Atlantic Beach trip

South-facing sunset (courtesy of L1mey)

South-facing sunset (courtesy of L1mey)

My immediate family got together at the Peppertree Resort over Easter weekend. Pictures are worth a thousand words, so hopefully Nick will have the photos posted soon [UPDATE: All posted!]. Itinerary: Drive eight hours to Charlotte on Thursday and spend the night at bro’s house. The five of us drive five hours to Atlantic Beach, arriving at almost exactly the same time as Mom and Dad after their drive from Philly. Spend two days at the beach and head out Sunday afternoon. As a bonus, one of my best friends, Evan, happens to be in the Charlotte area, so we get to see him Sunday night and I take him to the airport Monday morning on my way back to Nashville.

November was the last time the seven of us had seen each other, so I was especially surprised at how much Ava talks now. She’s at the babbling stage now. She remembers most people’s names, although she likes to call me Tony since Nick and Denise’s friend is around a lot and I kind of look like him. Otherwise, it’s fun to try and interpret her gibberish sentences; even her mom can’t figure it out half of the time.

Mom and Dad got their Cape May renovation approved, so we were all excited to look at the plans for their planned retirement home. It’s currently an “awful” place, according to the architect, but Mom and Dad have managed fine spending almost every weekend there for the past two summers.

Walking to the beach

Walking to the beach

The time share we stayed in was typical – no complaints. It did have an interesting steam shower. We spent as much time as we could at the beach on Saturday. The wind was chilly, but it was clear and in the low-70s. None of us dared submerge in the water although we all got our feet a little wet. The most interesting thing we noticed was the chunks of dark gray clay all over the place. Anyone know what that stuff’s all about? I’ve seen bits of clay on the beach here and there in the past, but never this much. This was our first visit to the Crystal Coast, so we researched it a little but couldn’t figure out the cause. It may have been oil for all we knew, but I decided to risk toxic exposure to the substance by sculpting an Eiffel Tower. Ava stayed amused for hours with just two little shovels in her hands, Dad took a long nap in the sun, Nick flew his sport kite, and we buried Reese while shaping the sand around her lower half into a mermaid.

The back roads provide safe biking routes; Mom and I discovered a little nature sanctuary while were were out riding on Saturday evening. It included a little tree-canopied path and view of the bay.

On Sunday, Ava and Reese hunted for Easter eggs in the condo. We played some doubles tennis on the resort courts and then had a fabulous pancake brunch to rival Saturday’s scrambled eggs that Dad had prepared. The Salter Crab Shack was recommended to us Saturday night, but the wait was too long. We went next door to the Frost Seafood House instead and had the whole non-smoking room to ourselves. Other than our waitress forgetting a couple things (more than once), we didn’t have any complaints. Like the resort, though, it wasn’t really anything to write home about – wait, does blogging count?

All in all a good trip, as is usual with our family get-togethers. Mom and Dad are staying an extra couple days. They said that Fort Macon was worth checking out.