Keira digging around in the sand. She wasn't super fond of wearing her crocs in the sand, and we were fortunate to be able to switch her into some water shoes my mom brought down for her.
The house that my parents rented was great. I wish I had taken a picture of the outside. It was a huge 4 bedroom home, that was just across the street from the beach, and it had its own community pool. Keira really enjoys jumping into the pool. We retreated here after she had enough of the ocean for this day.
Although we were enjoying a relaxing vacation to the beach, it was still a fairly busy trip for us. We were invited to the rehearsal dinner of the wedding of Jason and Crystal. My mom was also very busy assisting Victoria, Jason's mother, with the wedding cake preparations. My brother, David and sister, Sarah also came down for the trip. Here they are with Keira at the rehearsal dinner.
Cute photo of us at the rehearsal dinner. See how Keira is strategically placed to hide my stomach!
Our final full day of vacation was very full. We drove to Wilmington, NC, which is a really cool town with great restaurants and shopping. It is very different from the crazy commercialization of Myrtle Beach, which we avoided entirely. We enjoyed walking on the boardwalk along the river and came across a great restaurant called Elijah's where we had lunch. My dad ordered a soft shell crab sandwich, and it was pretty crazy looking. He enjoyed it very much. Keira also enjoyed feeding herself linguine. This was a bad place to run out of baby wipes! Fortunately, the bathroom sink worked just fine to clean her up.
Sarah was also very excited to be in Wilmington, because it is where Dawson's Creek was filmed, and where one of her favorite shows, One Tree Hill, is currently filmed, and they happened to be filming while we were there. Sarah skipped out on lunch to hang around the set to get a glimpse of the shows stars. She didn't take any photos, which is probably why she was allowed as close as she was. My mom also did not go to Wilmington, because she was working on the wedding cake, which turned out beautifully, after a few issues were resolved.
We got back from Wilmington just in time to spend a little bit of time at the beach. We were able to keep Keira in the water for quite some time. We thought she looked like Pebbles in this suit.
After the beach, we hurried to get cleaned up and go back to the beach, but for Jason and Crystal's wedding. It was right on the beach outside one of the hotels. It got overcast, but it wasn't too hot. The really strange thing was that there were a ton of onlookers that set up their umbrellas and such right by the wedding site. It was a public beach, so there was little that could be done when they were politely asked to move and declined. They were quiet during the ceremony, so it really didn't hurt, but was just strange. Hopefully the wedding photographer was able to get some shots without random people in the background.
Jason and Crystal, just married! We went inside the hotel for the reception. Well, actually, Keira wanted to stay outside, so we didn't see much of the reception other than the first dance, which was done immediately, prior to dinner. Keira really enjoyed that part. She also enjoyed my mom putting a lemon in her mouth, trying to keep her occupied while we waited for dinner. I wish I had more pictures of my mom from this trip so that I didn't have to post such a silly one. She was so busy with wedding prep or taking pictures with her camera.
Sarah and David. Sarah is wearing a vintage dress that my mom wore in Hawaii years ago. I think I was 5 at the time they went on that trip.
Keira, outside the reception, watching the birds fly overhead. She loves birds, and the pelicans are amazing to see. It is crazy when they dive into the water to catch a fish. I love Keira's face in this photo.
Keira and Ryan watching the ocean during the reception. I really love this picture. It is probably a favorite from the trip. She was just so still and fixed on the waves. Shortly after, the wedding photographer snapped some photos of her, and she was off to running around again.
We didn't have time for much before we had to fly out on our last day. We had time to pack, and my dad took Keira for a bike ride on the back of his bike. My mom went for a few laps with them. They had brought several bikes with them, hoping we could all go together, but we just ran out of time. I was glad that we were able to use the bike seat, since it was purchased specifically for the trip, and we had packed Keira's helmet. It was a great trip. We had a wonderful time. It was interesting when we traveled, with all the new baggage restrictions, we actually had no problems with managing our luggage. Even with purchasing a ticket for Keira, we only checked 2 bags on our way down, and 3 on our way back (mostly just because we could do 3), and did not have too many carry-ons. I guess it was because we were not trying to cram skiing, rock climbing, and camping into a vacation that requires tons and tons of extra gear, and the wedding was casual enough that we did not need all of the dress clothes that we usually need when we attend church while vacationing. Short sleeves and bathing suits are a lot smaller than winter clothes, too. It was funny to think that this was probably how most normal people travel, not bringing huge backpacks and boxes on the plane, and trying to squeeze as much as possible into every space and weight allowance. Ironically, our rental car was upgraded for free to a Ford Explorer, which was actually much roomier than we needed for this trip, since my parents had theirs as well. Why can't that happen when we are skiing or climbing/camping?