Our recent vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina was the first time we did anything for an extended period of time away from home with both kids.
We have done lots of little weekends away, but this was the first time we did something like this with friends and away for a week. We had heard that it is often difficult to drive over the bridge at certain times on Saturdays, so we decided to stay down in Portsmouth, Virginia the day before our vacation was starting. We checked into a hotel, did some swimming in the pool, and then headed out for dinner in town. We had a really nice view from our room of the water we were staying on.
The kids actually did a really nice job staying in the hotel and with all of the travel on the first day.
We caught a later dinner, which helped immensely with bedtime.
On Saturday morning, we got up, had breakfast and then headed out for our first family vacation.
We stayed in Nags Head with 3 other families in a really nice big house in a location that was perfect for access to the beach. The house also had an inground pool and a hot tub, so those were nice perks as well. There were 16 people staying in the house with a handful of kids ranging in age from 1 to 21. We had a really great time and everyone was a lot of fun to spend time with. We did a lot of things together, but also went off and did things on our own as well. It was really nice for Chris and I to be able socialize every night and have the kids in bed by a decent time.
We spent a lot of time at the beach but often mostly just in the mornings because the afternoon seemed to get more windy and kick up the sand more.
On one of the days, Kailey decided that she had enough and was going home (just as we were about to pack up anyway). She got her shoes on and started walking up the beach to leave. We let her go thinking she wouldn't go too far, and then realized she was really on her way out.
One thing that I found fun about being on a trip like this is that usually someone started some activity or hanging out somewhere and then everyone else kind of followed and congregated as well. We did a lot of playing outside before or after dinner. Our house was in a nice location so that we could give the kids a little bit of freedom without worrying because we had a good amount of distance before the road and even then, it was a little side road before the major road.
There was a little aquarium nearby, so on one of the overcast mornings, we took a ride over to check it out. '
Most afternoons, we ended up hanging out in the pool because of the windy beach. It was fun because the kids could be independent with their vests and swimmies and LOVED jumping into the pool. It was a nice little location to have.
We attempted a "jumping in the pool" family picture which had some funny ones to go with it in the process!
On our last day of the week, it wasn't a nice day so we took a ride to a lighthouse nearby. Both kids needed the nap so we didn't get much by way of a family picture, but it was pretty neat to see.
It's never easy traveling far with two young kids and being away from home for a long period of time. However, we had a really fun time and the kids were as good as they could possibly be. The best part about it is that we were making fun family memories...