We arrived in Rodanthe at sunset.  As the last light faded from the day, we hurried out to the beach, feet bare, talking all over each other, finally arrived, so excited.  They looked at the ocean for the very first time, dipped their toes in.  It was every bit the perfect moment I imagined.

Each day for the next week, we thoroughly enjoyed that lovely ocean.  Played in the sand, rode the waves, hunted crabs, discovered countless treasures (shells, new bugs, seaweed, jellyfish).  We vacationed hard.  Every day was so full & joyous!  Every night we fell into bed content & exhausted.

Silas, collector of all things, was kept very busy with hunting seashells.  Lots of seashells.  Funny thing, this particular strip of beach isn’t heavily littered with shells.  I believe that Si found every. single. shell.

A day’s loot…

Dustin took Silas out hunting for crabs one night, which was big fun.  Crab hunting is quite a bit more exciting than seashell hunting, what with all the scurrying about!

Piper was truly taken with the beach.  She really enjoyed the sand & the waves, she was this happy little frolicking bunny!

Esther did not love the beach quite so much.

She felt that the waves were a bit too rough & she was pretty upset by the sand in her unders.  But Esther had some crazy fun in the pool!  She was swimming better & braver than ever, jumping & diving all on her own.  I was so happy to see her gain such confidence in the water.

One day we visited a lighthouse, & the kids were not too impressed by it.  On another day, we watched a blimp fly remarkably low by our balcony, & the kids were delighted by that.  On another day, we visited an aquarium, & the kids were only slightly impressed by that.  And on another day, we watched a man catch a shark right next to us on the beach, now that blew the kids’ minds & is still the number one topic of vacation discussion!

As we walked along the beach one evening, the tide was out, leaving pools of water behind.  In the pools floated pieces & parts of dead jellyfish.  Well, as you can imagine, Si was very intrigued.  First, he poked them with a stick…then a finger…& finally (despite repeated warnings from his wise mother) he managed to get himself stung.  Two minutes of panic followed by ten minutes of sobbing, & he was all better & back to exploring.  With a bit more caution.  Now the jellyfish sting has become his vacation war story, he tells it with pride!

Somehow, the whole week went better than I had hoped.  Minimal tears, much merriment & many many firsts.  Truly, that is what will make this vacation special beyond any other…it was the first.  I loved our time in Rodanthe.  I will never forget it.


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