The vacation began on Friday afternoon. Chloe and I dropped Lizzie off at doggie camp and rushed to pick up Matt. After a rain delay we were on our way to Matt's friend Tom's home outside Fredricksburg, VA, to stay the evening. We arrived late in the evening and after some nightcaps we all called it a night. In the morning, we toured the farm and took a stroll in the woods to the Rappahannock River.
Chloe and Matt meeting "Pete", one of Tom's horses.
Chloe and one of the farm cats.
Chloe and Tom discovered a turtle along the trail on our walk in the woods.
Surviving the walk in the woods---notice how ill-prepared I was with my "fit flops" on.
Around lunchtime on Saturday we left Tom's and headed to the Outer Banks. Because of traffic we arrived around 7 p.m. Everyone else had arrived at the house and the party was on.
One of the great things about renting the house with so many other families is what we term "community parenting" while we are on vacation. We know all the children, they get along great and we all step up and take shifts watching the kids in the pool, around the house or at the beach.
Looking down from our pier at the group on the beach.
When we arrived, Jen took Chloe out to the pool while Matt and I unloaded the car and unpacked. Chloe announced her arrival to everyone, said her hellos and was off playing with the other kids in no time. The week was so relaxed and fun.
Most days we woke up, all met upstairs in the main kitchen for breakfast, dressed in our bathing suits and headed to the beach for a couple of hours. When the kids tired of the beach we walked back up our own private pier and went into the pool where we had lunch poolside. Every other day the men would play golf in the morning and by lunch they would return to play with the kids in the pool. Most afternoons were spent playing in the pool and listening to music. During the late afternoon the adults would play in the water volleyball tournament and the kids cheered their parents on. Every other evening after dinner we would make an ice cream run with the kids.
During the week the ladies went out to breakfast and hit the outlet mall. It was nice to get out of the house and have a morning out with the girls. Also during the week Matt took up kite flying. We went to the sand dunes one day and Matt tried out some tricks.
Chloe and Matt flying her kite on the beach.
Also during the week the entire crew rented a boat and went out for a dolphin watch in the sound. The dolphins would swim in pods right by the boat. We also took the kids to bumper boats, which was a hit.
Chloe and Jillian playing in the sand at the beach.
On our last night, July 4th, we descended on a very nice seafood restaurant which turned out to be one of the best nights of the week. Each child was given the task of drawing their favorite activity of the week. Chloe's was the fireworks (which hadn't occurred yet) and swimming in the pool. After dinner we went back to the beach house and watched fireworks from the beach as we had our own personal fireworks show.
Some of the children as we waited by the sound for our dinner table on July 4th.
It was a great week. We wished we could stay longer.
The family shot.