Beach Week ‘14–Jockey’s Ridge

September 21st, 2014

In the past, when we’ve gone to the beach I have made a full week of menus about a month before, and then figured up how many pounds of cheese, hamburger, potatoes, rice, pasta, etc. we needed to make all the food for a week.  Each of the main cooks would sign up what they were bringing, and then once we got there we posted the menu plan on the refrigerator and just cranked through the meals.

This time, I just never found the time sit down and figure out menus.  At some point Andrew’s mom e-mailed me what she was bringing–some chicken and fish, and lost of ancillary stuff, and I decided we’d bring some spaghetti sauce and steak, and Andrew decided we’d bring even more fish.  I figured that was quite a few meal backbones, and we’d have cereal for breakfasts and sandwiches for our lunches.  As we were packing, I threw in plenty of ancillary items such as rice, vegetables, frozen pizzas, hot dogs, hamburger, snacks, and so on.  Oh, and I did manage to make some pies and freeze them (unbaked) ahead of time, and some cupcakes.  Somehow it seemed like we couldn’t go to the beach without pies (my favorite) and cupcakes (my kids’ favorite).  And you know what?  Even without extensive meal planning, we had tons of food, and even brought some back home.

On Tuesday evening we had our biggest and most complicated meal, the fish.  I was so out of the kitchen gear if it had been up to me, we would have had all the regular fish fixed one way (either baked or fried) and all the shrimp steamed.  Andrew was quick to volunteer to do the whole meal, and I just took a vacation!  :)


Andrew’s mom stepped right in and helped out, and together they turned out a fabulous fish supper.  Andrew made breaded, fried catfish, and Andrew’s mom made baked tilapia (I think that’s what kind it was) that she seasoned with all kinds of fresh herbs from her growing supply back home.  Then we had a generous amount of fried shrimp and steamed shrimp.  On top of all that, Andrew used the Bisquick I brought to make some biscuits that were supposed to be like Red Lobster’s biscuits (I wouldn’t know, since I don’t think I’ve ever had Red Lobster biscuits).  They were really good.


Here is a plate of the fruit of their labors.  (I did pitch in and work the frying pan for a while when Andrew was making the biscuits.  So I wasn’t a total moocher.)  We also had broccoli, and then freshly-baked pie for dessert.


Not only was this meal supremely delicious, there were plenty of leftovers and we had all this delicious food again the next day!  Does it get any better than that?

We have gone to Jockey’s Ridge every time we’ve gone to the beach, and this time was no exception.  It must have been a wetter season this year, because for the first time there was a big puddle of water at the bottom of the dunes.


All the kids wanted to walk through it.



Andrew helped the kids pick out a kite before our vacation so they could fly it on Jockey’s Ridge.  No one was disappointed!




I think all the kids (except Rachel) took turns flying the kite.  It did take a dive once in a while, but it wasn’t hard to get it back in the air with the stout breeze blowing.












The sand is endless on those dunes.  It is a dream-come-true sandbox.





Not only did we enjoy the kite-flying, playing in the sand, and wading in the water, but we also got to see people hang-gliding from the dunes.  I assume they were learning since there is a hang-gliding school there.

That’s the end of our Jockey’s Ridge trip.  More ocean pictures in the next post.

Beach Week ‘14

September 19th, 2014

For the first time, we broke our tradition of going on a beach vacation every other year, and we went to the beach again this year (even though we had gone last summer).


It was a wonderful, low-key, relaxing time.


Andrew’s parents joined us for the week.  His dad does a serious work-out routine that would put a Marine to shame (well, almost), and he was ready to show off his success for the camera.  Andrew was doing quite the opposite and trying to look as shrimpy as possible for this picture.


Now Andrew is working up a macho pose.


Here all three guys are at least supposed to be showing great muscles.


Andrew found this great big beach umbrella to shade us from the sun while we were there.  It turned out to be a cloudy week a lot of the time, but this was great for both the sun and the wind.



Andrew’s mom got in the water more than any year I remember.


The first several days we were there, the ocean was rougher than normal.  Paul was thrilled and he just let the waves wash him up on the shore over and over again.  The rest of us tried it and got our skin scraped and scratched on the sand, and decided we weren’t that tough.  Either Paul has rhino hide, or else he was light enough to just float like foam and not get scratched.


Gail, Bobby, and Sam joined us for about 3 good days (longer if you count the arriving and leaving days).  It was Bobby & Sam’s first time to see the ocean, and it was a delight to have them along.

Sam looks like he needs a few good
lunches–just look at those ribs!



Again, you can tell Paul is loving the powerful waves.  That’s where he spent pretty much all his time on the beach.  The one or two days it was calmer, he complained mildly about it and said he liked the rough waves.




There aren’t many pictures with me in them since I was usually behind the camera when it was in use, but I did find this one.

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Buckets are a must at the beach!






All of my kids loved playing with Aunt Gail.  Marie thought she had to do everything with Aunt Gail.


Sam & Bobby


Gail & Sam


We spent each morning out on the beach and in the water, and after lunch we just lounged around, and some people would eventually take naps.



Rachel Anne’s hair just curled right up in the humidity of the ocean air.  She was incredibly cute and I just had to take pictures of her when I saw this one day as I went to wake her up from her nap.




During the afternoon quiet times, the kids did a lot of reading.  I think I took a nap every afternoon.



We had a wonderful beach vacation.  I think I slept more that week than I have in a single week for, well, I don’t know how long.  Every single time I felt like closing my eyelids, I just crawled onto our bed and took a nap, be it morning, afternoon, night, or whenever.  The only downside to sleeping so much was I felt like I didn’t get out and enjoy the beach quite as much.  But let me tell you, feeling well-rested helped me to put a higher value on sleeping more.  Hence, it is now a week later when I am posting on my blog–because I have been sleeping more since we’ve gotten home.