Fall Beach Trip

Each October, for several years now, we meet up with our friends at the beach for an extended weekend.  This has come to be something we really look forward to and count on each year.  It is a refreshing time that we just get to stop our real lives here and enter a dreamworld of sorts.

This year we had 15 of us, 3 families; 6 adults and 9 kids.  We cooked and ate together with our friends, never going out, except for groceries of course.  We played and played again.  We talked, laughed, and played games.  We enjoyed the ocean, sand and sun.  The weather was gorgeous!

Here are several of my favorite photos from our trip.

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boysAlder, Kalen, Brayden and Heath

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eatingEveryone cleaned up for dinner time.  Lesley and Jason had prepared all the fixings for burritos.

DSC01466Kalen, Brayden, Arianna, Madelyn and Ellen

DSC01457Daniel, Katie and Jen

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DSC01548Madelyn, Arianna, Julian and Ellen

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DSC01491Me and Katie playing in the sand.

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DSC01561Me and Scott

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DSC01523Scott was kicking around the soccer ball with the kids.

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DSC01498Katie and Julian

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DSC01533Kids playing dollar ball with Scott.  He throws it super high and whoever catches it gets a dollar.  After awhile it became more like chocolate chip ball.

group shotAll of us.

DSC01658The girls;  Arianna, Madelyn and Ellen.

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IMG_7017All the kids

DSC01669Scott and I just before leaving our little dream weekend.

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The Zoo

DSC01376The boys and I are on our 3 week break, with one week remaining.  This week we decided to meet up with my mom and Annette at the NC Zoo.  We had a blast. Here are some pictures and videos from our day.

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We were able to feed a giraffe named Turbo.  I must say that I have never fed a giraffe before.  It was very exciting.  I am not one to attract giraffes though.  I had to have an extra branch hover over us just so the big guy would eat my leaf.  Oh, and I learned giraffes have big tongues!  Here is a clip:


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This picture above depicts one of my favorite moments that day.  It was just before 10am and the zebras were chasing the ostriches.  These birds are oddly fast creatures.  Here is a video of these animals just before that still shot.  The ostriches crack me up.  Have a laugh:

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The baboons were quite the active bunch while we were visiting their habitat. We saw many little mini shows.  I caught one on video.

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Sandy Feet Again

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For the third year in a row, my Dad and Sally have treated us to a week at the beach with the rest of the Kirby family.  This year we drove down to Myrtle Beach, SC, and met up with my Dad, Sally, my brother, his wife and two kids, Scott (stepbrother) and his wife, Laura (who married last summer).  We had a blast and the weather was gorgeous, even our rainy friday allowed for the kids to all go see a movie with their grandparents and go to the arcade.

I am so thankful for family togetherness.  Our time with family was life-giving and meaningful.  We made lots of happy memories!  I have to share some photos.

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This is one of Kalen’s, and my, favorite things to do at the beach.

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Madelyn

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Grayson, Kalen, Brayden and Julian

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Madelyn with her cousin, Anna Kristin.

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Julian

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Putt-Putt with PaPa!

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Kalen was very proud of this find.

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Playing skee-ball together has become a family tradition.

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What a trooper!  Sally was our official ticket holder and counter.

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Oh what a prize!  Yes, this is really what our 7 year old chose at the prize counter.

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Folly Beach 2013

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We took our annual Folly Beach trip last week with Scott’s parents and sister, Shanda.  We had a great time and are extremely thankful for this gift of togetherness.  The sun and sea were beautiful and very inviting each day.  The kids swam and rode many waves on their boogie boards.  They played in the sand, paddle ball with each other and tried out our new corn hole toss game.  Brady somehow caught a little fish and the others found some hermit crabs.  Fun was had by all.  We are very grateful to Jerry and Jan for making our beach trip happen yet again.  DSC00441

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It was special spending Father’s Day with Scott and Jerry at the beach this year.  I missed being with my dad though.  (Fun fact: my dad and Sally have moved back to NC!!!)

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This is the snapshot taken right after Madelyn beat Brady by one point in an intense battle of corn hole.  🙂

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Jan and Shanda got in on the action, too!

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Jerry and Jan watching the kids out in the waves.

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DSC00282This is me and Brady at Mellow Mushroom.  It is our only meal we eat out.  Yes, we eat all our vacation meals in our condo.  We make a big menu and Jerry and Shanda shop for us.  It is quite a neat thing we do.  Thank heavens for good vegan food, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.  It just so happened that there was serious flooding in downtown Charleston the one night we went to eat out.  We were sad that Jerry, Jan and Shanda did not get to be there with us.  We were quite stuck for a bit.  Here is a picture that doesn’t do justice to the flooding we saw.  Low little cars were having a horrible time, water flooding their engines.  Locals were in high rubber boots walking the streets to survey the damage.  DSC00278

I snapped this picture below on the way out of town.  I think Charleston’s harbor is so fun to look at.
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