, I continuously sprayed sunscreen on everyone, read a few magazines, and took a nap. It was great.
As you can see, the beach was pretty crowded, but we didn't mind. Here was our little plot for the day (the tan colored tent.)
That night we ate dinner at Phillip's - just like last year. ha! After dinner we went back to the boardwalk, laughed hysterically while one of our kids got the word LUSCIOUS "tattooed" on his forehead, then played some cards at the house while eating lots of sour patch kids and twizzlers.
Thursday was a bummer... we woke up hoping to go back to the beach for a couple hours, but it was raining, so we decided to just start packing up and cleaning after breakfast. We made one last trip to the boardwalk shops (a couple of the boys were so annoyed with this), then had lunch, celebrated two of the kids birthdays which were that day, and headed out.
Speaking of the boys, here is a great picture I took of all of them. You have to click on it to enlarge it so you can see all of their expressions. So funny!
Things that made this trip a huge success: taking five 18 year olds with us which included 2 eagle scouts, the beach/sun/ocean, several iPods which held thousands of songs for the ride home, a big, clean, air-conditioned van (unlike last year), and even though it was sad, knowing that this is our last big outing with all of these kids (some of them are going off to college anyway) so we really cherished every moment and made the best of it.
The entire group.
Now we have a lot of work ahead of us... packing, moving, settling everything here at work and home, and saying goodbyes. Ugh, I hate moving.