We snuck away to the beach for an extended weekend by waking the kids up their first morning of summer and telling them to 'pack a bag'. It was so so so fun to surprise the kids with the trip...Eli said, "Wait, cuz my head is still not awake yet...are you serious?"
We arrived just after lunch on Thursday and headed straight to the ocean. Ruby LOVED the sand. She kept scooping up a shovel full and walking somewhere to dump it only to repeat the process. And she walked up to the waves on her own several times. When they rushed in a little too quickly or roughly for her, she would wave her finger at the water and say, "NO!"
Speaking of that, Ruby is the queen of 'NO' right now. No matter what you say or do, she will yell at you tell you "NO!"
The first morning we woke up, the kids were set for the beach again. Ruby was at least as enthusiastic, but even more independent (cue more 'NO!') Eli and Maddux had so much fun using the Beater Board (a smaller, foam surf board) and the boogie board. They spent the entire morning in the water.
After lunch, we put Ruby down for a nap and the big kids and I rode our bikes to play shuffle board. They love the 'hidden' court and the shade it provides during nap time.
Once we got Ruby up, we took an extended bike ride ending at the food trucks. Low and behold, we met friends there! (This was planned also, but the kids didn't know it.) We ate dinner and hung out on the green until a family movie started. Lehr even took the kids to get ice cream while we waited. (Best dad ever) Ruby was a really good sport and stayed up until about 9PM, fairly interested in the movie. At that point, I rode the two of us home because she was getting a little antsy. Before that, she was find, but she did like to play musical laps.
The following morning we loaded the car up (very unusual for us at the beach) and drove to the Marshall's condo so we could spend the morning with them. THe weather was overcast and a little chilly, surprisingly. Eli and Drew took turns on the boards and occupied themselves with getting pummeled by waves. Maddux and Davis and Emmaline built sand castles, and Ruby did a bunch of sitting. We drove home for lunch and then met them at the food trucks much later for dinner again. On this particular evening there was a live band on the green, so again we stayed and enjoyed the night.
Maddux and Davis and Emmaline also got very into collecting sea shells.
They spent hours at the edge of the water, waiting for waves to break
and then go back out so they could find pieces of sand dollars and
other cool shells.
The next two days were spent at the beach and pool and on our bikes. Davis and Maddux built a whole village of drip castles one day, spending almost the entire morning under an umbrella. Lehr rented a yolo board and took turns with each kid (except Ruby) on it out past the waves. The five of us had a really nice traditional last dinner of pizza on beach at sunset. One day during Ruby's nap, Lehr took Eli and Maddux around to each of the Watercolor pools (five?), riding their bikes inbetween them all. We found more music at sunset in a park one night, complete with strangers giving the kids their beach ball to play with. We may have indulged in more ice cream. We definitely got more than our share of sun and sand!
The day before we left, Lehr took Ruby to the park outside of our condo while the big kids and I got ready for dinner. He introduced her to the (for looks, not play) fountain, and she promptly went in. It might have been her favorite part of the trip.
We left after lunch one afternoon, making it home just before midnight. I had to drag the kids out of bed for their 9:45 swim practice the next morning, but they agreed that it was worth it.