Ed's hunting trip always falls during the girls' two-week fall break from school. Which I hate. But this year I got over it by taking the girls to Virginia Beach for four days. It. Was. #1! Here's why:
Going to the beach in October is #1
The place is completely deserted. Here's who was there - some retirees, a few surfers, the occasional family with children under 5, and us. Nary a school child nor teenager in sight. Restaurants whose Yelp reviews claimed 1.5 hour waits, we just waltzed in. Acres of beach all to ourselves, every day. And the weather was perfect. 70 degrees and breezy - perfect for playing in the sand, a bit of wading/splashing, and never getting too hot.
Did I mention it was deserted?
Playgrounds on the beach are #1
There were at least two, right on the beach, within walking distance of our place.
Beach + playground + no other people = a very happy morning
Grandma is #1
My Mom came with us for two of the days. She led us on an expedition to the beach shop across the street, where we invested in proper shovels, new watering cans, and other necessities. She brought surprise activity bags for the girls for each day, which included "beach buddies" (small teddy bears with tiny pillows and quilts she had made), lip balm, books, Skittles, and lacing cards, among other things.
|Twinners Poppy & Grandma having a snack at the playground|
|Cutest group EVER, in a particularly windy spot|
Playing in the sand is seriously #1
Kids, at least my kids, don't need much else. Or they didn't for those four days. We went out to the beach each morning after breakfast, around 9, and came back for lunch around 12. Then went back around 3, until we got hungry for dinner, or the hotel shadows became so long we got cold, whichever came first. And most of that was sand play. You cannot beat it! (Especially since we got good and proper digging shovels.)
Allowance, post cards, and journals are #1
The girls have been getting allowance for a few months now, and they brought their money to the beach. We scoped out the beach shop the first night, then counted their money and talked about all their buying options, which they slept on. In the morning, they wanted to go back right away to make their purchases - each bought a roll of bubble tape and some postcards. The second day, we wrote them - one to Ginger's friend, three to Hazel's teachers, and one to Grandma Marsha in Colorado.
I also brought their journals, and we wrote in them during Poppy's nap our third day. Hazel liked it so much she wrote in hers almost every day.
While coming home is not, and was not, #1 - we were all sorry to have it end - it was still pretty sweet when Ed finally made his way home to us last night, in all his annual mountain man bearded glory.
Pretty cute, right?
I'm pretty sure we will be going back next year. If not sooner.