In mid-July, we went on the annual Abbott beach vacation in the Outer Banks. Since we had a Saturday-to-Saturday rental, and since Saturday traffic is horrific, Laura and I took the other way to the southern Outer Banks, through Manteo. On a normal day, when half the east coast isn’t migrating to the beach like some kind of Dothraki Horde, the Manteo route is 45 minutes or so slower than the drive through Chesapeake.
With summer traffic clogging the roads between Chesapeake and the Outer Banks, the Manteo route probably took us 20 minutes or so LESS than the more direct route.
After a lunch in Rodanthe, my parents checked with the rental home realtor at about 1:30 to see when the beach house would be ready, which could be as late as 6pm. Amazingly, the beach house was ready to go, which was a good thing because…
The rain, which was supposed to come in the evening rather than in the afternoon, made a day beach trip difficult, but things had cleared up by the evening.
We took the kids to the beach after dinner for what was advertised as “a walk along the ocean.”
The next day, the weather forecasters were wrong once again, this time in our favor.
There was much rejoicing about the turn in the weather.
As was the case last year, Tabby and McKenna handled a shovel in one hour at the beach about 5,748 times more than they had during the rest of the year combined.
The two girls found that simple yard tools could do wonderful things.
We returned from our earth-moving to shower at the beach house, and found that the rental company was rationing towels as if the Dothraki horde pictured above was soon going to cut the island off from all outside supplies of towels. When it came to Laura’s attention that some of McKenna’s cousins were not taking appropriate steps to dry the one and only towel they had been provided, she took the necessary steps.
The next day, with a solid beach day under our belts, we took some time to check out our surroundings. The beach house was on the Sound side (bay side), rather than the ocean side, and the realtors had promised a beach access on the Sound, an access which I have pictured below.
We escaped the zika-infested Sound beach to return to a more beachy beach on the ocean.
When we got to the beach, McKenna started freaking out about the sand on her hands, which was odd considering that she had actually eaten enough sand earlier in her life that she had pooped concrete, regularly sits in surf until her pants fill with 20 pounds of sand, and had tried to create a “sand angel” by lying in the sand and flapping her arms and legs just the day before. Then it all became clear.
Other children were both happier and less nap-prone on this beach day.
This year at Frisco beach, we had none of the tide pools of previous years, although the basin between the sandbar and the shore was calm on this day and swimmable even for young children. Plus, the sandbar was shallow enough to keep sharks out. Only a really forward-thinking shark who had planned ahead during high tide could have threatened swimmers in the basin.
We probably stayed out in the sun a bit too long, especially for McKenna’s older cousins, who seemed unaware that sunscreen actually had to be applied to all of your exposed skin, and that applying sunscreen to only one spot would not create some kind of spreading armor.
The pool at the beach house was shaded by this time, protecting the children from any other sunscreen mishaps.
An advantage of being on the Sound was that we were better positioned to see the sun set over the water.
To get a clearer view of the sunset, Tabby and I walked down to the “beach access.”
The next day’s forecast promised good weather as well, with only a 10-15% chance of storms until about 5pm. Which meant, of course, that…
After the worst of the storms passed, we had to figure out what to do with the girls. We decided to go to the miniature golf/ice cream place that was close by – only about four Donald Trump signs north of the beach house.
The rain stopped for a while, enabling is to play miniature golf.
And by “played” I actually mean we introduced some kind of hockey-golf hybrid to the Buxton area.
After taking 37 swings per hole, the girls needed to refuel.