Did you miss me last week while I was on vacation?  No?  Oh, you didn’t know I was gone!  Well, I was!  While you were enjoying recipes for banana chip bread, making bathtub paint, and learning about the Foodie Pen Pals program I was on the beach, discovering a great museum, dancing the night away, and relaxing on the lake with family.

Our first destination was Nags Head, NC.  I wanted to take Cupcake to the ocean.  She seems to think every body of water (pools included) is the ocean, so I wanted to show her the real thing.  After about 7 hours in the car we might a slight detour to hit up the Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton, VA.  This was the one thing hubby added to the itinerary (imagine that!).  It was a great break from the car, we got some fresh air by sitting outside, and we had a delish meal! My crab cake sandwich was so good!  Cupcake enjoyed her grilled cheese and I’m pretty sure hubby was satisfied with his wrap.  He might have had some beer, too, which meant that the next 5 hours of driving were all mine!

Did you do the math?  12 hours in the car on day 1!!!!!  We finally arrived at our teeny tiny little motel on the beach and settled in for the night.

Beach day!  We spent the majority of day 2 on the beach.  It was a bit windy, but we had a great time.  I think Cupcake found the ocean impressive.  But she was a bigger fan of the sand.  She kept calling it her sand and water table!  She spent hours digging and pouring and building sand castles.  The girl loves sand castles!  We made a lot of trips to the water to fill up her bucket so she had good sand castle sand!


She was ready to take a dip!  But “Here comes the water!”

Yeah, she was a bit afraid of the waves.  Every time she got close she would yell “Here comes the water!” and turn around and run back to the safe zone!

Don’t worry, daddy’s got you!

But he’ll get you wet!

That big wave scared her!!!  But, luckily daddy calmed her down and they did more splashing.  She was more comfortable in the water with him than me, which was good, because it was hard enough to keep my balance on my own, let alone with both of my kids!

We had a delicious late lunch/early dinner at Tortuga’s Lie.  The fish tacos were amazing!  They had fish tanks to distract the 2 year old.  And Guy Fieri signed the wall!

It was back to the beach, but the wind had really picked up, so the sand was pelting us in the face and not much fun.  We decided to spend our time up near the dunes to block the wind since Cupcake prefers the sand to the water any way.  Except it meant it was a long walk to fill a bucket of water.

Of course we finished the day with some ice cream and long showers and sleep!  I set my alarm early so I could head out in the morning and spend some alone time with my camera on the beach the next morning.

I saw the sun rise.  I watched people do yoga.  I watched people dig through shells.  I took pictures of the sun rise.  I took pictures of shells.  I took pictures of the waves.  I took pictures of the pier.  I enjoyed almost 2 hours of walking the beach with just my camera (lenses and tripod).  It was fantastic!

We decided since we had already desanded ourselves and Cupcake wasn’t a big fan of the ocean to head out of town.  Next up on our itinerary was Raleigh, so we decided to check out the Marbles Kid Museum.  I think we made a good choice.  Cupcake had a blast!  She loved the toddler area, but she was also a big fan of the water play.

She liked driving the submarine, climbing the pirates ship, stacking giant Legos, throwing balls, driving boats and cars and watercoloring.

She could’ve spent hours there!  But there was the small matter of why we were in NC to begin with.  Family!  We were off to check into our hotel and meet up with some of my cousins for dinner.  And Cupcake was so excited to see her Godpapa!  We also kept her up WAY past her bedtime so we could see aunts, uncles, more cousins, and great grandparents.  She was asleep before we were out of the parking lot!

Saturday was wedding day!!  Since we had some time to kill in the morning Cupcake and I headed down to the pool in the hotel to play while daddy worked on his homework.  We had the whole pool to ourselves!!  It was a blast.  We took a shower, a much needed nap, and got all prettied up for the wedding.  Catholic wedding = too long for a toddler.  Daddy had to take her to the cry room.  And that was after she had colored both our dresses with green crayon (luckily it was washable).

The reception was amazing!  The only problem was it was an outside venue and it was hot, hot, hot!  It didn’t stop Cupcake from rocking the dance floor.

It did keep momma from too much dancing, though as my sausage feet were killing me and I was sweating and I was thirsty.  Fun times!

The last few days of our vacation were spent at my uncle’s lake house.  We pretty much stayed in our bathing suits the 3 days we were there playing in the water.  We went on boat rides.

We played on the dock.

We floated on rafts.

We swam.  Hubby got to do some tubing.  Pregnant momma had to sit it out this year.  I got to do a lot of floating in the water, though, which is very fun for a pregnant lady!  It’s nice to feel weightless!

After the wee one went to bed the big kids had fun.

Marathons of Just Dance, lots of Olympics excitement, making s’mores, spending time together as a family.

And then we drove 9 hours home to rescue Oscar from the puppy hotel.  He was so happy to be home.  He was even happy to see Cupcake!  And then he slept for 2 days straight.  And now he’s back to his puppy self.  And I’m finally finished unpacking.  And things are going back to normal.  And that means I need to get back to my crafting and redecorating and baking and fun activities with the Cupcake (like potty training!).

Did you take a vacation this year?  Where did you go?  I’m always looking for the next place to go!