Many moons ago, I, along with a college roommate, joined another college roommate and her family on a trip to the Outer Banks region of North Carolina. Erin and her family had been vacationing to that area one or two weeks each year for years. Years and years. Years and years and years. A really long time. And, for a really good reason: It’s such a great place to visit.
If you like the beach, that is.
For six days, we ran up and down the coastline, scorched ourselves in the hot sun, kicked around in the waves, looked for shells, walked through surf shops and took many ICEE-pop breaks.
One should always remain hydrated while at the beach.
That was the first of several trips I made to the beach with Erin’s family. One year, I drove down. One year, I rode down with Erin and her new puppy. Most years, we piled into a Ford Econoline with six people, two or three dogs and tons of luggage. We’d leave on a Friday night and weave our way toward the coastline. Inevitably, we’d always take a wrong exit somewhere in Norfolk and end up in a ghetto. We’d stop every so often, take turns driving and eventually spill out onto the parking lot of a local diner in Kitty Hawk around 8 a.m. Saturday.
There, we would catch our first glimpses of the ocean. It’s an even more glorious sight after 12 hours in a van than previously imagined.
And then, full beach mode would commence, and we’d laze about for a week or so before piling back into the van and going home.
This year, I’m returning to the beach after a few years away. In past years, we’d sit on the beach and discuss boyfriends and relationships and moves and graduate-school classes. And then engagements and fiancés and weddings and husbands. And then babies.
Speaking of babies, this year’s trip to the beach is babies and toddlers and kids, oh my! Erin and I are making the trek with her 14 month old. Erin’s brother and wife have an 8 month old. Erin’s brother’s friend and wife have a 3 year old and an infant somewhere around the 12-month mark. Or maybe a little older. Add one house, eight adults and one dog to the mix, and you have a ready-made party.
Pray for us.
Ha! It’s going to be such good fun, and I can hardly wait.