The best of times and the worst of times….

Family vacations. You got to love them. They truly are the best of times and the worst of times. My husband and I went on a family vacation last week with my sister and her family. We rented a beach house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, just like we did last year. We had such a great vacation experience last time, we spent the entire year looking forward to going back. To make our vacation even more special, my sister and her fiance were going to get married on the beach in a small, private ceremony.

The first three days were great, even though it rained. Not the cleansing, refreshing kind of rain, but torrential, unrelenting sheets of rain. That was okay, because we were together, enjoying each others’ company. When we weren’t getting on each others’ nerves, that is. Eventually we got plenty of quality time on the beach in the pouring rain. After all, the whole point of going to a beach is to get wet, and we managed to do that quite well.

The rain finally stopped and the sun came out on the day of the wedding. The wedding that my husband and I nearly missed because we had to take their dog to the vet two hours before the ceremony. The closest vet was 45 minutes away, without traffic. Bless the vet and his wonderful staff; they knew we were on a tight schedule and they had us in and out in less than 30 minutes. That gave us plenty of time to wipe the dog drool off of us and shake off the dog hair before the ceremony.

We cooked a lot of our meals and ate in, which worked out great. Except for the end of the week, when we decided to make the chicken we had bought on the first day. Apparently, the chicken was less than fresh, and the menfolk drove the 45 minutes down the road (in the opposite direction of the vet’s office), to avoid the risk of salmonella poisoning. Dinner was saved! All we had to do was put it in the crock pot on low heat for a nice, home cooked meal after a day on the beach. Too bad we forgot to plug it in. Ah, well.

On the last day we went paddle boarding. It was a lot of hard work, but it sure was fun, and even very peaceful. As a matter of fact, it was so peaceful that we didn’t notice that we were slowly being swept out to sea. It took over 3 long hours to swim it in, dragging the boards behind us. I discovered I was in much better shape than I thought.                                                                                          

All things considered, we had a wonderful time. It was a fantastic family vacation, and full of the stuff that legends are made of. When we said our good byes and headed our separate ways, it was with some trepidation that my sister asked if we were up for joining them for vacation next year. I looked at her in amazement. I answered “Are you kidding? And miss out on all of this? No way!” I’m already looking forward to next year, and another great family vacation!