I just went on vacation (!!) for a few days and then got lazy. Many apologies! I know you were all clinging desperately to the edges of your seats, just waiting for a post. I totally get it. I’m just so very famous that I forget the little people sometimes.
Anyway, our trip was a lot of fun! We went to the Outer Banks to visit my dad and stepmother for a long weekend. Basically, that translates to “I held Ethan exactly twice because Grandpa was relentlessly snuggly”. I was so glad to give them the time together – Dad had only gotten to see Ethan twice up to that point, so it meant a lot to me that I was able to give them four days to bond.
So, to sum up our trip:
We made a stop in Suffolk, VA to grab breakfast at a place called The Plaid Turnip. I saw the name and I just had to know. As it turns out, it’s a pretty standard diner menu – though easily some of the most delicious diner fare I’ve ever had – in a relaxed, groovy, artsy-cafe atmosphere. It was fantastic.
As soon as we arrived, my dad practically rugby-tackled me to get dibs on Ethan, he was so excited! E was starving, so Dad got to give him a bottle.
Adam and I immediately went to the beach for about an hour, but the wind was so high that the sand was actually hurting us! We headed back and settled in for a relaxed evening. Donna (my stepmom) broiled some steaks, we watched most of the fourth season of Mad Men, and my dad volunteered to take the night shift with Ethan. I still woke up at 3:00 AM and went to help anyway. Ah, well!
The next morning, we took Ethan for a walk on the beach for the first time. He loved it. How do I know he loved it? Because he was passed out for most of it! The ocean is the ultimate white noise machine. He also discovered that his hand is an excellent pacifier substitute.
Focus on the cute baby and ocean. I am well aware that my neck could have been the inspiration for The Blob.
We spent a lot of time on my dad’s porch. The view is gorgeous, the temperature was fantastic, and Ethan loved all the sights and sounds.
Not a bad life when this is what you see every morning!
We were the morons who forgot the mattress for the Pack n’ Play, so Donna improvised with a fluffy down comforter. I was terrified and considered just co-sleeping for the weekend to avoid my son, you know, smothering himself in feathers. As it turned out, though, he loved it and slept like a log the whole time. We were able to mash it down enough to make it into a very safe mattress alternative, actually! I still checked on him obsessively because, you know…paranoid new mommy. But we let him play and enjoy it!
Pre-mashdown. The green thing is his “lovie”, which is a little soft blanket with a monster head on it. He is only without it when he’s swaddled – it really calms him down to grip something when he’s upset!
Our weekend consisted mainly of us going to the beach for a few hours at a time while Dad and Donna hung out with Ethan. We hit a couple local restaurants – Barefoot Bernie’s and Tortuga’s Lie, both really good and fun – and just took it easy. The weather wasn’t terribly hot, which was nice for soaking up a little sun, and even though the water was on the cold side, it was gorgeous and felt really nice and refreshing. I’m not one for swimming in the ocean because I’m not a strong swimmer and jellyfish scare the bejeezus out of me, but Adam is basically a fish. He had a blast.
On our last evening, we took Ethan to the beach since it was shaping up to be a lovely sunset. I wanted to get a few more pictures . I am a little in love with my camera (it’s a Nikon Coolpix – thanks, Aunt Gail!) because even though it’s a pretty standard point-and-shoot and I have absolutely no editing skills, I get shots like this:
Unexpectedly enough, Ethan really likes his sunglasses. To the point where he fussed if we took them off. He really is my child!
We dipped his little toes in the ocean for the first time…
…to which he strongly objected.
But he calmed down just a moment later and started to enjoy himself again. I took him out a little further so he could see and hear the ocean and so we could have a couple minutes of time together, just us.
And then it was time to go home…but not before getting a few more minutes of beach time with a proud grandfather.
It was a great trip. I know I needed it, and Adam definitely needed the break. We both felt really recharged and refreshed upon our return home. Good thing, too, because Adam had an audition the night of our return! We’re still waiting to hear back, but I’m crossing my fingers. He’d be great. No bias.
It was a bit of a bummer to come back to reality after a whole weekend free of worry, but I can’t emphasize enough how much it helped to have a break like that. It’s not that I’m working myself to the bone, and my anxiety has been improving immensely, but I still think it’s important to take a real break now and then (if it’s possible). We’re probably never going to be able to afford a legitimate week-long, just-parents, all-out vacation unless something extreme happens for us financially, but just that quick beach weekend with family did wonders for us. And honestly, that’s plenty for me. Sure, it would be nice to someday jet off to some exotic locale for a week and sip mai tais, but I’m happy with a beer on the beach a state away. For now, that’s more than enough.