For Beach Week 2010 we visited Rehoboth Beach, Delaware during the last week of August. Rehoboth has been part of Chris’ family for three generations. Eileen went there as a child, as did Chris and Sean, and now Dillon, Connor and Everett along with Kathy and Melissa. One part of that tradition has been Funland, which is a (mostly) indoor amusement park on the boardwalk that has scarcely changed since Chris, Sean or Eileen were children. There are still exactly the same rides which cost 30 cents each for toddlers. This week we took Everett there for the first time, and we weren’t exactly sure how he would react to all the noise, light and motion but he seemed to have no reservations at all. In fact, he was kind of a maniac. Chris distinctly remembers refusing to get on the boat ride because he decided it was unsafe:
Everett took off toward the same ride and tried to climb the wall to get into the water. Once the ride started he seemed absolutely exuberant, and as soon as it was over he ran to the fire engine ride next door, then the airplanes, the train and then the carousel. We had to put the figurative brakes on when he wanted to get on an extremely fast car ride that looked like he might be thrown off. Photos and videos are here.

During Beach Week 2009 Dillon was the only boy walking. This year all three are walking and also know how to open doors and climb stairs. This amount of development, combined with a lack of baby gates, meant virtually unlimited freedom for all of them. Bedtimes were loosely enforced; wakeup between the three of them was coordinated through loud cries, similar to a pack of wolves. Fortunately the boys wore themselves out and so at least took decent naps. It was a lot of fun but perhaps not terribly relaxing for the adults. A few memorable events:
-One afternoon Everett was sitting on a towel on the beach eating crackers from Noni when a seagull swooped down and grabbed a cracker right out of his hand. He was stunned.
-Chris realized that the significant challenge for beach photography is keeping people’s derrieres out of the camera lens: the people you are trying to photograph rarely want their own bottom in the picture, and certainly don’t want to see those of strangers on the beach. Various companies now make software for pasting faces from one photo to another. Perhaps there is also a beach bottom remover?
-In order to travel lightly we did not bring the pack and play. Instead we assumed that Everett would just sleep in a bed for the first time. But as it turned out, Chris & Melissa’s room had a giant walk-in closet with a pack and play included, so that became Everett’s special nest. Meanwhile, Connor did sleep in a bed for the first time and shared a room with Dillon, with mixed success. As a result of no containment and the ability to open doors, there was a lot of stomping around upstairs well after bedtime, as well as trips to the top of stairs to wave and say hi to the adults downstairs.
-Everett probably inherited his curly hair more from Melissa than Chris. As it has gotten longer we have hypothesized that the diameter of his curls seem inversely proportional to the humidity. More on this after further investigation.
-One night Chris was getting each of the boys a drink for dinner and he found some grape juice in the refrigerator. He immediately recalled the meals at Camp St. Charles where as children he and Sean would drink bug juice, which was basically grape Kool Aid with lots of dead bugs. So he offered the boys bug juice for dinner, thinking they would be repulsed by the idea, but in retrospect it is not surprising that they went berserk for it. Since then Everett has been picking up juice boxes and asking “Is this bug juice?”
-Hurricane Earl came through on Friday, September 3rd. There was a lot of hype leading up to it, and it certainly caused a big swell in the tides, causing the water to reach the dunes along the boardwalk. But the amount of wind and rain it caused was less than a summer storm.

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