Eric's friend Matt invited us to stay with him and his family in his dad's condo on Chincoteague Island for the July 4th weekend. I was eager to test Hannah's traveling waters, and who doesn't love a free place to stay at a beautiful beach with great company?? We left during Hannah's morning nap on Friday and stopped in a little town called Denton when she woke up to eat lunch and stretch our legs. We finished our trip during her afternoon nap, and surprisingly, the overall car ride there wasn't bad. Minor fussing, but no crazy screaming. The first night was exhausting, as I knew it would be. I managed to nurse her to sleep and she stayed that way until 2:30. The rest of the night was a blur. She was up and down and in and out of our bed and screaming and I, getting desperate, nursed her even though she hasn't nursed in the middle of the night in almost 6 months. I don't remember much, just that I nursed her when she screamed and fell in and out of sleep and tried, unsuccessfully, a couple of times to move her sleeping self back to her pack and play. I was bleary-eyed, sleep deprived, and cranky the next day, something I'm not used to feeling anymore. Fortunately, she napped. I sat by the pack and play thingy for about 30 minutes each time while she screamed until she passed out, and then I usually crawled into bed.
After her morning nap on Saturday we suited up and headed over the bridge to Assateague. The parking lot was full so there was a loooong line to get to the beach--it was one car in, one car out--but we were on the beach within about a half an hour so it wasn't too bad.
(I found a wide-brimmed hat at the baby store in our neighborhood. It's not terribly cute, but it's SPF 50 and really wide so it covers a lot of territory. She hates it though and manages to rip it off even when I double knot it.)
I love the picture below; it makes me laugh. Watching her crawl into that little wagon that Eric filled with water was hysterical.
After filling it with water, Eric dumped in a bunch of seashells which Hannah had fun digging for.
Sarah came over to play. Hannah LOVED playing with Matt's kids. Sarah is 4 and the only girl.
Here's Hannah playing with Jack, the oldest of Matt's three kids.
And the middle kid, Phillip, is on the right.
Braving the waves!
The next morning Eric got up to do some push-ups, and Hannah crawled up onto his back (with a little help) and added some weight to his workout.
After her morning nap on Sunday we walked to the bike rental place and found some ponies on the way.
Hannah rode in a baby seat on the back of Eric's bike; it was her first bike ride!! She wasn't too thrilled with it at first, but I'm pretty sure it was just because she was restrained, the same reason she gets annoyed with the car seat. She passed out pretty quickly though. We rode through the gates onto Assateague and explored some of the trails there. I tried to take pictures while riding my bike....That didn't work out too well, as you'll see below...
I tried to get a pic of her passed out...
After biking, Hannah took a good nap, and then we went back to the beach. It was after 4:00 by this time and MUCH less crowded and therefore WAY more enjoyable. Here's Hannah and Eric practicing waving.
We all built a gigantic sandcastle. Hannah helped by pulling sand off the pile of sand that Eric made.
Abby, Matt's wife, taught Hannah how to use the shovel to put sand in the bucket. I didn't grab my camera fast enough to capture that (I had to run down to the water to rinse the sand off my hands every time I wanted to get out the camera so I missed a lot).
When she got tired of playing in the sand, Hannah flopped over and laid down, then sat up and flopped over again, and again, and again. It was probably as close as she'll ever come to sleeping on the beach (at least until she's older and she learns that she can go ahead and nap and she probably won't miss anything).
Our sandcastle is in the foreground. (These pics are pretty bleached out beyond my editing repair...sorry.)
While Eric and I packed up our beach blanket and sand toys, Hannah played peek-a-boo with Abby and Sarah by popping out from behind the chair repeatedly with a cute smile on her face.
On the third and final night there, Hannah slept straight through until 5:15 which makes me think that she was finally starting to settle in to sleeping in a new place. (The second night was rougher than the first because she woke up at 11:00 when fire works went off and then again at 3:30 and then a few more times before morning--again, it was all a blur.) So at least I wasn't a total zombie cranky pants on the way home....I wish I could say the same about the rest of the days, but I can't. Some people can function without a lot of sleep, but I am not one of those people. I get cranky and mean and whiney, kind of like a baby....Yeah, definitely like a baby.
All in all, we had a lot of fun, and I'm glad we went. Watching Hannah interact with the Sarah, Phillip, and Jack and get used to the waves (which scared her to tears at first) and inspect seashells and eat sand and ride a bike for the first time and see a pony, all of those things were really awesome and made the the total zombie cranky pants thing worthwhile.