Holden Beach (aka Beach #1)

It feels like we’re always on the road, but we’re never really on vacation.  Our destinations have usually been to visit friends and family who live hundreds of miles away.  This summer, we took a nice long vacation and explored our neighboring state to the south.  What was special about this trip was that we were able to spend our vacation with the friends and family we are always visiting.

Family Portrait at Holden Beach

Week # 1 — I  thoroughly enjoyed Southern NC. I was worried about bringing my family to the “South,” but everyone has been so loving and welcoming. For the first time, we were told that we were a beautiful family. Usually the compliments are about our daughter and not us as a whole unit, so we felt especially welcomed.

Wren took to the beach so quickly. Some days nature provided us with a tidal pool she could float in. Other days, she would brave the waves. She loved watching what we were doing and would perfectly mimic our actions. We’d be digging in the sand looking for shells, disregarding the broken ones. Then she who was quietly by my side would place a perfect shell in our collection as well.

The beach house was shared with several families, including one who had twins a couple of years older than Wren. She befriended them quickly and wanted to sit at the bar, too. Or play with their toys. Or play ring around the rosies.

Another family had a five month old, and Wren loved caring for him. She’d bring him his pacifier or his bib if he fussed at all. She would play games with him and gave him tons of hugs and kisses. If someone doted on him, she would smile broadly not being jealous in the least. I think she is going to be an awesome big sister.

Wren’s vocabulary has increased. Burger and bacon are now familiar to her. (It’s hard to eat healthily away from home…) She babbles a lot more. Often times a word or two are recognizable, such as going and doing. She has enjoyed playing social games such as hide and go seek (which is more like chase). She shut the door on Okey and said, “Daddy go out!” I think this is her first original sentence and need to put it in her baby book.

When playing at the beach I’ll ask her what she wants. She pointed at the ocean and loudly said “Go go go.”

She also has initiated asking for help, although it starts as a grunt usually. She couldn’t get off of a bench at the dock and said, “Up.” What she meant was down, but this type of request was new so I’ll give her credit. She’ll say “pwee” for please when prompted. She also says “dankoo.”

Before we left home I was worried that her speech slowed down, but I’m not worried anymore.

After seven nights in Holden Beach, we worked our way up the coast.  We had a lot of fun not using the GPS or maps on our phones.  Instead we relied on the compass in our car.  We ended up making a few wrong turns that dead-ended into the ocean, but we were able to explore some pretty neat spots we otherwise wouldn’t have found or known about.

We drove through the Croatan National Forest which boasts of wild alligators and venus fly traps.  Alas, we didn’t spot any.

We later drove through the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, and again were disappointed by our good luck in avoiding all of the predators (alligators, wolves and bears — oh my!).

Well, that’s it for now.  Check back later about our week in Northern NC and perhaps a review of North Carolina’s coastal craft breweries!


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