Monday, July 11, 2016

Summer Adventure #1 ~ Carolina Beach

Whew!  It has been a crazy month for us.  We were away from home for over two weeks of June and that really threw off our schedules.  I am just chock full of excuses for why I am so far behind...traveling, coming home with a terrible head cold, buried under mounds of laundry, too hot to want to do anything, computer and camera issues, etc., etc.  Is summer always this way or is it just because ours is much shorter now?  The start of our traveling adventures in June began with a little weekend excursion to Carolina Beach.  Ever since the boys and I visited this Spring when we were in Wilmington, I thought it would be a unique beach experience to stay here.  It just has that old local beach town feel without the commercialization that other beach resort towns have now.  Most of North Carolina beaches are actually like this because most of the oceanfront has always been taken up by personal residences and left little room for large hotels and resorts to move in.  There are some bigger hotels being built in Carolina Beach now so we will see if it maintains its old school charm in the years ahead.  I do hope the town will continue to do more to preserve its older heritage.  We hoped to enjoy a lot of time on the beach this trip since we didn't get a lot of beach time in Florida, but sadly, the weather was crazy the whole weekend with really high winds making the surf really rough and bringing in storms at night.  We did our best to enjoy our time together before Daddy started his first teacher academy of the summer in New Bern.
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The boys had to go to the beach our first day when we arrived, and of course, they couldn't resist getting in the water even in their clothes.  The waves were a little rough but not too bad this night.  

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The gulls were flying right over our heads. 

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They get so silly in the water running from the waves.

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Mattox was just watching his crazy big brothers. 

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Brody had to change his shorts before dinner.  He was soaked.

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Mattox liked the feel of the water and wet sand on his feet. 

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Mattox was very excited about getting out of the car after a long drive and getting to the motel room.  He was giving Brody's teddy bear big hugs.  I love those perfect smiles.  We went to the Sea Witch Cafe for dinner. 

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Mattox showing off his cute lemon smile. 

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We had to take pictures with these little photo props on the boardwalk again. 

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Oh no, is that surfer going to get eaten by that cute shark?

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Eddie and I posed for a "romantic" picture with the moon since it was almost our anniversary, and Brody wanted in the picture too.  

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This kid really wants to be a surfer. 

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I loved the sunset on the Boardwalk, but it was a prelude to some nasty storms rolling in. 

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Resting on the swings before the storms arrived. 

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We stopped for a cool treat, and the rain hit just as we were leaving the ice cream shop so everyone had to seek shelter and wait.  The boys watched the rain while they finished their ice cream. 

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I think Mattox has great summer hair.  The rain and humidity just bring out his cute curls. 

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Cute little beach bum.  It was too windy for an umbrella so I tried to make Mattox keep a hat on.  Backwards worked best as he kept pulling it off the other way. 

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Daddy stayed close to the boys in the water because the waves were really big.  We don't often get "surfable" waves, but I said this would have been awesome surfing conditions. 

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This cutie loved the water this time and really wanted to get in so I hated that the surf was so rough. 

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Big brother helped him walk in the water.  Pay no attention to my crazy beach hair.  Remember, it was extremely windy. 

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Mattox kept stealing my chair while Evan tried to catch a few waves. 

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He didn't have to go very far to catch a decent wave to ride in. 

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We really tried to do baby walking boot camp and did get Mattox to stand on his own a lot more, but he still refuses to take a step without holding on. 

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Of course, the boys insisted they must play some putt-putt.  There aren't many options in this area, and this little course had not been kept up in recent years although I think they may be trying to renovate it.  They had put all new green surfaces on the holes.  It used to be a jungle theme with some pretty water features throughout the course, but they had all the pumps turned off and no water flowing.  I know it could look really pretty with the water turned on.  Brody did get his very first real hole-in-one so we had a good experience anyway.  He was really playing like a big boy and doing very well.  I made him do his Daddy's hole-in-one pose after the shot. 

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Then, Evan couldn't be outdone and got a hole-in-one a few holes later. 

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I loved watching these boys playing together.  

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We saw elephants and rhinos. 

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The boys also wanted to ride the rides at the boardwalk pavilion area, but I was so frustrated in the prices.  Don't these people realize they would make a lot more money if they made the rides affordable?  I mean it cost over $10 for Brody and Mattox to ride the carousel and for me to hold Mattox on.  That's ridiculous.  Most of the rides sit with barely anyone riding them all summer. 

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These two cuties enjoyed their ride though. 

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The only other ride the boys got to do was the fun slide since these two rides cost $20.  Sigh.  There were other rides the boys wanted to ride, but I just didn't see spending $40 for this mess. 

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We decided ice cream was a better treat, and Mattox and I enjoyed a yummy italian ice and gelato. 

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Then, the boys did get to dance a little at this little puppet show that a local church sets up as a ministry on the boardwalk.  They played current hit songs remade with a Christian message, and the boys were so cute dancing.  Brody had wanted to dance on the boardwalk, but the weather never cooperated to allow the musicians to get set up to play. 

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We enjoyed a yummy dinner at the Lazy Pirate, and I ate all of that food by myself.  It was a yummy shrimp gumbo with corn bread and some bacon wrapped grilled shrimp.  Yum!
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