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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Beach Week, family traditions- 2017- presented with one commercial.

We're home, back on Newark-Granville Road, after our annual trek to the Outer Banks, NC.  For nine years we're made this our summer vacation.  A true vacation, even with young kids, as we travel with my family and everyone helps so we do relax!  It started in Nags Head with my parents, then Sarah and Greg joined us with baby Louisa.  Greg the surfer helped set the location.  Matt and Dawn joined on year three.  One key component is cocktail hour during these respites and I think back on the conversations that hatched plans.

The first year it was how to make the family fit in the first amazing rental.  The next year Matt and Dawn committed so that year the 5 pm activity became house searches.  Or how to fit our group of 14 under one roof in a house that is beachy and has a big table, and kitchen for cooking.  The point of our time together is just that- time together on the beach, around the table, on the porch. If you ask the kids- they'll tell you putting on the Cousin Show and swimming.  We've added activities that are now tradition- climbing the Hatteras Lighthouse- yay Matt and Dawn, taking the ferry to Okracoke for the trip to the book store and a seafood lunch, and visiting certain galleries/ shops.   Over the past seven years we've found two abodes to make it all work and found our home away from homes. Life on Newark-Granville Road loves beach week.

Commercial Break- shout-out to to Maximum Fitness.  I've recently returned to this gym and oh am I glad I did.  The hours are fantastic- no reason to miss my goal of four visits a week.  I get my cardio and strength training in on the various machines.  My inspiration is rehab for the ankle, but it feels great to be back in the groove.  I mentioned this to someone and they commented that Maximum didn't have air conditioning.  I disagree- they do.  It is a big space and some days it gets hot in there, but fans keep air moving. Today's temp was cool.  I realize I don't mind warmer rooms- beach week story below!  Staff are friendly, range of work-out types- serious body work happening, but then all ages doing what I'm doing- doing our best and being active.  I'm not overly interested in classes right now but enjoyed the ones I took in the past.  I love the music and machines with closed caption TV, add the prevor ap to track my goals and share past data makes it a great fit for me.  Consider joining me!

Back to Beach Week!  Here is the scoop and highlights for the record book or the "why" I love life at the beach with my family!  That is the secret right- family. How lucky am I that my siblings and their families all enjoy being with my family.  We love one another and enjoy the time to catch-up, get to know one another, make memories. Oh the memories we made this year!  It isn't always perfect.  Our idiosyncrasies annoy one another and some times we roll with it and some times we don't. We bring baggage beyond the suitcases packed with opinions and conflicts. We're all human and have challenges within our families. Some of us, present company in particular, don't do as well of sitting loosely at times.  But we forgive and find the positive, put in some rules to help make sure everyone enjoys their vacation. 

Dinner is a highlight and each family takes a meal.  This year Sunshine Stoners returned with the beloved and requested Mexican night- chicken enchiladas and fried ice cream.  It is divine.  Leithausers brought a dinner club favorite- grilled lamb- Betsy Mattimoe's coaching had to be shared.  The Christophers did double duty! The scheduled night was a classic marinaded steak and kicking us off before the the group allergic to fish arrived she blinked and had crab cakes!  Sarah can cook - what a treat. We wrapped up the week with fresh caught steamed shrimp.  An Italian pizza night bridged the gap.  Nana coordinated breakfasts, one morning making over 60 Nana cakes- no one missed breakfast that day.  Lunches are prepare your own with a plethora of delights including Mom's prepared treats like sloppy joe's and beef brisket.  Beloved favorites are procured as well- liverwurst, tuna, and of course- mac n cheese.

Mother nature was good to us this beach week. I swam every day, most days twice a day. The ocean temps were perfect- refreshingly cool when you entered, but ideal for spending time and waves were fun.  The kids were in multiple times- back and forth- making the path.  Greg and Matt our heroes for setting our camp. Getting in and out of the water and walking on the sand was more uncomfortable than I anticipated- but so worth the effort.  I finished a good book and started an incredible read, wrapping it up on the drive home.  The cousin show of lip syncing with an incredible new addition- live music with Grace's ukulele!! Sarah made the annual charades game one for the record'll have to ask her for the details.   We all get to know one another, I don't know what life would be without these trips and this time.  Little things- the top level where Mom and Dad stay and we gather- ac temps are high so it is warm, plus heat rises.  The lower levels thanks to Sarah- cool, very cool.  You learn about your self as you witness what you can go with the flow on, what you like and don't like when.

We all know the time for all fourteen of us to be together won't last forever.  Clare hopes to be a counselor at camp (new news- future blog material) and that would mean no beach week and of course life happens.  I'm grateful for 2017 and all the made it possible. I love each of my family members so very much.  Life on Newark-Granville road loves sandy toes, salty kisses, vitamin sea and being under one roof with the Stoners.  A trip to the beach is good for my soul.

Nana with her grands.


Pap with Okacoke crew.

Matt gets his soft shell!

Clare with Aunt Dawn

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