Well, life’s not really a beach, and I don’t actually even understand that expression.  But we did just get back from the beach, and so that seemed like an appropriate title.

Every August we have an annual tradition of taking a beach trip with Bryan’s parents during one of the weeks when we have Talan during the summer.  The first beach trip was in 2008 when Bryan and I were temporarily not together, so I wasn’t there for that one.  In 2009 and 2010 we stayed in a condo on Carolina Beach, which was great.  This year, that condo wasn’t available, so Bryan’s mom booked a beach house instead… and it was AWESOME!

The house is actually divided into 2 living areas.  The whole house is owned by one family, and they primarily use the main floor plus second floor as their vacation home.  The basement (ground/street level) is the part available for weekly rentals, and that’s where we stayed.

It was so fantastic being able to walk right out of our place and straight onto the beach!

Here’s a quick tour.  I didn’t get a picture of the house from the street, but that’s not really important anyway.  You enter through the garage, and there are a bunch of storage closets.  Immediately to your right is the half bathroom, which Talan used, and just beyond that on your right is the room where Talan stayed.

Talan’s room had 3 twin-sized beds in it, so I guess that means we could have brought along 2 additional kids.  That’s ok.  One was enough.

Here’s the main living area, which was great.  Very open, spacious layout.

Nice big kitchen.

The living area had plenty of room for us to lounge and watch movies, sit at the big table and eat and play games.

Bryan’s parents stayed in the master suite which had a King bed and full bathroom.

There was another full bathroom between our two bedrooms, which Bryan and I used, and Talan used as well, and then there was our room with the Queen bed.

In the mornings we enjoyed breakfast outside overlooking the dunes and waves.

Can you get any better than that?  Yes – if you have fresh-out-of-the-fryer Britt’s donuts with raspberry/mango/blueberry fruit salad for breakfast.

Can you get any better than that?  No.  You cannot.

While enjoying our awesome breakfast, we saw a water spout!  It’s a tornado over the water.  That was fascinating.

It was far enough away that we didn’t feel like we were in any immediate danger – the skies above us were still sunny and blue.  But it made the news that day.  Apparently once it hit land, it destroyed a small pier, and then it went away.

Talan is crazy.

He and I had a photo shoot, where he posed, and then asked to see the picture, and then asked me to take another.

And another.

And another.

We play games with Talan a lot.  Uno, Uno Stacko, Chutes and Ladders (Super-hero edition), Go Fish, Snakes, Old Maid, and Where’s Waldo Memory are the faves.  During this trip, we played lots of Uno since it’s the only game that all 5 of us can play, and it’s fun for adults as well as kids.  We generally played a hand before naptime, and a hand or two before bedtime.  Here they are playing Chutes and Ladders.

Talan gets to choose who reads to him at naptime (2 stories) and bedtime (3 stories) every day, so when we have “Special” people around, they usually get chosen to be the readers.

Talan wanted to get buried in the sand.

He kept saying he wanted out, but then as soon as we helped dig him out, he wanted to do it all over again.

Small head in the sand.

We created several sand animals.  We created a sea turtle but didn’t get a picture of it.  We made an alligator (or is it a crocodile?  I don’t know the difference).

Bryan put the finishing touches on the head and mouth area, adding in shells for the teeth.

I was starving to death at this point, and about to faint from hunger, but managed to snap some pictures of our animal.

Bryan took care of the grill.  (He’s such a great husband.  Always making food for me!)  Again… awesome location for a cook out!

And awesome location for eating dinner!  Although unfortunately by the end of dinner, the flies had sent word out to all the other flies on Kure Beach (that’s where we were by the way – it’s right next to Carolina Beach), and they swarmed in and tried to eat all our food.  How annoying.  Other than that, it was great.

Here’s our last sand animal.  Octopus!

I took all of the pictures.  Can you tell?  So our last evening, as it was starting to rain, and the sun was setting, we ran outside and snapped a few pictures so that we could prove that I was actually on this trip as well.

You can’t tell in the pictures that it was starting to rain, and maybe you can’t tell that we were in a big hurry because of that fact that our sun was going away.  We got nice pictures despite it all.

And Talan smiled nice for the pictures because he was going to get to play 2 games of Uno if he smiled nicely.

The newlyweds.

We decided we needed to get a shot of the 3 generations of men, so here they are.

I thought they should get a picture all sitting on each other’s laps.  I found that idea funny – Bryan sitting on his dad’s lap with Talan on his lap.

Bryan’s parents flew into Raleigh Tuesday night, and we all drove down to the beach on Wednesday.  We left the beach this morning (Sunday), drove back to Raleigh, and went straight to the airport to drop off Bryan’s parents so they could fly back to Texas.  Then we came home, unloaded the cars, had lunch, and I crashed, hard, for a 2.5 hour nap.  Here’s a last view of the beach.

I had a really nice time.  It was a great way to relax and get a tan and really soak up the summer before starting back to school – tomorrow!