COVID has ruined a lot of plans, but we are more than thrilled to keep our annual OBX trip with the Gangsteads and Chadha-Kayes.
The trip was a little different this year – no ice cream runs, shopping trips, bike rentals, magic shows, concerts, drinks at the bar on the bay, or restaurants. But we still got take out Duck Donuts (with an improved online ordering system) and still had the beach and private pool. But we also had a 4 week old and a puppy who had never been left alone and wasn’t potty trained enough to adjust to a house where the living area is on the 3rd floor. Plus Tommy’s parents, who always join us, decided to stay home due to COVID, so our built-in baby-holder grandma and dog walker grandpa were not there to help. Luckily, our friends are truly friends and pitched in with a lot of extra baby holding and dog walking (and cleaning) to make it a great trip.
We had crab night for Kaya’s birthday – my FAVORITE night at the beach. My crab consumption is limited only by time, since it takes a while to eat crabs and I need my hands to take care of the 16 kids to take care of (or at least it feels like 16). Kaya and Laney share my love of crabs, although they are still too lazy about doing the work so Tommy had to step in. Maggie ate chicken nuggets, as usual.
Holy cow – how can Kaya be 8 years old already? We are so proud of the incredibly responsible, always willing to help, brilliant, inquisitive, and visionary little girl that she has become. Happy birthday Kaya! (Also I realized it has also been 8 years since I have not had a child in diapers. That’s a lot of diapers)
I can’t believe it’s already been a month since Orly was born – time flies fastest with a newborn. People say the days are long but years are short. Well I think everything is short. Last baby syndrome, perhaps.
This time we have a wealth of options for taking one month photos – we continued our traditional pictures and also snapped one with a really beautiful blanket we received as a present. So blessed! (And for reference, Kaya/Laney/Maggie one month pictures added as well).
We stayed last night at the Douglas Dam Campground, just west of the TN/NC border. The campground was great, although the family fell apart when we first arrived (Kaya and Laney managed to get covered in mud, Maggie slipped in the shower and bruised up her arm, Orly witching-hour screamed for a while, and Penny the puppy tried to eat everything in sight). But we woke up refreshed this morning – I took Penny for a swim and then sat in the shade with her and Orly (theme of the trip) while the other girls and Tommy swam in the lake. Then Kaya made everyone turkey sandwiches (thanks Kaya!) and we hit the road for home. Also, baby yawns are the cutest.
We stayed last night at the Beech Lake Family Campground, which was really nice, although we didn’t actually see very many other campers. Usually despite the campgrounds having many RVs, people are outside in the evenings and mornings. Here, there were a bunch of RVs and no people to be found – it was a little eerie. But, they did have a great swimming sandy beach on the lake, perfect for our clan. Then we hit the road for another 5 hours of driving to cover some distance home.
Now that we have a new puppy, the RV suddenly feels very chaotic and small and Tommy and I both kind of feel like getting home. Luckily, we anticipated this and so spent much of the day driving. But we did manage to get to the wading pool before we left to let the kids burn off some energy before we hit the road. (Yes, that is Kaya mid-air, and yes, those are all American flags. There are LOTS of American flags in this part of the country. This here is Real ‘Murica)