We took our first family-of-five beach trip a few weekends ago. Just a day trip to Folly Beach (just outside of Charleston.) It was a last minute deal - the night before we thought 'hey - lets pack a picnic lunch - throw the kids in the car - and spend the day at the beach.'
No big deal, right?
It's amazing the amount of stuff it takes for one family to spend ONE day at the beach. But, we packed it all in - everything from the beach umbrella (needed to keep Jack out of the UV rays), towels, sunscreen, picnic lunch, change of clothes, beach chair (needed for me to be able to comfortably nurse Jack on the beach), sand toys, diapers, wipes, snacks for the car, DVD, books ... you'd think we were going for a month.
Unfortunately, we didn't check the weather channel. As we're approaching Charleston we drive through a horrible thunderstorm. Great, now what are we going to do with two kids who are excited to play in the sand and are already dressed in their bathing suits in anticipation of the surf and sand?
Thankfully, the stars aligned and the clouds broke - long enough for us to set up camp, eat a picnic lunch, play in the water, build some sand castles, and fill up our bathing suits with sand.
We rinsed everyone off in the outdoor showers, changed clothes, and headed into downtown Charleston for the late afternoon. We managed to catch the last carriage tour of the afternoon around historic Charleston - that Anna was very excited about - but the no-nap fun filled day at the beach started to take it's toll after about 25 minutes into the 1-hour tour.
We made it through though - the kids really did well all being said - and we headed to the market for dinner. We ended up at Bubba Gump's Shrimp restaurant - mainly because it had no wait time and we had starving kids, who again did well - despite no nap and being extremely tired from the whole day.
Our one smart decision (mine thank-you-very-much) was to bring pj's with us - and yes, we changed them at the car right before we left for home (right there on Meeting Street on the sidewalk.) It was after 7 by the time we got on the interstate for our 2 hour drive home.
James whined and hit his sister (this was pre-minivan - and actually one of the determining factors in me saying enough is enough - we're separating the kids) for the first 20 minutes of the trip (making it seem like hours.) He finally gave up and fell asleep. Anna zoned out watching a DVD - and then she finally fell asleep about 20 minutes from home.
Both were so exhausted they didn't stir when Deonne lifted them out of their carseats and transported them to bed.
Mommy and daddy were equally exhausted - especially after unpacking the car and tending to Jack for the rest of the night.
But it was worth it. The kids had a wonderful time!