September 14, 2015


We took our annual trip to the beach just before Labor Day.  Despite many waverings (Florida? Outer Banks? Stingrays? Sharks?), the Outer Banks won out.  There did happen to be many lamentations beforehand that they "WILL NOT be getting into the water..." due to the outbreak of shark attacks in the area this year.  Of course, everyone went into the water.

 On the trip to the Outer Banks, we spent the night in Norfolk so that we could make a visit to the USS Wisconsin.  I told the kids that this was the "first day of school."  Lol.  It was entertaining and educational, we really enjoyed it.

The last time we were there was in 2006.  Look at these two! Cuties! This time, the ship is owned by the City of Norfolk and you can go down in the cabins and look around.  That was neat.

Then we made it to the beach.  (Well, you know, after driving a few more hours, going to Mass, checking in at the house, etc, etc.)
 Caroline commenced with the relaxation.  Cheetos are her middle name.  Well, it should be.
 Of course, yes, there was body boarding.  No one got eaten by a shark.

 Spent an afternoon on the sound and though I would like to say that I always traveled in style like this.  Not so.  Fun while it lasted.
 A Caroline photo by Dad.  We can't get enough of her.
 Nicholas cracks me up!  The Caroline photo bomb in the back makes it double.  Lots of critters to be found on the sound.  (Hey, that rhymes...  I'm a poet...)
 The treasures abound on the wild and free-looking sound.  We did catch two giant blue crabs, lots of little crabs and shrimp and fish.  Exciting!  This spot is on the back side of Jockey's Ridge State Park.

 After a few hours on the sound, we headed out for some dinner and then a trip to the sand dunes at Jockey's Ridge.  Attempted photo session.  This was about all I got.

The sunset came through for me though.  Gorgeous and worth the wait.

 This is the moon over the ocean from our house balcony.  Over exposed, it looks like the sun.  I love seeing the detail of the grasses and the reflection on the water though.
 We took a Wild Horse Tour for the first time this year.  See^^ wild horse.  It was a lot of fun!  You drive a Jeep behind a tour guide and you can take up to 5 people in your car.
 That's our tour guide up ahead.  He had a lot of stories to tell.
 That's me driving!  Ha!  But.  Because I was driving, I don't have much in the way of photos though Nathan might have a few more I should ask him to share.  We drove all the way through Carova to the Virginia State line.  I really loved that.  It's all tall pines and smells heavenly yet you are driving on sand.

 This is what you get when Nicholas and Elizabeth are in charge of the camera.  Hilarious.

We went back to the dunes another night.  Doesn't that little girl look sweet?  Well, thankfully, photos don't have sound.  This was one moment when she was calm.  She pretty much screamed 80% of the time we were there this night.  She was just all off.  I do want to gobble her little tan fingers and toes through the screen though.  :)
 Nathan was able to fly his kite, and that is a success.  We all enjoy watching it go.
 The only photo I was able to get of these crazies.  Hot and breezy and barely able to stand still for the millisecond it took.
 One with Dad.  Love.
 Bookends.  Oh my, they're all growing up.

Last minute, we decided to swing through Washington DC on the way home.  We'd never been as a family (and well, I'd never been at all!).  This was sort of a reconnaissance tour, we'd like to plan a longer trip back in the spring.
 In front of the White House.  We attempted to get someone to take our photo together but he didn't speak English and apparently, didn't understand the camera either! oops!
 We attempted a drive by the monuments at night.  Unfortunately, half of us were asleep in the car.  At least a few made it to the Lincoln Memorial.

 Carrie did not like "that big man."  Peter doesn't look too thrilled either but really it was just because he had to stop running crazy in the dark.  And, it was crowded.

 We spent Sunday morning at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.  There were mixed reviews on the "Bring It" Jesus.  The entire Basilica is beautiful, of course.
 Family photo with the organ behind us.
 Elizabeth and Nicholas met the Pope.  BUT SERIOUSLY... He's going to be there next week.  How awesome would it be to be there then?  Ah-maz-ing.
 Elizabeth with St. Kateri, one of her favorites.
 Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us!
 Now, back to real life!  Until next time....

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