Vacation is All I Ever Wanted

We’re home! The Cooties spent the past week at the beach and it was wonderful. Last Saturday we packed up the van and headed to Topsail Beach, NC where we stayed in a 2-bedroom condo at the St. Regis Resort. We arrived in a torrential downpour that didn’t bode well for the week. However, had an oceanview room on the third floor and it was completely renovated prior to our arrival (we think we were the first guests to stay in the condo since it was renovated).

The view from our condo deck.
The view from our condo deck.
Denis, who was still on crutches and recovering from his knee surgery, parked himself on the sofa while the kids and I got everything unloaded from the van, and then we hit the resort’s restaurant for a yummy dinner. Once full of good food, the kids changed into their swimsuits and we headed to the beach since the rainstorm passed. We only spent 30-45 minutes out there but the kids had a blast.

The first night was uneventful, but when we woke up on Sunday Denis told me that he felt uncomfortable and didn’t think it was right that he be on a beach vacation instead of recovering at home. After a brief discussion he gave in to my recommendation that I drive him home. We briefly tried to find someone in the area to watch the kids for us (several people I know live in the area or were vacationing nearby themselves), but had no luck. Fortunately, the kids totally understood about their father’s plight and willingly agreed that we needed to take him home. So we hopped in the van, packing up stuff we brought and discovered we didn’t need upon our arrival, and began the five hour drive back home. Once there we unpacked the van, got Denis settled back onto our sofa, picked up a few things we had forgotten to bring, and then the kids and I were back on the road for Topsail. We arrived back around 5:30 p.m. and took advantage of the late sunset to hit the beach again.

A thumbs up from the Boy.
A thumbs up from the Boy while the Girl explores the surf in the background.
The whole week was filled with sun, surf and sand. Or, what Topsail Beach considers sand. The sand had a lot of shells versus sand. Very painful shells. But we still enjoyed our time lounging in the sun.
Relaxing on the beach
Relaxing on the beach
We did really well avoiding serious sunburns. Cootiegirl, despite wearing a bikini, didn’t burn the first few days at all. Cootieboy only got burned on his neck and that was gone after a couple days of being very diligent about getting sunscreen on it. My left foot got some sunburn on it but the rest of me was fine. I consider that a major accomplishment. Especially since one day I fell asleep under the umbrella for a good 45 minutes. Our umbrella is not UV resistant so basically it could have been a huge disaster had I not had any kind of sunscreen on.
Our non-UV resistent umbrella.
Our non-UV resistent umbrella.
Besides hanging on the beach we did a lot of other activities. We drove into Wilmington one night to partake in a murder mystery dinner cruise on the Henrietta III. The kids had a blast and it was a lot of fun. However, I think their favorite part was the banana pudding. *lol*
Our window seat on the murder mystery cruise
Our window seat on the murder mystery cruise
Wednesday was set aside as the Relaxation Day. We were all really tired from being on the go so much, and we were all a bit red from the sun, so we decided to take a day and let it truly be a relaxation day. We stayed in from sun up to sun down and didn’t leave the condo at all. We watched movies, played on electronics, and I even snuck a nap in there for a little bit. We had brought plenty of food so we just ate in for all the meals that day. It worked out really well and we woke up on Thursday ready to face the day.
Relaxation Day.
Relaxation Day.
On Thursday we hit the beach and promptly set up camp just next to the lair of a ghost crab. He was not too happy about the fact that we had set up camp within a couple feet of his hideout. But it was fascinating to watch him come in and out of his hole all day.
The Ghost Crab
The Ghost Crab
What was great about the entire week is that the kids not only played well with each other (a rarity), but also met some other kids to play with during the week. It kept the pressure off me having to go into the water all the time. At a local surf shop I picked up body boards for each of them so they had a blast learning how to catch a wave, or just lounge and go out further in the surf. But it also helped them meet other kids who also had boards. I think almost every day we were there they talked to SOME kid or another and played with them.
Making friends in the surf
Making friends in the surf
We did a lot of other things. We went to the movies one day (“How To Train Your Dragon 2” – which was great). We went to a few local restaurants and had some good food. We debated going to a turtle hospital in the area, as well as a rocketry museum, but in the end it was the beach where the kids wanted to be.

Friday was my birthday, and one thing I had promised the kids we’d do is go jet-skiing. So Friday morning we headed over to Makin’ Waves where we signed off on paperwork and headed to a nearby inlet. After a brief lesson on what not to do and what we could do, we loaded up on our jetski and headed out. For the next hour we had a BLAST on the jetski. There were six groups in all during our hour, and it was so much fun. At one point the kids demanded I do a donut in the water, and just as I headed into the spin the kids leaned the wrong way and we flipped off the jetski and into the water. I was so embarrassed because during our training the owner of the company had pretty much said it was nearly impossible to flip a jetski. And here we’d done it. The nearby lifeguard said the reason we flipped is because of the weight distribution (one adult two small kids). It was also because the kids leaned INTO the donut as opposed to distributing their weight against the tilt of the jetski. I was mortified that we had done what was supposed to be nearly impossible, until the lifeguard assured me that that just about every group had at least one turnover in it. Sure enough – a few minutes later a woman and her teenage son on another jetski in our group dumped in the water, too. I felt MUCH better after that. Sadly, I have no pictures of that adventure.

But wow – what a fun way to start off my birthday (I’m 45). The rest of the day was great. The kids did their best to get along and that night we went out to dinner and they gave me my gifts while we cut into the cookie cake we had gotten from the local Food Lion that afternoon.

On Saturday we packed up the van and headed home. Will we go to Topsail again? I don’t know. It’s a VERY quiet beach (which is great when all you want to do is relax), but the shells they call sand make it a little uncomfortable if you are a tenderfoot like me. At one point I was in the water and a huge wave pushed me over. I wasn’t able to get up before the next wave hit and it basically dragged me across the oceanfloor which was ALL shells at that point. It scraped up my leg and burned like the devil. I’m sure there are other beaches that are more sand than shells that I’d prefer to try next time. But will we do a beach trip again? Absolutely. It was well worth it!

Ending the trip by sand writing during low tide.
Ending the trip by sand writing during low tide.

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