Saturday, October 20, 2012

Beach Vacation 2012

Now that it's been about 2 months after the fact, I'm finally getting around to posting our beach vacation pictures!  We go to the beach every year (usually :) with Mama's side of the family.  It's been a very long time since everyone in the family was together for vacation, but this year it happened!  There was a total of 35 people, I think. :)  It was a great time of relaxation, family time, fun, and good food.  I took so many pictures that I'm having a hard time deciding which ones to post, so forgive the abundance of pictures.  If you don't like lots of pictures, this post isn't for you! :)

The First Day

Our first day at the beach started on August 25th.  Our family left early in the morning (it was still dark) so we could get to the beach A.S.A.P.  

It was a very cool and rainy morning.  Daddy stopped for some gas at 7 Eleven and bought us all some delicious doughnuts (I secretly prayed he would! :)...I'd say that's a good way to start a vacation! :)

We stopped at Morris' Farmers Market on our way to the beach (this has become tradition :).  We picked up a good stock of fresh, usually local fruit that lasted most of the week at the beach.

The little ones love the antique tractors that are displayed outside the market.  Judah, especially, liked the big "vroom, vrooms"! 

One of my favorite things about the Farmer's Market is just being able to get out and stretch my legs!  Our van is normally packed so tightly that there's little room for legs, resorting our poor limbs to various odd positions.  Getting out and smelling that lovely salt air and feeling that soft breeze also reminds you that we're getting closer to the ocean!!!

Lexi found a stash of Historical Documents for sale, and was shocked to actually find the Ten Commandments included!

Another thing we like about the Farmer's Market is the taste testers...especially the candies and juices. :)

Dad and Caleb found some spinning tops and had some fun with them.

Lydia did too! :)

This has become one of my favorite pictures of Caleb and Seth to date. :)

Judah loved exploring everything outside while Mama shopped in the market.  Hannah kept an eye on  little man for us.
 Look at that cart full of goodies!  It was all delicious, too! :)

Instead of giving Judah a "chewy" tester, Mama gave him a tester of fried okra.  Poor kid. ;)

Daddy went shopping for some........... Judah.  :)

After we got enough goodies to last us awhile, we headed for our beach house.

 There's nothing like seeing that big, beautiful ocean in front of you and knowing that you'll get to enjoy it for a whole week!!!!

Judah was excited to see the "wa-wa".

 My lovely Mama.

 This is the beach house we stayed in.  It was very nice, having 10 huge bedrooms with full baths, an elevator, pool, nice kitchen, 2 hot tubs, a hammock, etc.  We're going back to this same house next year!

 The wind was doing crazy things to Lydia's hair!

After a few minutes of enjoying the excitement of finally being at the beach, we had to go eat lunch.  Mama was hungry and when she's hungry and has morning sickness, she MUST eat. :)

We went over to one of the shopping centers nearby, called Timbukto, and looked for a cheap restaurant (ha!). 
 Eden's face gives you a good idea of the temperature! :)

I just had to have a picture of the crepe myrtles. :)

No idea what Caleb and Seth were looking at on this Totem Pole. :)

After checking out 2 restaurants, and finding them all too expensive for 11 people, we went for Option #3: Food Lion.  Daddy picked up some delicious chicken and potato wedges (and I think a few hamburgers?) and we had those for lunch. 

Yep, they tasted as good as they look.

Eating lunch by the beach house pool.

While we were eating, Uncle Sean, Aunt Amanda, and Cameron (who arrived a little after us) told us the house was open!  It was only around 1-1:30 P.M. but we could get in!  I finished my lunch and then went and explored the lovely house.

Our family and Uncle Sean and his family were all mostly unpacked when everyone else showed up (an hour or so later).  It was really nice to have our stuff settled before everyone else made everything run smoother and made us available to help people bring their stuff in.

