Archive for 'jess’s travel posts'

Don’t let us fool you….

We get in arguments.

We fart. We cuss.

And we sometimes always have a few drinks together.

But this is four generations of a pretty functional, happy family.

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jess

When I met my husband, I was a recent college grad and he was putting in his time as a professor at NC State. (Yup, we’re 15.5 years apart.) We met some friends at this little hotel on the south end of Wrightsville Beach and had our first visit in 2007. Every year since then, we’ve stayed at the same place.

I desperately want to visit the Outer Banks but the rich family tradition can’t seem to die. So here we are again. Each boy had his first dip in the ocean here and now they have fond memories of playing together.

This year we celebrated big one’s birthday at the beach and took a trip to downtown Wilmington to explore the Cape Fear River on a boat. North Carolina has to be the best state in the entire USA.

(Film stocks include Portra 400, Portra 800, Portra 400VC, Ektar, HP5+, Vista, Max, and Lomo slide film. Cameras include Yashica Mat 124G, Canon 1N, Nikonos IV-A, and a cheap point and shoot that broke in a pretty spectacular fashion on the trip. All processed and scanned by theFINDlab.)

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Whenever I round up my boys and take them to Nana and Grandpa Mac’s house, I hear the same question:

“Nana buy me NASCAR?”

She did this to herself. I’d bet you one month’s preschool tuition that mom has bought more treats at the store for her grandchildren in two years time than she did my entire childhood. But that’s grandparent privilege, isn’t it?

Last Friday, I called mom and dad and asked what they were up to over the weekend. They had quite a few things to catch up on but as soon as they realized we wanted to visit, dad said “Nothing is more important you and your family. What day do you want to come?”

Does it get any better than that? I think not.

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You guys.

My husband and I did the most brilliant thing ever in the history of the universe. We needed a change in scenery and the children would be coming with us. But we didn’t actually want to go on a trip or vacation because that is WORK.

There isn’t really any way to solve this problem unless you have family to travel with and the downside to that is…family. (Love you guys!)

We opted for a staycation in the middle of nowhere where hotels are cheap but restaurants are available enough. We googled around until we found a few reasonable family activities. Our few days included:

  • traveling only 55 minutes
  • walking around a lake
  • touring a craft store and lollygagging enough to touch and play with all the things
  • visiting an arboretum
  • discovering a BBQ place that sits next to a small airstrip
  • plane watching (see above)
  • eating ice cream for dinner
  • opening a few special gifts from mom to the tune of $10 total

None of these things were glamorous or spectacular but it was the best fun we’ve probably had all summer as a family.

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jess

For three years in a row, I’ve taken my kiddos on a road trip to see my grandparents. It’s 600 miles each way. The kids are 4 and 2.5 so do the math–these roadtrips are with small kids.

Oddly enough, as we embark this week on round four, I find myself nervous for the first time. It can’t possibly be as rewarding AGAIN? One of these trips will eventually have to suck and be filled with wailing, traffic, and broken DVD players? Maybe that’s my anxiety talking. I’ve reassured my husband that again this year, I can do this.

I’m not sure I believe it myself.

I neglected to blog these images last year after our trip because I wanted to give myself some time to process. Enjoy.

PS Say a prayer too.

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jess