Jul 5, 2009

Just another day in paradise

*** I apologize for the text formatting in this post. This is one that I can't seem to get to post correctly, and I'm going to have to let it go. CURSES. ***

Day Two at the beach is complete ... and what a day it was. We were out on the sand by 9:40. That's A-M. OBSCENE. We were all set up, complete with beach umbrellas and Many Loud Children.

In the background of the picture above, you can see our rental house, which has to be Large and In Charge to house 19 adults and 13 children. It pretty much dwarfs (I want to type dwarves) the houses around it, but we are lucky to have found one that holds us all.

We take over most of the space directly in front of the house with all of our Stuff, and the kids have free reign of the area ... because we're in an area of residential homes as opposed to multi-story condos, the beach generally isn't crowded, even on a holiday week like this.

The kids, although they only play together a couple of times a year, really get along well and play happily together. Not counting the occasional bucket of water over the head.

Most of the time we look just like a really large family, and other times we look like crazy people running around wielding shovels.

This is Jake's first trip to the beach. Well, he came with us last year, but he HATED being on the beach. I think I spent more time on the beach today than I spent on the beach during the whole WEEK last year ... he hated the way the wind took his breath away, the noise of the waves, pretty much everything about it. I guess I can't blame him ... he was only 11 weeks old.
THIS year is a completely different story. He loved it from the first minute we set him down on the sand this morning.
"Hmmmm. Water ... and some dirt-like substance. I LOVE IT ALREADY."

"That's right, peeps. I'm in the water. At the beach. Eat your hearts out."

"I think I want to eat some of this dirt-like stuff."

"Note to future self: it LOOKS better than it TASTES."

When we went inside for lunch, guess who was waiting for us:

Sweet baby Jonah. He seems to be enjoying being around so many people who love him, but he hasn't made it out to the beach yet. We hope to get him out there and get some family pictures with him by the end of the week.
I told Patrice that I think his hands are looking pretty good ... they aren't swelling too badly and they don't have many blisters. What precious little hands.

He spent some good, quality time with Matt and Patrice today, hanging out in the sunny living room.

Here are the Wonder Twins, as I think of them ...

After lunch most of us headed back out to the beach for a while. Coleman, who is just a couple of months younger than Jake, loved it as much as Jakey did.

My three boys spent a limited amount of time together, because for the most part, the big boys left me and Jakey in their dust. It took me five minutes just to corral them for this picture.

I managed to get off a couple of shots before they dashed off for the waves. Even right here, Nathaniel was shouting, "JAKE, I'M ABOUT TO GO JUMP THOSE WAVES. WANNA COME?"

Beverly W., this one's for you! Here's sweet Charlie hanging out on the beach.

Jack, Charlie's younger brother, hung out mostly by the beach encampment near the house, but he came down to visit with me and Jake a few times.

Will also hung out a lot up near Beach Chair Central, cool in his cap and shades.

And Ali, sweet Ali, is always a ham for the camera.

And while Jonah was doing THIS inside:

Matt and Patrice got to do THIS outside:

Apparently they had nothing to talk about other than the weather and what Jonah was doing during their precious Beach Time. WELCOME TO BEING AN OLD MARRIED COUPLE, GUYS.

Here's about a third of our motley crew eating supper. There are two tables this large (I think they each seat 10) in the eat-in kitchen and dining area adjacent to it, which is great for our group. We have folding tables and chairs for the kiddos, but this evening some of the adults ate in the den on the couches and chairs. (Must have been something captivating on TV.)

After supper, the women made the annual Epic Wal-Mart Trip. Traditionally we go the night we arrive, but since yesterday was the 4th, we had take-out for supper and waited until tonight to go to Wal-Mart. THEY WERE WIPED OUT. But on the plus side, we were only there for 90 minutes (as opposed to the usual 3.5 to 4 hours).
I'd already found most of what I needed and knocked everything off my list when I fortuitously ran into Patsy in Women's Sportswear. I said, "Hey, I'm just going to run down here and check again for the boogey board Nick wants. I'll be up to pay in a minute."
About three minutes passed while I was scouring the rows one last time. Then, over the loudspeakers, I heard, "KATHERINE, PLEASE MEET YOUR PARTY AT THE FRONT OF THE STORE."
And I should not have to tell you that I broke out into an embarrassed sweat right there in Beach Toys. OH NO THEY DID NOT JUST HAVE ME PAGED IN THE MYRTLE BEACH WAL-MART. You have never seen a short woman move such a loaded cart through Wal-Mart at such a high pace. I was operating on pure adrenaline.
As it turns out, they hadn't paged me, after all. Someone ELSE paged some other Katherine to meet her large party at the front. In other words, ALL THAT FLOP SWEAT WAS IN VAIN.
At any rate, here we are with our goods (a light load because some of the shopping was done beforehand this year):

And no, I am NOT ABOVE asking a total stranger to take a picture of eight women with groceries.
We left quickly so as to beat the rain that was approaching.

I felt like they should have been playing Clarke's Trumpet Voluntary or some other kind of triumphant recessional over the PA system as we left. What a letdown that they didn't.
So now we're back home, safe and sound, ready for whatever tomorrow brings. Which we hope isn't rain. Which there's a 30% chance of.
Lord have mercy.


Sarah T. said...

When did Jakey's hair get so red?

Mama J said...

Just got here from Patrice's blog, which i've read for months, and it looks like i might be checking in regularly here, too--love your pictures and writing style. You sound a lot like Patrice :)

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

SET, it's not really red, just lighter brown. I think it will really lighten up by the end of the week.

Jess, Thanks for visiting! We are having so much fun with Matt, Patrice and Jonah here. Patrice and I do share a similar writing style and sense of humor. She is one of my favorite people!

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