My sister organized a little mini-vacation for us all (Our family, her family, and my parents) this past weekend. She found the most perfect house. Quiet, remote, and close to the water. This was the view from Wes's bed.
This was my view of Charlie, pretty much the whole time. After promising to not go in the water and not go anywhere but up the stairs to the house, he was given free reign of the (not very large) beach (yes, sometimes in his jammies). For a kid who is happiest being allowed to tinker outside by himself, it was absolute heaven. And when did he get so freaking grown up, I ask you??
James loved the aquarium.
This was a really sweet scene until Charlie screamed at Wes after Wes refused to respond to Charlie's attempts to teach him about sting rays.
Then they got really rowdy so we locked them all in a cage.
There was a touch tank and Ryan took this picture of me adjusting my glasses and James looking unacceptably grown-up and tall. This was right before Charlie casually asked the volunteer if the starfish he was petting had "regenerating limbs".
Afterward we had lunch at the Rainforest Cafe, home of the most terrifying simulated indoor thunderstorm Wes has ever experienced. He crawled over the top of the table and into my dad's lap after the first rumbling boom of thunder (Grandpa is Wes's favorite).
We took a ferry ride across the bay and got to see dolphins and pelicans. It was very confusing to Wes, who had fallen asleep in the car, to wake up still in the car, but also on a boat. He got over it quickly and it turned out to be the highlight of his weekend. When we got home he burst into the house and yelled "WE GO ON A FERRY BOAT AND WE SEE DOLPHINS!!!"
Ryan assured me he was hanging onto James so tight in this picture that he thought he might be hurting him.
After the ferry we drove to the beach for a picnic. I think the seagulls had more of a picnic than any of the kids. They do love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and bananas!
James was drawn to the ocean like a sea turtle hatchling. I followed him, curious where he would go, and he made it all the way to the water's edge and had to be scooped up seconds before he was soaked by a wave.
We spent some time examining a mummified fish skeleton. It was not as disgusting as it sounds. It was really pretty cool, the fin bones were serrated! That was one bad-ass fish!
After we all made a big fuss about how interesting it was, Charlie said quietly that he thought it was sad that the fish had died. Poor sweet boy! We buried the fish and Charlie said a prayer and marked the spot with some sticks.
I took this magical special picture when we stopped in the historic district on the way back to the house. Clearly, it was time to get those kids back into the house PRONTO. Charlie was being so ridiculous that Ryan had to take him to the car while Wes and I spent a lovely fifteen minutes picking out the very perfect treat at the candy store. I chose hot chocolate and Wes picked chocolate covered pretzels, which he shared with his oppressor Charlie once we got to the car. Wes is a nice kid.
And speaking of boys who are all grown up, look who turned ONE while we were gone!
He is SO BIG!*
*There will be another post on this soon because HOW THE HECK IS HE ONE?