Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Beach!

After building up the suspense enough now, here are some pictures and stories from our annual vacation to the Outer Banks, NC. We had such a great time, with lots of laughter and even some relaxation! 15 members of the Stanley Clan stayed together just 1 block from the beach, on a quiet street perfect for walking and bike-riding. I even got my fat pregnant rear-end onto a bicycle for the first time in 2 years. Isabella did not appreciate her first bike-riding experience, but I believe it had to do with the wearing of Sara's helmet... just a little big and cumbersome. I think Patrick said she was ok while they were moving; that's my girl!

As for first impressions, well, I was already sitting down when Patrick plunked Isabella right into the sand (cool to the touch under the shade of the canopy) and her whole little body just revolted in response to the texture! After spending a few minutes desperately climbing onto me, her curiosity won out and soon she was digging her hands into the sand. Not too slowly the rest of her body followed suit, and soon she was sitting happily in that gritty playground, digging with a little shovel. For the rest of the week she could not get enough of it!
I am happy to report that she decided against eating it after only one small taste. Unfortunately, she thought the way to get the sand out of her mouth was to manually pull it out - with her hand.... also sand-covered. Hhhmmmm that did not work out as she planned. That girl is a fast learner, thankfully, and once was enough for her.

Isabella was quite happy to play in the sand for a while... until, that is, she saw the water. She LOVED the ocean immediately! Walking her down to the waves, she would "jump" with delight, and as soon as the water touched her toes she would begin babbling excitedly. So Adorable! Of course at her ripe old age of 13 months she did not understand the concept of the tide. "I promise the water will come back to you, Isabella, if you just wait here... holding onto Mama's hand!" She begged to differ, and insisted on chasing it! We would run back and forth with her laughing and babbling the entire time.
One of the funniest "games" Bella played was in her quest to stay near or in the water. We would take her hand and lead her back up the beach, toward our sandy play area. She would walk contentedly in our desired direction, inspecting seashells and climbing over mounds of sand. All of a sudden she would spin 180 and RUN back to the waves! My sneaky, defiant little girl!
It was such a fun week, one that flew by way too quickly - as always! It was a sad shock to Bella to wake up without all those cousins with whom to play every day! She must wonder why we don't have the beach around every day!