For the past few months, we had been planning to spend the July 4th weekend on the North Carolina coast with Clay’s parents. Unfortunately, the path of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Arthur derailed those plans and we begrudgingly decided to cancel our little road trip and made plans to stay put for the holiday. But when we woke up on July 3rd, we discovered the project path of Arthur changed slightly, which mean that the Wilmington, NC area would no longer be receiving the brunt of the storm. So we quickly packed our bags, shuttled the kids into the car, and headed south on I-95. It took us two and a half hours to travel 30 miles but once we emerged from the DC area, it was smooth sailing. That is, until we encountered Arthur.
Roanoke Rapids, Virginia
To be honest, it wasn’t too bad. Perhaps driving into a powerful storm isn’t the smartest thing to do with two young children in the car but by the time we exited I-40, the weather seemed no worse than a bad thunderstorm. We also weren’t the only car on the road, which was reassuring. After about 9 hours in the car, we arrived at our destination and happily reunited with Lucy (she was staying with Clay’s parents during our New England adventure). Our family was complete once again. When we woke up on July 4th, the weather was ab.sol.ute.ly gorgeous. Clay and I have been itching to use our kayaks (when we moved to Oklahoma, we left them at Clay’s parents and have yet to retrieve them because our opportunities to kayak with young children are few and far between) so we loaded them up in the truck and launched them on the cusp of the Cape Fear river.
Being out on the water together was the perfect morning/early afternoon date. There was one area where we freaked ourselves out about alligators, but for the most part it was smooth sailing. We also thankfully didn’t encounter any bull sharks. We did see a lot of shad jumping out of the water in our vicinity so that was pretty cool.
When we returned from kayaking, Meredith, Harry, and Alaina had arrived so we gathered our beach gear and drove down to Caswell Beach, our go-to beach in the area. For being the 4th of July, the beach was fairly empty so we enjoyed the slightly rougher waters and brilliant late afternoon sunshine. Alaina and Weston loved the waves and had a blast ‘riding’ them in to the shore. After the beach, we returned back to the house for a patriotic meal of crab legs, crab cakes, and shrimp – it is what our forefathers would have wanted. ‘Merica.
Much to their delight, Grandma took the kids on a tractor ride and even let them drive!
We also had a mini-celebration for Violet’s upcoming 1st birthday. She couldn’t have been more excited about her new purple chair. On Saturday, Clay and I drove down to the Myrtle Beach airport so he could go home in order catch a flight to go TDY in Korea.
While we missed Clay, we didn’t let that stop us from enjoying the beach the rest of the weekend.
And having a dance party.
Meredith, Harry, and Alaina left on Monday so the little guy and I went out to lunch and the Wilmington Train Museum. We had plans to see a movie but my date fell asleep on the way to the movie theater. I’d like to report that it is the first time a date fell asleep in my presence but I’m not so sure that is the case. The kids, Lucy, and I finally left Wilmington yesterday morning. It was my first time doing a solo road trip with both kids and Lucy but I am happy to report that it couldn’t have been easier. It only took me seven hours and plenty of coffee. I’ve never been one to just sit around while Clay is deployed or TDY and it is reassuring to know that I have it in me to travel with two kids and a dog when Clay is not around.