We went to the beach!
After our afternoon beach visit, we headed a little ways inland to our hotel. It was only about 15 minutes away (or would have been if I hadn't missed exits at least three times) and we definitely got much nicer rooms for a much lower price than if we had stayed close to or on the beach.
Staying in a hotel is always exciting for kids, but after the initial joy of discovery wore off, we all realized that we were ravenously hungry. I decided that I REALLY didn't want to pack everyone up and risk hunger-induced anarchy in a restaurant, so I just took everyone downstairs to the little grill and ordered kids' meals all around.
And then I officially withdrew my name from Mom of the Year consideration by letting my kids play games on their tablets while they waited for their food. It had been a long day.
The next morning, I told the kids we were going to start slowly and not rush. We would go down and enjoy the ENORMOUS breakfast buffet and then take our time heading over to the beach again.
My kids ate their weight in pancakes, omelettes, cereal, juice, and everything else imaginable. They were model young adults for most of the meal. When one of them put Dr. Pepper on his Lucky Charms and another poked his straw through the bottom of his cup, however, I declared breakfast over and we headed back to the room to pack up and get ready for the beach.
Austin managed to escape once, but we found him wandering the hotel hallways. ("I was just looking for my brudders!") And as we were leaving, he got his finger caught in the elevator door. He still has his finger, though, so I guess we can count this as a successful hotel stay.
At the beach, I outfitted the younger three with vests. (Carsten doesn't need one, but it just makes it less stressful for me.) And I tried to get a group shot.
Let's take a group shot.
All Mom wants is ONE group shot.
Everyone had a great time. We ate a picnic lunch around 1 and the kids were shocked that I had planned on leaving around 2:30. "There's no way, Mom! Longer, please..." I told them I'd consider staying longer, but that I didn't want to get stuck driving home too late.
At 2:30 on the dot it suddenly wasn't fun anymore. Mom called it! Skin was getting sun-burned, the sand was chafing, and everyone agreed that it had been a blast, but that it was time to go home.
Austin had checked out just after lunch and was oblivious to all of this.
We got home just before dinner, tired and a little sun-burned, but happy.
I think I've decided that the one overnight beach trip is just right for us. Sand, salt and sun take a toll and for our family, a short dose is decidedly more fun.