IT WAS LITERALLY ALMOST FOUR MONTHS AGO.
Hmm. If I don't post these pictures now, I could probably just write the posts over the next six months or so when I have time (AS IF), and then post them right after we get back from Beach Week 2016 and just pretend they're NEXT year's pictures. That I'm posting right on time.
But a couple of you might notice.
Anyway, I'm going to make a concerted effort over the next couple of weeks to post our entire 2015 beach vacation. If for no other reason than that our family wants to see the pictures. And there's a whole slew of you who emailed me to tell me you want the 2015 recipes. (You're not wrong to want those. We eat like kings and queens at the beach.)
Anyway, it's time to sit down and think back to those 90-degree days of summer. (We were in the 80s last week, so quite frankly, it's not as big a stretch for me as it might be for you.)
We just met for lunch at Ruby Tuesday in the mall, but we had a great visit -- and she gave each of the kids a $5 bill, which made their day! (See Amelia's vise grip, below.)
It is at this point that the noise level in the van reaches levels only heard at Taylor Swift concerts.
"I SEE WATER! I SEE IT TOO! I SEE HOUSES! I SEE THE OCEAN! WHERE?! I CAN'T SEE THE OCEAN! WHERE'S THE OCEAN, MOMMY? THAT'S NOT FAIR I CAN'T SEE THE OCEAN! HOW MUCH FARTHER TIL WE GET TO THE HOUSE? IS THAT OUR HOUSE? IS THAT OUR HOUSE? IS THAT OUR HOUSE? IS THAT IT? IS THAT IT? IS THAT IT?"
And so on.
Finally, we arrived.
And she convinced her cousin Abby to join her.
It was a gorgeous late afternoon on the beach, with everyone already having cleared out of the water because -- if you've already forgotten because TIME HAS PASSED -- this was the summer of shark attacks. And two of the bites occurred at Ocean Isle, so ...
Not many people were in the water at all most of the week, and those who were cleared out by 4:00 every day.
I did take the kids out to see the sunset that first night and to let them run around and get some of their energy out.
We stayed outside until there was really no more light, which is why these pictures are super-grainy.
Oh, and for the first time ever, I sent Grayson to Wal-Mart in my place. It was an untraditional trip anyway, because half the group had opted to go see fireworks in another town that night and get up early the next morning and go grocery shopping. Since we weren't going to be able to get our traditional BIG group picture and Grayson was willing to go, I sent him to do The Dirty Work. But I DID ask them to take a picture anyway.
I know it's not the same. Sorry, Internet.
But I have to tell you, I didn't hate not going.
Grayson may have a new beach job.