Aside from the obvious rest and relaxation, we’ve enjoyed some fun activities and excursions over the last several days. On Tuesday, everyone staying at the house drove to a nearby lighthouse. I’ve never been inside a lighthouse, and I still haven’t. The powers that be didn’t allow babies inside the lighthouse, due to the fact that in order to get to the top of the lighthouse, you have to take not only stairs but also a ladder. I volunteered to sit out with Creegan so Melanie could go with Eddie and Peter as well as the rest of her family. They got some good photos while they were up there.
Eddie and Peter with Grandma and Grandpa in the lighthouse.
On Wednesday, Melanie, Eddie, Peter, Creegan, and I broke away from the rest of the group and did some things by ourselves. We went to lunch at a local pizza/sandwich shop called BJ’s. We shared a classic pepperoni and black olives pizza, and we tried an appetizer of fried macaroni and cheese. The pizza was pretty good, with a pleasantly crackly bottom crust and an exorbitant amount of mozzarella. The fried macaroni and cheese was ho-hum, though made immensely better by dipping it in the yummy ranch dressing that accompanied it. I think we expected something a little fancier, made with homemade mac n’ cheese, not fried Kraft dinner, which is what it was. The boys didn’t eat much of anything, though it didn’t help that they were distracted by BJ’s game room, which included several coin-operated video games as well as air hockey and a pool table.
Later in the day, Melanie and I took our kids to the beach resort’s clubhouse swimming pool. The beach house we are renting is in a private community, so this pool is open to everyone around us. There were only three people in the pool when we arrived, but they left soon thereafter and then we had the pool completely to ourselves. Seeing as how we’re right by the ocean, the swimming pool might not be as popular as it otherwise would be. I myself recognize the surface-level silliness of going to a swimming pool when the ocean is right beside us, but we wanted to try it out and we actually looked quite forward to swimming without getting all sandy. (The sand gets a bit tiring.) The pool was a bit on the cool side, and we didn’t stay for terribly long, but we had fun.
On Thursday, Melanie orchestrated a group birthday party for all of the kids. It was literally a birthday party for every non-adult in the house, regardless of when they happened to be born. This allowed all of the cousins to be a part of each other’s birthday celebration. Our kids have recently discovered and fallen in love with the game Angry Birds, so we had an Angry Birds themed party. Melanie set up a kind of Angry Birds game where kids took turns throwing a ball at and trying to knock down some Angry Birds designed balloons that had been taped to the wall. Kids also played an Angry Birds-inspired variation of pin the tail on the donkey, with an Angry Bird instead of a donkey and a pair of eyes and a beak in lieu of a donkey’s tail. There were also some Angry Birds art activities, and to top it all off, a wholly non-Angry Birds-related piñata. The piñata proved very difficult to break, as we didn’t have an adequate stick with which to whack it. Eventually, kids were just punching and kicking the thing. Finally, Grandpa manipulated the piñata so as to weaken its structure, and then Uncle Tom gave it a good beating until its entrails rained down on the blood, er, candy-thirsty children below.
The birthday party featured a gift exchange. Eddie sports the superhero cape he received from Uncle Brent and Aunt Shanda. He loves it.
In the afternoon on Thursday, a couple of Melanie’s brothers splurged on renting WaveRunners. Everyone who was interested was given a turn to ride one. Melanie took Eddie with her brother Mark. I was going to take Peter when they got back, but Peter chickened out in the end (which didn’t surprise me one bit) and the provided life vest didn’t even fit on me. The one-hour rental period was about to expire, as well, so fate made it perfectly clear that I wasn’t meant to be riding a WaveRunner at this point in my life. I made peace with that. I was happy that Melanie and Eddie had gotten out on one, and I was happy that Creegan was able to remain uninterrupted in the nap he was taking on my shoulder. With Creegan on my shoulders and the brightness of the sun all but completely obscuring the image on my digital camera display screen, I had no idea what kinds of pictures I was getting of Melanie and Eddie on the WaveRunner, but they turned out better than expected.
And that’s that. Today is the final day, and I have no idea what lies before me. There aren’t any concrete plans in the works. That’s probably a good thing. The last day of a beach vacation should be one of calmness.