Monday, June 19, 2006

A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take
what you've been taking. ~Earl Wilson

After being sick so frequently in the last few weeks (months) a trip to Ocracoke Island was just what the Doctor ordered. Not that it was necessarily relaxing...what trip with 4 kids is...but it was medicine for the soul. I feel so much better after some fresh air, sun and salt water, Tracy was able to escape the stress of work (minus a couple of phone calls) and the girls enjoyed themselves immensely.

Most of our time
was spent, of course, on the water. Our girls love it as much as we do, and cried as we left. Although we live in the middle of the Bay our beaches are nothing like the Outer Banks and we sure don’t hit the surf every day! They especially enjoyed having Joe and Gus to share their adventures with, and are already asking when they will get to see them again.

e had the added benefit of docking Pat and Janice’s boat in the channel behind our house, so we were out to some pretty remote places. Our first night what started as a simple boat ride turned into docking in 2 feet of water and swimming fully clothed. Portsmouth Island, accessible only by boat, was a special favorite (despite the biting flies) for the shelling and the solitude. The fellas had great success fishing and crabbing so we had some wonderful meals supplemented by the 5 dozen clams some local clammers sold us for $12.
Each family also brought our 4w drives so we could easily reach some great spots, like The Point on Ocracoke. Driving on the beach is one of my very favorite things in life…if only I could drive on the edge of the water REALLY FAST! The coastline changes every year but this summer there is a great tidal pool on The Point that is perfect for the kids; never any higher than Kate’s thigh and the temperature of bathwater. Perfection.

The shelling was good this year, too (an obsession of mine – I love nature’s treasures of all kinds and drive Tracy crazy with my collections) and I finally found an elusive Scotch Bonnet. Several of them, actually, including one that I found halfway across the kitchen counter this morning…still with a tiny hermit crab inside. So sorry, little guy!One of the most amazing parts of our trip was the wildlife. The Great Egrets would gather behind the house as the fellas cleaned their fish. They were so tame that they would almost take fish from your hand. There were river otters living in the channel as well (salt water…not sure how that works); they were persistent enough to board the boat and open the latches on the live well and cooler as well as cleaning out our crab pot. They made their appearance after dark so sadly no photos. They were little pests but so cute that we almost encouraged them in their scavaging.

Not that the vacation was all sweetness and light; there were some moments. Four children in one house can create some insanity. One if those moments occured when, just as we were sitting down to dinner, Tracy discovered that Kate had broken into a jar of Vaseline. To Tracy's credit he cracked up (not the reaction I would've had) and, after calling for me to bring the camera, cleaned her as best he could. She looked like a member of Sha-Na-Na for a couple of days.

On our last night after the kids were asleep we saw a meteor shower with the largest shooting stars I have ever seen. Fantastic! A wonderful way to end a great trip. Thank you, Pat and Janice, for sharing the trip with us...ready to go again?


Once we arrived home it was time to celebrate Father’s Day. We unfortunately had unpacking, cleaning and laundry to do and Tracy was inundated with homework, so it wasn’t the Father’s Day I would have liked for him. But he did get to take a nap, we had flounder he caught on Friday, and I put both girls to bed so hopefully we made the best of it! Happy Father’s Day to the best Dad (and beer-getter) I know.


The Turmanators said...

Pardon the random spaces and crazy font sizes and colors on this post; I finished it this morning but was unable to publish it all day and when I finally did it looked a bit strange, but I'm too lazy to go back and edit!

Joyce family said...

Looks like you had a blast! Do you ever feel like you need a vacation after vacation just to catch your breath. I always find that we do so much during vacation that I come back tired.

Delane said...

Looks like a fantastic vacation. Our boys would have loved the tidal pool. And the photo of Kate with the vaseline is something else. Definitely something that deserved to be blogged about.

That's neat that you guys used to rent the Slate house in Kibler. We are already thinking about renting it again later this summer, maybe for our dinner club.