After everyone unpacked we still had about 2 hours before dinner, so we went to the beach!!  (The Lawhorns hadn't arrived yet because they had a longer drive.)  It was wonderful getting to swim a full hour in the ocean on Saturday because, in year's past, we haven't been able to get into the house til 3.  Consequently, after unpacking we would have little time to swim in the ocean...not this year!!  

For dinner we had our traditional "first-night-at-the-beach" meal:  pizza.  We also had some salad and chicken.

Collin was excited about his chicken (left)! 


Breakfast at the Beach

 Daddy,  Mama, or I would usually make a few bowls of fruit before breakfast every  morning.
 We feasted on watermelons, strawberries, apples, peaches, nectarines, and bananas the whole week.

Paw-paw made breakfast most of the mornings.   His blueberry pancakes are my favorite!

 Can anyone say delicious?!!!

Paw-paw's usual breakfast consisted of plain and/or blueberry pancakes, a special pancake (pineapple upside-down, strawberry, fresh blueberry, etc.), sausage, bacon, and biscuits.  Aunt Mae-Mae and Daddy made some eggs to go along with breakfast each morning.

Twice during the week Mae-Mae and our family made breakfast.

 One morning we had French Toast and Omelettes.

 The other morning we had sausage casserole, coffee cake, and blueberry cake.


Down at the Beach

Every morning after breakfast, we'd don our bathing suits, slather on the sun tan lotion, and head down to the beach.  We were blessed with gorgeous weather the whole week...we only had a sprinkle of rain once, so we were at the beach every day!

I took my camera with me down to the beach twice during the week.  In this section of the post I'll give you the pictures from one day at the beach, and then, a little further along, the next day.

This was our little "beach spot".

 Daddy brought his shovels again and the boys helped him dig little pools for the young ones.  Then they (Dad and the boys) went out with their nets and tried to catch some little fish. When they did, they put them in the pool for the kids to play with.

 See all the little fish in there?

Lydia and Cadence waiting for a wave to jump over.

 Daddy caught something:
We actually saw these jellies in the ocean while we were riding the waves.  Thankfully no one was ever stung by anything. We did have problems with sea lice one day but, otherwise, the ocean was relatively pest free. :)

 The boogie-boarders!

 Crash and burn!

Justus, my little cousin, loves the ocean!
Riding the waves!

The ocean was rather calm most of the week.  There was only a day or two where we didn't feel comfortable taking the little guys out there.  All the other days the ocean was very calm (translation: a bit boring).  Judah even came out a few times!

 Searching for sand fiddlers...serious business.

They found some!

Aunt Stacey and Rachel.

Little Rachel.

 Cadence is about to put a jellyfish on Erika. :)

I love how you could see through the jelly fish!
Mama and Daddy out riding the waves.

Mama got in the ocean more this year than I can remember from all previous years combined!  She told me later that she stayed in there because the water took the majority of her nausea (from the pregnancy) away, so she stayed in as long as she could.  :)



After-Dinner Activities at the Beach

After dinner every night, we would do various things.  Watch movies, hang out, eat desserts, talk, go crab hunting, and walk on the beach.
I took my camera with me on one of the walks we took and the sky kept changing.  Here are some of the pictures I grabbed:

Before we went down to the beach a beautiful rainbow appeared in the sky!  Thanks to Uncle Sean for letting me know so I could get a picture of it! ;)

The beach is the best place to walk.  ever.

Asher enjoyed throwing a handful or two of sand at me while I tried to take his picture. :)

This picture had no editing at all.  The sky seemed to change every 5 minutes!

Eden and Gracie.


Hannah walking on the beach with Little Man.

Na-naw and I were trying to figure out what all those tracks were from.  We eventually decided that the crab that dug the hole just went for a little jog around his home. :)

After we went inside, I went to the top level and found the sunset even more vibrant:


Dinners at the Beach

Every night at the beach there was a different meal prepared by different people.  We had pizza Saturday, then barbecue (a.k.a. American :), Mexican, Italian, Roast, and seafood.  Friday night was leftover night (a.k.a. "clean out the fridge night" :).

