Monday, September 5, 2016

Cape Cod 2016

We are back from our trip, and ready (or as ready as we're going to be) for the boys to start 1st grade.

We had another wonderful trip, another vacation that left me sad it's over and eager for next year.  We started our trip by driving up to Eric's parents' on Thursday night. I am always excited for vacation to start, and want to get out of town as soon as possible! So we took off at the first possible moment and went to Maine.  Our last trip to Maine was easy- this one, not so much. Although we left 1.5 hours earlier than we had on our last trip up, we arrived at the same time. I drive Eric nuts because I constantly check Google maps for detours and ways to save time, no matter how convoluted the route.

Friday we just took it easy at Eric's parents' house- we had planned to go to the beach, but it rained in the morning so we changed our plans. We went in the pool, their cousins came for lunch, and then we packed up a picnic dinner and went to the beach for dinner.
Memere puts a braid in Charlotte's hair 
Benjamin asked me to take his picture 
Charlotte pretending to sleep 
Asher & me
Benjamin asked me to take his picture again
After dinner and playing on the beach, we made an important stop at Uncle Ryan's ice cream shop. We picked up 5 quarts to take to the Cape because we like it better than anything we get there.

We couldn't decide what time we would leave for the Cape on Saturday, but when we woke up, the kids were begging to get to the Cape as soon as possible, so we packed up and left. There was more traffic, but we made it in time for a late lunch by the bay. Then, since my parents and sister (and her boyfriend) were not going to arrive until about 6, we went to the beach and got in the ocean!
Finally made it to our favorite place! 
One of my other favorite places...
 We didn't really get in a rhythm the same way we have other years- the weather was inconsistent, and so were the kids' (especially Charlotte's) moods.  We did go to the beach, and the first couple of days had good waves there. We also went to the pond, of course. Benjamin spent almost all his time at the pond building a series of canals that he checked on and improved everyday we were there.

We continued with many traditions- a lobster dinner by the bay, a grown-up's night out at a nicer restaurant, ice cream whenever we could, and Papa Nick going out for donuts and newspapers with his grandchildren.
Attempt at a family picture. This one won't be going on our holiday card.
 We also did some new things- at their request, I took Asher and Charlotte on a whale watch from Provincetown.  Memorial Day weekend, we saw an IMAX movie about whales, and Charlotte has been talking about them ever since, so out we went.  The weather was gorgeous and the sailing was smooth.
Asher and mommy
Charlotte and mommy
I guess it was kind of sunny...
And, good news! Lots of whales. First finback whales, and then humpback whales.  Charlotte was so enthusiastic, with lots of oohs and ahhs of excitement.  I love seeing the kids get excited and see the world in a new way.
Whale's tail

Whale spotting

Benjamin at ice cream
One evening, my parents took us all to see a kids' play- Puss in Boots, part II.  As I told my sister, the plot was convoluted and hard to follow, but the kids enjoyed it and laughed throughout.  I think the grownups enjoyed it, too! We might have started a new tradition.
Before the play
 On Thursday, it rained. When the weather forecast that earlier in the week, I scheduled back-to-school haircuts for the boys in the morning. We went from there to the Cape Cod potato chip factory, where the tour is free, but ends in a room full of potato chips and popcorn, so ended up costing us a little more.
After the tour. No pictures inside.
 It rained all day Thursday. I know I sound like a spoiled brat, but I hate when it rains on beach vacation!

Friday started sunny, and we went to the beach. The waves were too rough for us to swim, but we played in the sand for a while, until we noticed a little unrest on the beach. A plane kept circling overhead, and a boat appeared in the ocean and hovered close to shore.
The plane circling around
Then it became clear- SHARK!  A shark had been spotted close to shore.  We all dashed down the beach to see if we could spot it (we couldn't), but that sealed the deal- no swim in the ocean for us.

We went kayaking- the kids loved it and I discovered that my arms are not so strong.  Although it isn't part of our usual routine, I would do it again!

We went to ice cream one afternoon, and over the course of our snack, everyone swapped food with everyone else.  We all got a little taste of everything.
Swapping snacks 
The kids all pretended to be various forms of cats- kitties, tigers, and lions. Charlotte is roaring.
Asher and Charlotte snuggling together. They have a close bond.
At the end of the visit, Asher was ready to go home. I think he is anxious about his first day of school (or am I projecting?).  I could have stayed forever.  My sister and I had a great time laughing hysterically over everything and nothing, we ate lots of good food, read books, drank coffee, and got exercise.

Now we are home, and real life starts again. When we got home, I noticed leaves on our patio, and the air has a chill.  Fall is coming, whether I like it or not!

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