We just got back this afternoon from a little vacation! Bob had a TDY down at Pax River, and there is a little Naval rec center across a bridge from there called Solomons Island. It's where the Patuxant River and the Chesapeake Bay come together. It used to be an actual base, but now it's all just a recreation area, with a little beach, pool, mini-golf course, and several playgrounds. There are also a bunch of different lodging options.
So we all went with Bob after church on Sunday, and we stayed for 3 nights in a "bungalow", which is a fancy name for the former base housing, LOL. It was a 3 bedroom house, with a kitchen, eating area, living area, and bathroom. It was nice, but definitely a base house. I spent some time while trying to fall asleep thinking about how I would manage if I had to live in such a small house with all the kids, how I could efficiently use the very limited amount of storage, etc. I always woke up so glad I don't have to do it, LOL! But for a 3 night vacation it was just perfect--enough rooms that Micah and Faith could both take naps, and all the kids could go to bed, while Bob and I could stay up later! We watched "House Hunters" several times, which we used to do fairly regularly but haven't done in at least a year. I was also able to do a lot of typing, entering in all the memory work stuff for next year, and I did some Latin as well. I also started a Bill Bryson book called At Home, which has been fun and interesting so far. It was so nice to not be at my own (cluttered and messy) house--very relaxing!
Bob's meetings didn't start until Tuesday morning, so we spent Monday at the beach. We got to the beach at 9:30, where all these signs said swimming was prohibited unless a lifeguard was present. So we set up and waited. The kids dug in the sand for awhile, then stuck their toes in, then laid in the water . . . and still we waited. It was boiling hot and humid, and we about gave up hope that a lifeguard was ever going to show up. But eventually, at 11:00, 2 came zipping up in a little vehicle. We were all very glad to be able to swim without feeling guilty. The beach was small, but it wasn't crowded at all. It was very man-made, with big piles of rocks on either end making it crescent-shaped. There were small waves, which were perfect for the girls. They had such a good time in the water! Also, it wasn't as salty as ocean water. Although I reapplied sunscreen to the kids several times, I wasn't as faithful with Bob, and he got a sunburn on his back. We were there until 3:00ish, which was plenty long for us all! We all went back, showered, and then Bob took the kids to play mini golf, which about gave everyone heatstroke.
Tuesday Bob had to work, so he drove the van in, then came back at lunchtime. We then dropped him back off at the base and continued on the a naval aviation museum right outside the gates. It was free, and it was small, both of which were good things with all the little kids, LOL. I thought it was quite interesting, and hey--it was air-conditioned! I had considered taking the kids to a playground, but I decided I just couldn't handle being out in the heat! We went back to pick Bob up, then went swimming. They have a really nice pool complex, with a few pools, water slides, and diving boards. To be able to go on the diving boards and water slides, you have to swim the length of the pool and get a blue wristband. All 4 boys did this, so I was really proud, especially of Caleb and Jonathan! One of the pools was 2 feet deep for a lot of it, and I think it only went to 4 feet at the deepest part. It was perfect for the girls, although Faith did spend some time in the baby pool in the beginning, while I was nursing Micah and Bob was watching the boys swim across the big pool. She did fine in the 2-ft pool, but I wasn't confident enough in her for her to be in there while I was nursing!
After the pool, we went to Ci-Ci's Pizza for dinner. It happened to be a "kids eat free" night, so with our 4 adult buffets, we got 4 kids in free, so we only had to pay for Faith! Woo-hoo!
This morning I took Bob in to work and then rushed back to get ready to leave. We had to be out at 11:00 (and I dropped Bob off before 8:00), so you would think there would be plenty of time! But let me tell you, it was like getting checked out of military housing--I was afriad someone was going to come with a while glove and inspect! There was a long list of cleaning requirements posted on the fridge, and the threat was if you didn't do these things (and do them well, I presume), you would incur a cleaning fee of $50/hour! Yow! So we were stripping beds, wiping counters, sweeping and vacuuming (and picking small rocks out of the carpet by hand because the vacuum provided was really crappy, LOL), and trying to get all our stuff out to the car--in between nursing and trying to keep the girls helping in useful ways, not unhelpful ways, if you know what I mean. I was a ball of sweaty stress by the time we actually handed in the keys (at about 10:59)!
Bob actually didn't come back with us. He finished up meetings there this afternoon, and then he drove with his boss to Reagan National and caught a plane to OH for another TDY. Busy week for him! The kids and I came back here and got ready to take Nathan and Luke to their first football practices. This was a bit of a sore spot, since they actually missed the real first 2 days of practice with this little beach jaunt. And it was stressful, trying to find where the teams were supposed to meet, not having the right equipment with them, etc. Hopefully they will both settle in well and have good seasons. Tomorrow we have another Rivendell meeting here at our house, in between dropping the boys off at practice and picking them up. Then Friday night I'm co-hosting a baby shower for Siri at Christine's house--I'm making chocolate-covered strawberries! There are only going to be about 10 ladies there. Luke thought I should make hundreds, just to be on the safe side, LOL. I'm also in charge of games, so I need to get organized! I have pictures of the trip that I will try to post, if not on here, then on Facebook, but I'm not sure when that will happen!