So, for example, my Aunt Stacey and her family had barbecue night on Sunday!  We had barbecue (obviously), potato salad, hot dogs (for those who didn't like bbq), and more!

This section of the post I will just give you an idea of what we had for dinner every night.  I won't have a picture of every single thing we ate but just my favorite food photos from that night! :)

 Monday night was the Wassenberg's night to make dinner!  We made our usual:  Mexican.
 We had corn, chicken enchiladas, cheese enchiladas, soft and hard tacos, nachos, and more!


Tuesday night Uncle Sean and Aunt Amanda made us a delicious Italian feast!  We had lasagna, pesto noodles, alfredo noodles, garlic bread, etc.

Waiting for dinner to be called. :)

Just a cute picture of my cousin, Asher, because I can. :)

Wednesday night Aunt Steph prepared a wonderful meal of roast beef, mashed potatoes (and gravy, of course!), greenbeans, and rolls. 

Paw-paw and Mason eating dinner.  I wanted to post this picture so you would get an idea of where we ate.  This table was huge!  There was a lazy susan in the middle of the table but it was almost impossible to reach from your seat unless you got up and leaned towards the middle of the circle...the table was that big.

There was another little table in the corner where a few people sat.

I don't have a picture of the other table that we had, but, suffice it to say, there were enough seats for everyone this year!  With 35 people it's been a challenge to find a house that will seat us all, but thankfully we didn't have any problems this year. :)


Just some totally random photos of a bouqet we had at the beach. :)
 Thursday night was seafood night...and probably my least favorite meal.  I'm just not a seafood person.  :)
Thanks to Aunt Amanda we had some home made french fries and someone cooked some chicken nuggets for those who preferred not to eat seafood.  Otherwise there was all sorts of seafood...shrimp, different kinds of fish (mahi-mahi, salmon...), and I don't know what else.  Oh, yeah, the Jiffy was delicious and I ate more of that than I should have!

Friday night's meal wasn't that important so I don't have any pictures of it.  Actually, all the adults went out to some fancy restaurant for dinner and all the kids crashed at the house.  The younger kids were paired up with one our two "older" kids who would be in charge of them until the parents got home.  Consequently, between watching Asher and Cameron with my cousin, Allie, I didn't take any pictures. :)


Second Round of Beach Pictures

So, you're probably getting tired of all these pictures by now...if so, I've got bad news...I haven't! :)  Here are some more pictures of another lovely day down at the beach.

Collin (left) and Mason (right).
 Hannah, Allie, Sarah, Erika, and I went for a walk this day at the beach.  The water was a little too cold to just hop in, so we wanted to warm up a bit.  I had my 55-200mm lens on which allowed me to get rather close-up to these seagulls as we walked along the shore.

Judah and Asher...they're only 6 days apart and it's so fun to watch them "play" together. :)

 Yes, we saw dolphins this year!  Actually, I think we saw dolphins almost every day.

 My Aunt Megan (the one with the binoculars) loves dolphins, so she was super excited to get to see them almost every day.  :)

 I really loved shooting (a.k.a. taking pictures) with my 55-200 lens.  It allowed me to look like I was a lot closer to people than I actually was which had two benefits.  1.)  Very few people actually noticed (I think...) that I was taking their picture because I was so far away.  2.)  Since no one knew I was taking their picture, I got lots of natural photos that I love because there was no pressure to "Smile!"
 The other thing I love about the 55-200mm lens is the color seems so much richer and the images don't seem as flat.  (So you probably didn't need to know that, but I just had to share!)

 Gracie trying to catch a wave.  :)

 Uncle Mike with Rachel, his youngest daughter.

 Mae-Mae videoing/photographing her kids.

 I'm guessing that Cadence asked Uncle Kevin to take her out in the ocean?!

