I was admonished for neglecting to mention that on Wednesday night while we were out partying, my parents had a "pajama party" with the kids, and took these adorable pictures.
See Mom? When you complain? Then I post pictures of you in your nightie!
Thursday morning was spent trying to organize a trip to see the wild horses that roam the beach in Carova (north of Corolla, just south of Virginia Beach). We planned to fit everyone in our MDX, and Mom and Dad's MDX, and do it ourselves, but when we got to the place that had said they would sell us a map and some info, the guy strongly suggested against it, and Dad and I thought it was best not to risk getting stuck in the sand. (The next day we found out that the one tow-truck that rescues cars trapped in the sand charges you $125 just to pull you out of where you are currently stuck, not to tow you back to a road, so if you get stuck again? He charges you another $125. And another. And another. What a racket!) We made lots of phone calls comparing prices, and trying to see who could fit us all in one vehicle. Thought we had the best price lined up for the next day, and then while eating some tasty pizza, finally found a flyer for the place we wound up using.
Then we went to the Currituck Wildlife Museum (free!), where Ben got to practice saying "DUCK!" approximately 1 million times (they had a decoy exhibit, that it was hard to drag him away from). We discovered that they have a calendar with tons of free lectures/story times/learning opportunities for both kids and adults, so next year we will have to stop by there early on to look at the calendar and work some of that into our non-schedule. It also has some lovely outdoor areas that we didn't have a whole lot of time to explore.
Promptly after arriving home, Mom, Cindy, and I left for our lovely pedicures. We had a great time, and Cindy and I decided that we will definitely return to the same place next year. Mom liked it because it was next door to a quilt shop. She's incorrigible. We also stopped on the way back to the house to
We discovered at dinner that night that Claire loves lobster. She got Uncle Brandon's share, and maybe a little more.
Friday morning Mom, Dad, and Brandon headed back to their respective homes, and we got ready for our wild horse tour. Claire and Ryan were very excited about getting to ride on "a bus! A BLUE bus! Will it pick us up at the house?" First we stopped so Brian could replace his sandals with some stylish Reef flip-flops. Then lunch which was very tasty, but rather over-priced. Finally we climbed aboard the big blue (non-air-conditioned) bus for our adventure.
When we first pulled onto the beach there were a whole bunch of dolphins swimming around close to shore. The kids thought that was pretty neat. Then we rode for a while without seeing a whole lot. Finally, we spotted the first group of horses. There were four of them, walking together as all of the vehicles slowed to take pictures.
Then we took a detour through the area out there where the houses are built, as Ryan needed to use the bathroom, and the driver lived out there, so he knew a place we could go. The detour took quite a while, and we heard a lot about the politics of the area from the driver as we rode. This portion of the trip served to put Claire and Ryan to sleep, which was not at all a bad thing.
When we hit the beach again to head back to the road we passed two more groups of horses. I believe that one of them was the original ones that we had seen, but somewhere along the way one of the group had disbanded. All in all, it was definitely worth it to do at least once.
Then we headed back to the house for some fun in the pool, one last walk on the beach, a simple dinner (burgers), and then lots of cleaning, sorting and packing after the kids had baths and were in bed.
Saturday morning we finished the cleaning and packing, and it was time to head home. Good bye, beach! See you next year!