Thursday, June 21, 2012

First Trip to the Ocean

Last week we took the kids for their first trip to the ocean.  To say that the boys were excited is an understatement.  We went to Virginia Beach and stayed at an AWESOME hotel right on the boardwalk and beach.  It's geared towards families, so there is a cool indoor pool/hot tub, and 3 outdoor pools with water slides, waterfalls, lazy rivers, etc.  There's also a kid's playroom where we could DROP THE BOYS OFF to play for a while (!) and also a kids movie theater on site.  Plus 3 restaurants, kids eat free, etc.  Not to mention it was right on the boardwalk and beach!!  Our room was on the first level, so we could walk out the backdoor of our room, cross the boardwalk and right onto the beach.  Made it so much easier with 3 little ones and beach gear.  The kids did great on the drive there.  The drive home we ended up doing at night and they slept most of the time, so my worries of a miserable car ride were for nothing.

The boys had the time of their lives.  They adored the ocean, waves, sand, pools.... they were so good and fun and we had the best time.  We swam, built castles, swam, buried daddy in the sand, swam, flew a kite on the beach, rented a family bike to explore the boardwalk (this was a workout!) and swam some more.  There were a few days where it was very windy and chilly and the last day the ocean was dangerous.  So we took full advantage of the pools and other fun activities at the hotel and made some great memories.  We were also close to a Navy base, so there were fighter jets flying over regularly.  An unexpected treat for my plane-obsessed boys!

The only downside was poor little Allie had a pretty rough time of it. She is a creature of habit and routine and she was totally out of her comfort zone being away from home.  She was petrified by the ocean and sand, as you can see in the pictures.  She was crabby and irritable, and didn't eat much which is unusual for her.  Luckily she napped and slept great, so that was our saving grace.  So also liked the pools and would swim for short periods of time before melting down again.  Jer and I alternated between playing with the boys and dealing with her.  We were "that" family in the restaurants with the screaming kid for many of our meals there.  Oh well, we'll never see those people again!  :)

I think she struggled in part because of her strong-willed personality and her age.  We definitely would not have attempted to take the boys on such a long, big trip when they were almost 2, so it was a lot to ask of her to keep up with them.  I also think she still carries some attachment fears; she would scream any time either Jer or I would walk away and ask to go home.  We just wonder what goes on in her little head after all she has been through.  Sometimes we forget that she spent her first year of her life away from us, and that has a lasting affect on who she is.  So we did our best to keep her world low key while we were there.  Boy was she GIDDY when we got home!

Despite Allie's struggles, we had a wonderful time and made some great memories.  However, the last day of the trip things went sour pretty quickly. Read my next post for details.  I swear I didn't make this up! 

                            hotel restaurant-right on the beach!

                            first time at the ocean!!!

a calm moment

sooooo tired, didn't make it through dinner

                               awesome outdoor pools

                                   a regular occurance over our hotel

she is always stylin'


view from our room

                             checkin' out the boardwalk in style

                             better Daddy than me

can we just go home yet??

hot tub!

                                   my fish

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