Suddenly, summer is at an end...and although I'm very excited to have something other than 90+' temps and more structure to our days, it's always a bittersweet change from flip-flops to backpacks.
We decided at the last minute to take advantage of our last pre-soccer weekend and drove down to Virginia Beach for a couple of days. Hurricane Earl had just blown through, and we lucked out with a same-day reservation at the beachfront cottages on Fort Story. Normally people reserve them a year in advance, but there were cancellations due to the storm. Lucky us, because Saturday was absolutely gorgeous!
Our kids had SUCH a wonderful time! We hadn't been to a beach since moving from Hawaii almost 2 years ago, and Eliza literally spent 95% of her time in the water with a perma-grin on her face. Serendipitously, our next-door neighbors happened to be at the very same beach and so our kids had playmates to frolic in the waves with the whole time. Playing at the beach is always more fun with friends!
Hazel wasn't quite so sure about this beach business at first. I don't think she has any recollections of the beach because she was just a bit over a year old when we moved.
She cringed at the sand at first, yelling "Aaah! Dirty!"
By the end of the day, however, Hazel was rolling around in the sand and was completely covered from head to toe with the gritty grains of wonder. Sand is the ultimate play material for kids. That, and water, of course.
Boogie Boarding was another surprise for her, and as you can see she needed a bit of coaxing to try it out. I think her main issue was the shockingly salty taste of the water = very different from splashing around in a chlorinated pool!
Once Steve convinced her to use the big boogie board (more stability, less salt water ingestion) Hazel decided this ocean stuff wasn't half bad.
Hyrum took to the water like a fish...so fast, in fact, that by the time the rest of us had walked up to the shore and put our things on the sand, Hyrum was already up to his neck in the surf and was trying to catch the next wave. He's fearless, that one, when he wants to be.
By the time I got around to digging the camera out, he had decided that kite flying was the way to go.
It takes a lot of concentration to fly a kite. Having an open mouth helps.
Hyrum also discovered the simple joys of creating a natural bathtub in the sand...and the effects of the rising tide on said bathing arrangement. Somehow waxing philosophical about the ebb and flow of life didn't quite make him feel any better about the disappearance of his moat (wink).
At Cape Henry there are 2 beautiful lighthouses to enjoy. The brick one on the right is the original lighthouse (I'm thinking it was constructed in the late 1700's) and is not a functioning beacon anymore. It's still open for tourists, but since Hazel was too short to be admitted (and we were all pooped from being in the sun and sand all day) we opted out of climbing the laborious staircase to the top.
Here's Hyrum demonstrating that he's not quite as tall as this striking lighthouse. Keep growing, buddy, and you just might get there. Or not.
Isn't she beautiful? I took some senior pictures of my friend's daughter this past week.
The neat thing is that her personality is as stunning as her looks, if not more so. I'm so impressed by her kindness, many talents, intelligence, willingness to try new things, and integrity.
She signed up for our church basketball team that I coached last winter and, even though she had never played before, dove right in with enthusiasm. By the end of the season she was a firecracker on the floor, and what she lacked in experience she made up for in sheer energy and can-do attitude.
Whoever ends up marrying this girl is going to be one lucky guy - she's a gem!
I've been very impressed with so many of the youth in this area. They're extremely bright, talented, capable, and good-hearted. It's wonderful to see.
Okay, time to go...happy Labor Day tomorrow, everyone! And if you haven't started school yet, happy one-last-day-before-early-mornings!