"It was the oldest sound in the world. Souls flying away." The Secret Life of Bees

Friday, September 20, 2013

family beach trip

I just got home this morning from a family beach trip in NC.  Ben and I flew to NC last week, drove to the coast, rented a big beach house on Oak Island, and invited both of our families to join us.  We thought this would be easier than us trying to visit our families separately.  We usually spend our time back East driving around to different family members' houses.  We want to see everyone, but that usually means just spending half a day or 1 day at each location before we have to move on to the next place.  The great thing about this beach trip was that Ben and I could stay put and we had everyone together under one roof.  Executing the trip ended up being much more stressful and chaotic than I anticipated, but it was worth it.

The flight home was rough.  Our last flight was delayed by about 4 hours, so we had to hang out in the Houston airport for over 6 hours and didn't end up getting home until 4:00am this morning.  My ankles/feet got really swollen.  My midwife warned me that this would probably happen, but it still felt really weird.  My ankles are still swollen, even after sleeping/resting most of the day today.  

The week at the beach was filled with beauty, excitement, and of course a good bit of family drama.  I won't go into the latter, but here are some photographs to showcase the beauty and excitement:)  It's always best to focus on the positive, right?  

We spotted a shark on the very first day and ended up seeing it in the early morning a late evening on 3 different days.  It was very close in (in water that was less than knee-deep) eating bait fish.  I have never seen a shark like this and it definitely deterred me from swimming in the ocean (the jellyfish stings that happened to 4 family members didn't help either!).  

One of the most amazing things we experienced on this trip was getting to see 2 different sea turtle nests hatch.  My mother-in-law was very determined to see this and she called the local turtle watch volunteers to find out which nests may be hatching during our stay.  Thanks to her persistence, we got to see this twice during our stay.  It was so neat!  When the turtles first start coming out of the nest, they refer to it as a "boil".  That is exactly what it's like too - it seems like they are boiling up and over each other until they are all out.  They then quickly make their way down to the ocean.  A couple of days before the nest is ready to hatch, the volunteers put up this green barrier to help guide the turtles to the water.    

My sister threw me a small, family baby shower since this was likely the last time I will see my family until after baby gets here.  It was so much fun!  She went all out and made it so special:)