After we left South Carolina, the boys and I headed eight hours north and east over to the Outer Banks. This is one place that I always wanted to go see and since the boys and I are on a lighthouse mission, this just seemed like the best next stop. By the time we arrived it was later in the afternoon and the sky was overcast and windy. This first lighthouse that we came to was the Bodie Lighthouse. This current lighthouse is the third that has stood in this vicinity of Bodie Island on the Outer Banks in North Carolina and was built in 1872. It stands 156 feet (48 m) tall and is located on the Roanoke Sound side of the first island that is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. While some people (including North Carolinians not from the Outer Banks) pronounce the name with a long “o” sound, it is traditionally pronounced as body. This is derived from the original name of the area, which was “Bodies Island”, after the Body family from whom the land was purchased. Folklore would have you believe it is due to the number of dead sailors washed ashore from this portion of the Atlantic Ocean, which is known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic. An impressive array of ships have been sunk due to storms, shoals, and German U-boats in World War II.
Our next stop was the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. This lighthouse is right next to our motel, so we thought we would swing by and check it out. Due to lightening in the area we were not allowed up into the lighthouse, so we wandered down to the beach and the boys ran off some of their energy from the long car ride.
We checked into the motel, the boys went for a swim, we grabbed a pizza for dinner at a local arcade, and called it a day.
Matty had his second Berkeley interview this morning, so while we went to that Andy loaded up his car and drove Davy out to Fort Wilderness at Disney World to get our camp site set up. The Cub scouts go on two camping trips a year and this is the second one. Andy set up our tent next to Garrett and Caiden, let the fun begin!
Our first outing was to the fishing pond. There was a competition for the boys and a prize for whoever caught the biggest fish, well our boys didn’t catch anything and quickly decided that the pool was where they wanted to be.
This pool was perfect for the kids. There was a larger pool with this large slide and then a smaller pool for the littler kids. After the swim, the boys dried off and we went for a bike ride. Our first stop was to the front of the campground to see the horses. Matty loves the horses. Next, we biked back over to the Meadows swimming pool. Caiden was in an archery class, so the boys each got a Mickey ice-cream and posted up to watch him. From the way their faces look, I’d say they liked them :). From here we biked down to the marina. Both boys wanted to go on a boat ride, so we hopped onto the shuttle for the Magic Kingdom and went for a ride.
When we got back, the boys wanted to play at the playground, so I ran over to Crockett’s Tavern to grab Andy and I a beer. I picked for him one called Napa Smith, an organic IPA, and Andy said that he officially thinks that this is his new favorite beer. For dinner back at the campground we had Jack Daniels BBQ pork sandwiches, baked beans, corn, apple sauce, and smore’s.
After dinner we headed over to Chip and Dales Campout. The boys got to meet Chip and Dale, sing-a-long with the show and afterwards watch Toy Story 2, the movie under the stars. Right before it ended we walked back down to the marina to get ready to watch the fireworks. An employee told us to take the dirt path to the right and wander down until the opening that the view of the fireworks was much better than from the dock, and he was right. We had a perfect, clear view of them. I loved this moment. We took the purple bus back to the camp ground and called it a night around 10:30. It was a perfect family day. 🙂
It’s a lazy Saturday…one of my favorite kinds. We slept in, ate a little lunch, and then headed out to St. Pete beach to spend the day Brandie, Laurence, Ryla, and Layne. We stopped off at the beach and hunted down a cache. It was hidden right off of the board walk in a tree, it really was a great spot. After that we headed over to the condo. The boys swam in the pool for a couple of hours while we lounged, ate guacamole, and drank cocktails. We walked down to the little beach, the kids played in the sand and climbed on the rocks, and then we headed back to the condo for dinner. They had previously stopped off at Mazzaro’s for dinner items, so we ate and drank like Italian kings. We loved getting to spend the day with them…. Wish we could do it more often! Thanks for dinner B – we love you!
We were driving to church yesterday and brainstorming about what we wanted to do today, Monday Labor Day, and I had the thought, “Hey! Let’s go tubing!” Andy thought that it was a great idea so a little before 8am this morning we loaded up in the car and headed north to Rainbow River in Dunellon, FL.
The drive took a little longer than an hour and a half. We decided to go to Rainbow Springs State Park located at 10830 S. W. 180th Avenue Road Dunnellon, Florida 34432. It was $10 per person and that included the tube and the tram ride. The water was 72 degrees and the float trip was around 2 hours.
We weren’t even on the river for 15 minutes before we spotted an otter playing off to the side. The kids saw lots of birds, fish, and Davy said he even saw a turtle. What both boys loved the most were the dragonflies. They were all over us and landed on our tubes, feet, arms, everywhere. Along the way there were rope swings, tree jumping, and the water spray.
After we were done tubing, we drove the 7 miles over to the original State Park, Headsprings and had a picnic lunch. At the base of the park grounds there was a large swimming hole. It was crystal blue-green and the boys had a great time jumping into the river. All in all today was a perfect day. We are looking forward to heading back sometime soon… 🙂
Sometimes there just aren’t enough words to be able to fully express the love and gratitude that one has for beautiful friends…
As I am currently unable to do much of anything, Kelly and Brian decided that they were not going to let this situation get everyone down. Today, they packed up all the kids and took them out for a boat ride and lunch at Rotten Ralph’s . They said that the weather was beautiful, the morning water was calm, and they even saw dolphins. The boys had a wonderful time tubing and driving the boat. We heard that Davy made the 25 mile an hour club and rode on the tube 5 or 6 times. Love my brave boy.
Thanks again Brian and Kelly… 🙂
Our bedrooms are on the east side of the house and at 6:51 am I hear, “Mommy, it’s morning…can we go to the beach now?” Gotta love little Matty bear. Of course my answer was, “Matty, mommy is sleeping…not yet and go away.” 🙂 At 8am we fixed breakfast and at 9am we headed to the beach. The weather was beautiful and the water was calm. Paradise. Immediately after we set up the beach chairs and toys Colin says, “Look mom a dolphin!” We grab our cameras and start scanning the horizon. Sure enough there was a dolphin family, including a little baby dolphin. The kids loved chasing after them in the water and it was so fun to watch their faces as they all got to swim with the dolphins.
Beach Day has finally arrived!!! After months of planning and waiting….the wait is over. Kelly and the kids came in late Friday night from Virginia, so the last bit of packing Saturday morning was a piece of cake and we were off for the 3pm check in. The first year that we went to the beach we stayed for a week; we didn’t really even begin to relax until day five or so and then it was time to pack up and go home. Last year, we decided on two weeks, but at the end we were so sad to leave that we pushed this year to three. Three whole weeks of fun in the sun and sand in the toes…
This is the house…318 Iris. It is a four bedroom with a pool on the canal… and we love it!
Papa Bear helped us bring down some of the bigger items in the back of his truck.
Molly and the Hermit Crabs made the trip. Lucy will be here next weekend.
The dock leading out to the canal…
There are two lime trees in the back yard and both of them are covered with fruit! Hmmm. Limeaids, Cornonas, Mojitos, Margaritas, the possibilities are endless…
There was an afternoon storm that the boys sat outside to watch and afterwards there was the most beautiful double rainbow…
We moved one bed so the three older boys could share a room…
It’s gonna be a great three weeks… 🙂