Rehoboth Beach 2014

We arrived at BWI around 7pm Saturday night, got the rental car and started driving east. Along the way Everett announced “My tooth came out!” This was the first baby tooth that he lost. It has been loose and wiggly for a while, and his adult tooth was coming in right behind it so there wasn’t even too much of a gap.
We arrived in Rehoboth around 10:30pm. Fortunately everyone was still awake. The adults visited for a while while the kids spent some time together and then we got everyone settled down.

Sunday (Father’s Day) was a bit rough, starting with an implausible occurrence: Sean and Kathy were ready for the beach before Chris and Melissa. Later that day there were an implausible number of injuries at our house: both Noni and Everett both fell off the porch; Dillon tripped on the doormat and hit his knee on the door threshold; during a moment of parental inattention, Teddy climbed into the bathtub, landing on his face and cutting the inside of his mouth. While Chris and Melissa were tending to him, Gwen dumped the diaper pail in the bedroom; later she accidentally got whacked in the head with a stethoscope that Aidan was playing with. The only lasting injuries from the day were Noni’s: she twisted her ankle and scraped her arm on the ground. Like we said, rough.

Monday: We got up and went to the beach. Connor got sick a couple times in the morning, so it took a while for Sean and Kathy to join us. We had Thrasher’s for lunch. Later we ate steak and tortellini for dinner. Afterward we went to Kohr’s Custard, which Teddy and Gwen tried for the first time. Not surprisingly they both like it!
Everett got sunburn on his feet and lower legs, most likely due to the fact that Dad didn’t reapply sunscreen early enough. The next couple nights we covered his legs with aloe vera and lidocaine spray and he seemed fine.

Tuesday: Funland is not fun for adults. We went there in the afternoon. Kathy felt sick from going on the Merry-Go-Round backwards. Chris experienced some vestibular problems from the circular car ride that goes forwards then backward. Melissa and Sean experienced similar problems from Paratrooper. All of the parents are feeling old.

Tuesday night: birthday parties for Dillon and Everett, along with cake and gifts from Noni. Both boys got magic sets from Melissa & Doug.
After we got the kids to bed and the boys settled down the adults played a few rounds of Boggle.

Wednesday: We got a lot of help with our sandcastle. Many other children came over to help us dig, and at the end of the day a woman came over and transformed it into a dragon.
Wednesday night was date night for Sean and Kathy. In previous years we would figure out where they were having dinner, track them down and take pictures of them. This year we were too tired to consider the idea.

Thursday: we got to the beach around 9am. High tide was around 1pm, so we had plenty of time to build a sand fort before it arrived. As waves crashed around behind it Connor exclaimed “This is the best day of my life!” That night was date night for Chris and Melissa. They went to Jake’s for happy hour with the babies, then went home and put them to bed, and then went to Fin’s for dinner. We had a dozen oysters between us, first a sampler of six different varieties and then a half dozen Delaware oysters. Then for dinner Chris had Barramundi and Melissa had crab cakes.

Friday: We had some visitors. Eileen Cerne drove down from Massachusetts to spend a couple days with us. Also, Tina and Dennis and Zach made a day trip to see us from Virginia. Zach just graduated from high school – congratulations Zach! He is headed to Texas Christian University this fall. He is much bigger than the last time we saw him, so much so that Chris asked him for a piggyback ride to the beach.

Some observations from the week:
-Many years ago the City of Rehoboth decided to limit the hours that bicycles could be on the boardwalk to between 7 and 10am. This makes sense during high season when there are so many pedestrians, strollers and wheelchairs. This year we were surprised to find that smoking is now prohibited on the beach or the boardwalk, an idea that would have been unfathomable 10 or 15 years ago.
After almost three full days we saw three smokers in the entire town. What a momentous change in the span of one generation.

-For many people, us included, vacation is a time that is synonymous with fun and relaxation. However, the number of children in the beach house has now doubled, and the three older boys are somewhat independent but still require a fair amount of supervision. As a result we would definitely say that our time at the beach has been fun, but hesitate to say it has been relaxing. Back in the old days we would stay up late in the evening, playing games or chatting or watching movies. We often went to dinner as a group. Now we are exhausted by the time the kids go to bed. We struggle to stay awake for a while but soon give up and go to bed so we can start over the next morning. No one has even mentioned the idea of going to a restaurant.

-The babies love the beach! Teddy is like a baby turtle who is following his instincts and trying to make it as quickly as possible to the ocean. He often crawls straight toward the water, and as far as we can tell he will not stop.
Gwen is more circumspect. She doesn’t like to sit in the surf, but she does think the waves are pretty funny as long as she is off the ground, standing or sitting on Dad’s leg. Both of them will sit for extended periods of time in the sand with a buck of water and a shovel.

-The water is about 68 degrees, which feels great on hot days. Later in the summer it does warm up a few degrees, but with the warmer water comes jellyfish.

-Eating: We now have enough experience with children to realize that it’s difficult to ever get into a routine for more than a couple weeks. However, we have managed to get to the beach early each day and have Thrasher’s french fries for lunch. It turns out that Gwen likes them! Not a surprise really, but brings back memories of Everett when we were at the beach with him at almost exactly the same age.

-2014 is the first year we attempted to make a plan before arriving at the beach. It wasn’t much of a plan by Barber standards, but it was pretty elaborate by Butson standards, so perhaps this is a happy medium. The plan included: a grocery list; a meal plan for each night, including a date night for each set of parents. It worked so well we are already talking about improving it for next year.

-On Thursday Chris and Melissa went to the grocery store. At one point a man walked up to Chris and said “So you like bananas, eh? Here’s a trick: peel it from the bottom. That way almost all the strings come off.” Thanks for the tip!

-One morning Chris took the three older boys to the beach, and after spending some time listening to them argue about how they were infringing on each other’s digging area he said “Boys, this beach isn’t big enough for the two of us.” They all looked quizzically at Chris and said “What are you talking about? This beach is big enough for a bazillion people!” Clearly they still do not grasp the concept of irony.

-One morning at the beach Chris caught some dolphins on camera. This is a rare occurrence – Chris has been going to the eastern shore beaches his whole life and this is one of a handful of times he has seen dolphins, much less caught them on camera.
-Both Everett and Dillon lost their first tooth during this trip. Fortunately the Tooth Fairy was closely monitoring the situation.

The complete gallery of photos from the trip is here.


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