I know my boys well. I knew that they’d love the activities I had planned for our mini-vacation even though when I asked Bailey a few weeks ago if he was excited about our trip he said, “I guess… except for all the school stuff we have to do.”
I shrugged his whining off because I knew full well he’d be pleasantly surprised. And I was right!
But before we even got to the beach, Bailey used his newfound reading skills to spot a subliminal message from Wendy’s to us… it was Mother’s Day and this was my cup:
We made the drive to Oak Island, NC with relative ease, buying boiled peanuts along the way, which is a major tradition in our family and other NC/SC families, as well. If you plan to be moving this way, say, to Fort Bragg or something like that (uh-hem), please be sure to try these out. Gas stations have boiled peanuts, but there’s nothing like a roadside stand (shack) for the best of the best.
We had the pleasure of staying in my grandparents’ beach place, a trailer they’ve had since before I was born. I have many memories there and was happy to be able to share those with my sons. As soon as we arrived I turned on the water, the water heater, and the AC, and then we headed out to Fort Caswell, a site used for various purposes in the Civil War and both World Wars. Because it was Sunday we weren’t able to get out and explore, something about needing to sign in but the offices were closed… The boys got a taste of the place and begged to come back later. (Again, I know my boys well and Bailey’s fear that all the school stuff was going to be boring went out the window.)
These trees on Fort Caswell grow this way due to the wind, I assume.
While out that way we saw the Oak Island Lighthouse. Many things make this lighthouse unique, but there are three specific facts the boys enjoyed. The first is that this lighthouse is not tapered toward the top, but remains the same diameter from top to bottom. The second is that it never requires touch-up painting. The designers of the lighthouse mixed a coloring agent into the cement for the top two colors, so the cement itself is colored. The bottom is plain cement color. The third fact that my boys found interesting is the fact that once the workers started pouring the cement they couldn’t stop until it was finished. They had to work continuously, building the platforms and risers as they poured or there would be major weaknesses in the cement. Really neat stuff.
Once we got back to Grandaddy’s place we lathered up with sunscreen, donned our suits, and headed to the sand. I’ll show more pictures of our beach time in a later post, but here is one of my fantastic back-pack cooler. I bought this for the many family picnics we go on, but hadn’t even considered how helpful it would be for beach trips. I was able to carry our snacks and drinks in the cooler while carrying my chair and a bag with towels and my book over my shoulders. The boys carried their own toys and chairs. I also kept sunscreen and my phone in the outside pockets of the cooler. (Brilliant tip I read somewhere: Keep the iPhone in a ziplock bag… it still works through the bag but there’s no chance of sand or water damaging it.)