This morning I woke to the sounds of rain on the roof, and a tiny girl making happy noises from the pillow next to me. Justin had gone into work early so it was just the two of us snuggled together in the quietness of the morning.
Hard to believe it was only a week ago that I was rising early to get us packed and ready for our annual Pajaro Dunes getaway. It’s even harder for me to believe that this is the 8th year we have made the same trek to be with family and cousins at the beach. My in-laws started the tradition when my oldest was the same age as my youngest is now. Each year, Dad and Mom W. rent a house by the beach for 4 days and three nights. All the aunts, uncles and cousins converge under one roof, and for days we do nothing but eat, play, and run on the beach. It’s always loud and crazy but so much fun!
This was Miss P’s first trip
I think one of the things the kiddos love best is waking up to their cousins every morning. The way they play and pile all over each other reminds me of a litter of puppies. Watching them all eat also reminds me of a litter of puppies
The littlest girls doing their best to mimic the big kids.
The weather was glorious! Every morning after breakfast we would drag all of our stuff down to the beach and camp out until lunch.
She loved the sand! She grinned and squished her pudgy little hands and feet into the wet sand.
She also stuffed a few handfuls in her mouth. She seemed to like the taste as well.
One side of the beach is lined with beautiful houses and long wooded staircases leading to the beach.
The children never seem to tire of the sand and waves, it is the perfect playground!
This is most of the crew, the three youngest stayed close to the blankets and sand toys.
Every year J gets more and more comfortable on the boogie board
This is how G prefers to ride the boogie board
The beach stretches on and on. Perfect for long walks and sand dollar hunting.
Grandma and Grandpa always have 1, and sometimes 9 grandkids in tow.
In the evening when the sun dips into the ocean, the beach house comes alive with dinner preparations and getting sandy children cleaned up and in their pjs.
The afternoons at the beach are usually very windy. The babies nap as the big kids play upstairs. Sometimes they all head down to the tennis courts with the men, while we ladies enjoy a bit of shopping in Santa Cruz!
Saturday, in the wee hours of the morning Justin and I woke to the one thing parents dread waking up to… “Mom. Dad. I threw up.” Yes, J came down with the stomach flu. We confined him in our little room, trying to keep him away from the other kids. He was so disappointed to be missing out on the fun! By Sunday he was feeling good enough to join the rest of the family upstairs.
Sunday morning we woke up to rain. The kids gathered in the little sun room to eat their breakfast. Normally we would try to squeeze in one last trip down to the beach, but this time we packed up right after breakfast.
We gathered in the living room for one last devotional.
We loaded the van with dirty clothes, sandy toys, and very tired children. We took with us happy memories and we look forward to making many more!