Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Summer Vacation

Andy left for Pennsylvania a few days before the rest of us to attend church meetings. The kids and I drove out and met him there and, thankfully, had a super smooth 11 hour drive. His meetings were held in the same location that he went to seminary, where we lived for about three years. We had fun showing the kids around (we moved away when Bella was 18 months old), but I'll admit that it all felt a lot less familiar than I expected.

The boys found some lockers to play in on campus.
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This is the bench at the seminary that Andy's graduating class donated.
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Playing around outside the library - just like I used to do with Bella when she was really little.
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This area brought back the most memories for me. Bella and I were feeling a little silly, so we decided to re-create a few photos.

This was taken in the lobby of our apartment building.
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She loved to run around outside the library.
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The steps were her favorite. She sure has changed a bit since those days.
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The belfrey of Central Moravian Church - just down the road from where we used to live.
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The next day (Tuesday) , we drove east another two hours and arrived at Mimi Jane's shore house! That afternoon, we walked to the beach, got our feet wet in the ocean, and collected a few shells. Must not have taken any photos that day.

{Wednesday}

Our time spent there included a lot of good food. Here is Curtis after lunch out one afternoon. His new creation: orange peel bracelets!
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We all tried some raw clams at dinner time -- even me!
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And then tried them steamed.
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{Thursday} Curtis's Birthday!!!

The weather was fantastic -- so many great beach days.
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Our birthday boy!
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That evening, we went on a pirate cruise on the Black Pearl.
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The kids all got to dress up like pirates!
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They shot at Pirate Pete with their water cannons.
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Arrrrrrrrrr!!
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Great group of pirates. I added arrows to our kids.
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Bella enjoyed her first (non-alcoholic) margarita!
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And Curtis got to eat crab for his birthday meal -- his request!
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Bella made his birthday cake.
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Happy birthday, Curtis!
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{Friday}

We did a little shopping. Bella found this shirt that fit her pretty well - not because she likes to golf, but because she loves to go "joy riding" in our golf cart!
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Lunch at Holiday Snack Bar. This is Andy's favorite restaurant on the island and therefore is a place that we make a point of eating at every summer. Bella started her meal off with this delicious shake!
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More beach time that afternoon.
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Every year, Jane treats Andy and I to a date night and she stays back and watches the kids. We always enjoy getting a night out, trying new restaurants and food. Andy ordered oysters, lobster, and steak. I got the pecan flounder.
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{Saturday}

Mimi bought white t-shirts and a tie-dye kit. The kids had a great time coming up with their tie-dye creations.
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Late morning and we're still in our jammies. I loved the flow of our days -- take it easy in the morning, put on swim  gear, spend hours at the beach, come home and shower, and then get back in pajamas. I didn't end up wearing half the clothes I packed since I spent so much time in pajamas and swimwear!
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That afternoon, we went to visit the Conyers at their shore house and the kids went for a little swim in their lagoon.
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And then we went back to the beach, of course. I got in the water more than ever this year. It was hot, so there's that. And everyone looked like their were having so much fun on their boogie boards that I wanted to give it a try.
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{Sunday}

There was excitement in the air as the kids unraveled their t-shirts to see how their tie-dye projects turned out!
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He was aiming for a smiley face - seems pretty fitting for him. :)
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Andy and the kids took a walk to the beach later that morning. Lots of shells.
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More swimming - this time in the bay!
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And then. . . back to the ocean!
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The kids and Mimi!
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I wasn't with the group much this day because my friend, Jen, drove out and we were able to spend the whole day together. We literally talked for 10 hours straight and could have talked even more.
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{Monday}

The last day had to come sooner or later and we always feel sad to say goodbye to Mimi. Everything is always so wonderful - except how fast our time together goes by.
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Wearing her newly tie-dyed shirt.
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When we left Mimi, we ventured out to another part of the Jersey shore, Ocean City, where our friends were vacationing for the week. It's always great catching up with them and our kids enjoy seeing their friends again.
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Bella and Taylor drew some chalk murals that evening.
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{Tuesday}

We returned to the beach yet again that morning and spent the afternoon on the boardwalk. It was SO HOT! The smart people were hanging by the water. But the kids played a competitive game of mini-golf.
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We had to cool off with some water ice.
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Look at all of those umbrellas at the beach.
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Worn out from all that heat.
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Another sweet friend named Jen. I love that we can get together every summer!
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We left Ocean City later that afternoon and spent the evening in Cinnaminson visiting with some more friends. We are so blessed to have so many great people in our lives - and that we get to visit them every summer even though we've moved.

Curtis got into the VBS stash.
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These kids were in elementary school when we met them. Now they're in college high school. Such a great group.
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We left Cinnaminson around 10pm that evening and drove for about an 1.5 hours - just to get a little jumpstart on the trip. Curtis was a little tired when we arrived at our hotel.
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We drove throughout the 4th of July. When we got home, we played with some of the goodies that Mimi had bought: glow sticks, pop-its, and sparklers.
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There were also lots of fireworks going off in various neighborhoods around town, so we drove around to see what we could see.

The next day, Bella made another chalk mural.
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Salty laid on it. . .
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and left looking very pretty. :)
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After enjoying the water ice in New Jersey and, knowing that we don't have any here, Bella looked up a recipe and made her own!
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Long summer afternoons when they aren't allowed to watch TV or play video games. I've introduced the boys to audiobooks and ebooks on their tablets. Curtis listened to a book and read a book that afternoon.
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Since we've been back, Graydon has listened to two audiobooks. Well. . .  based on how I found him one day, I'm not sure if her heard the whole book. :)
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The kids love their rubiks cubes. This one gets played with so much that it broke and was literally in pieces! They had to work together to get it back together - which they did!
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We're home for a week and then we're off again. This time to Kentucky for the Benetti family vacay!