our week away in cape hatteras was as blissful and quiet and restful as any time i've ever had. it was the perfect end of summer escape.
vacations usually come with a stuffed itinerary...things to do and see and taste and smell and not enough time for any of it. and often times we come home feeling more exhausted then before we left. but this one, this one was a laid back kind of trip. we fell into a beachy way of living from day one...where the only plan was to just sit and be and the only routine was sunscreen and a late lunch.
we hid away in a giant sandcastle of a house on the beach with matt's dad and step mom, brothers, aunt and uncle and cousins. matt's family is wonderful with traditions! they've been coming to cape hatteras for years and years. being all together became our own little beach commune...with homemade dinner every night around a large table, late night bonfires on the beach, and plenty of hands taking care of the little ones.
we stayed on the beach all week long, leaving only for quick grocery store runs and for matt to take me to the hatteras lighthouse. i had never been up in a lighthouse before!
the rest of the time was spent under an umbrella with sand in our toes and salty wet hair. there were lots of book reading and knitting and friendship bracelet making...bocce ball and kite flying and poker games. i collected seashells like a 5 year old...they were like amazing little treasures each one! i couldn't pass them up. days after being back, i'm still finding them in random pockets.
i woke up early a few mornings to be alone on the beach...to walk and paint and think. painting by the ocean is something i remember reading out of a children's book when i was little...it was about a girl who painted on the sand dunes. i've always had an ache to try it. i found the perfect spot on the top of a dune and 10 year old katie was beside herself! it was just like the book...painting on a sand dune...listening to the ocean move...getting bits of sand stuck in the paint and washing out the brushes in ocean water.
growing up i've always been a little bit timid about the ocean. it's so alive...constantly moving and pulling. i got such a kick out of seeing how fearless max was with it. he took to the salty water like a shiny fish...darting around, getting carried up in the waves. he shark fished with the older boys and effortlessly boogie boarded on waves that sent me crashing into the ocean floor (i've got the scrapes and broken tailbone to prove it).
it's a hoot finding out your son is a real beach bum at heart. and i guess we all kind of were.
it did my heart some good to start this new summer tradition with max and matt.
new memories of ghost crab hunting and sandcastle smashing...moving to a slower rhythm and being with family in one of the most beautiful places around.
now that's how you end a summer!
p.s. keep your fingers crossed for max. he starts his new school tomorrow! i'm a bit of a ball of nerves for him.
first grade, make way!