Love my Daddy's sand trees. :)

 Wading...I would put "riding the waves here but, as you can see, there were no waves worthy to speak of that day. :)


 Aunt Stacey

Asher trying to destroy one of Daddy's trees.

See those splotches in the ocean that everyone's staring at?  That is a school of fish.  The fish were crazy this year!  I had one hit me in the face (it jumped out of the water) and another land in my arm.  I think one hit Caleb and one of my cousin's somewhere too!  It was kind of disturbing to see multitudes of fish in the wave right in front of you because, as Paw-paw says, "The only time little fish are moving are when there's a bigger fish chasing them."  :)

Not only did fish jump out of the water and hit us, some people felt them brush against their legs (which can be very freaky when you know that sharks live in the ocean too!) and we all saw hordes of them right in front of us.

Mae-Mae and Asher watching the fish jump.

Daddy and Uncle Mike tried to catch some of the fish, but they'd see the shadow from the net and scatter right before it hit the water.

Love this picture of my little Squirt.


In the Pool and Hot Tub

I took very little pictures of anyone in the pool and hot tub (usually I was either in the pool or in the house making lunch), so enjoy the few pictures I have!

Eden and Judah.

There were two hot tubs at the beach house this year!  One was designated the "kids hot tub" and the other the "adults hot tub".  The adults hot tub was on the 2nd level.  You could see the ocean a little bit from the 2nd level, so, every now and then, a few of us snuck in that hot tub.  ;)  (Another benefit of the adult hot tub was that it was always hot because they hardly ever used it. :)

Nothing like some chlorine bubble-beards. :)

Other Beach Activities

Obviously, we did more than eat and play at the beach.

 We watched a movie almost every day.  The favorite for the week (for our family) was definitely ThorFinding Nemo, Ice Age I, II, and II, were some of the kid's favorites.

 My cousin, Sarah, had to do some homework that week (her school had already started), so Hannah (and any other family member) sometimes helped out. :)

 We (the Church's, Paw-paw and Na-naw, Hannah, Lexi, and my cousin, Kaitlyn) went driving on the beach one day to look for the wild ponies.  After some time of driving, we found two!
One looked like a Mama who was pregnant, and then a yearling.
 I got to drive on the beach on the way back.  It was lots of fun...except the time when I hit a bump a little too fast and almost sent Na-naw through the roof.  :-/

We cousins (well, the oldest 7) had lots of fun in our room together.  We did hair, talked, watched T.V., etc.

We played pool every now and then.

We ate lots of yummy fruit! :)

Picked out movies to watch...

We enjoyed the ocean breezes from our top deck.
We stayed thankful that the only rain we received the whole week was a little sprinkle...

Na-naw captured memories of us with her handy-dandy video camera. :)

 People went on bike rides....
...or played basketball.  (Reminder to self:  it is a very difficult thing to retrieve a basketball out of juniper bushes.)

I enjoyed the numerous photo opportunities...such as my cousin, Cameron. :)

 We enjoyed the beauty of a new day...

 ...and a fun-filled day coming to a bitter-sweet close.

Mostly we just enjoyed...enjoyed each other and the beauty around us.  It was a wonderful week!
Kimber :)

P.S. - Before I close, here are a few pictures of our last morning at the beach.  Paw-paw went and bought dozens of Dunkin' Doughnuts bagels, doughnuts and doughnut holes for breakfast.  We also had whatever breakfast leftovers were in the fridge.  People started leaving once everything was loaded up and they had grabbed some food.  We were the last ones to leave.  :)

 Yes, the doughnuts were amazing.  Quite honestly, I've had a hard time finding a nasty doughnut. :)


  1. I look forward to reading this post every year, Kimber! :-) It looks like such a fun vacation!


  2. WOW!!!!!!!!!!! This vacation looks like it was the FUNNEST thing in the world! I love the pictures. Can any of you think of what was your most favorite part of the trip, or is that too hard to answer?? You have a wonderful family!

    ~ Roma