We're back from our family vacation, and it was a great time. I've been guilty in the past of being somewhat cynical about vacations. I enjoy the time while I'm there, but the coming back part has been so unenjoyable that it's cast a small shadow on the trip. But not this time. Jenn and I, both, did the things that we wanted to do on vacation, we enjoyed the time away from work, we spent some quality time with family, and we made it back safely.
Driving on the beach was a challenge at first, but we got used to it after a few trips back and forth to the grocery store.
Taking walks on the beach played a significant part of the trip. Lincoln learned to say "bird" after seeing dozens of pelicans and sandpipers. He also now says "car" very consistently... which was interesting, because there was more traffic on the beach this time around than back in 2006.
We flew kites, Dad fished a bunch and even caught a couple in the surf, we swam in the pool (getting a beach house with a pool was a big plus), we visited the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and the Wildlife Education Center, we climbed up Jockey's Ridge... it was a busy week, but very low-key and relaxing.
Because Jenn and I weren't able to go to Franklin for Grace's and Cole's birthdays, and because Jeremy and Emily weren't able to come to Hudson for Lincoln's birthday, we had a birthday party at the beach... with a Western theme!
We didn't spend any time in the ocean because it was pretty cold, but we did take Lincoln to the water's edge for a "stroll" on one occasion. He wasn't real into it, but he was a good sport for pictures.
On the way back, we stopped at the Pittsburgh Zoo to stretch our legs and give Lincoln a break from the car. It's a very cool zoo, and their aquarium is phenomenal. Lincoln loved standing next to the exhibits and pressing his face up against the glass.
So now the Gates-Gates-Hopwood vacation has come to a close. Some may not look forward to family vacations, with family issues and weirdness. Unless I'm the weirdo in our family, I can't say that we have odd family issues, and our time together was just a lot of fun. Who knows when we'll do something like this again, but we've got a lot of fun memories now, and Jenn and I look forward to having a GGH vacation-week down the road.