cape hatteras: part 2

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Our family always stays on the island of Cape Hatteras every summer.  It is a tradition that started in the Shiffler family well before I came along and had ever heard of the name Bobby Shiffler.  It is a quiet, quant island of the Outer Banks.  Because it is a true cape, there have been shipwrecks there for hundreds of years.  And so speaking of famous shipwrecked pirates is quite the fascinating conversation every year.  Especially for our Johanna.

This year at the beach, we had an unbelievable amount of rain.  We ended up exploring new places since we were swimming less.  Like the cute little Aquarium on Roanoke Island (you saw photos from there yesterday), the free Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum right at the cape, explored a true (and absolutely incredible) Christmas Shop for the first time, followed Bobby in and out of the Kitty Hawk Kite Shop until he found the perfect kite combination to fly at the beach, and, of course, on one rainless afternoon, took the kids to Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

Every year is different in terms of who is pregnant and not climbing, or who has a newborn and not climbing, or who, frankly, isn't 42 inches tall.  Yes, it is the magical height to climb the 300 some stairs to the top.  After a disappointed year last summer for our Johanna, this was her year.

With ticket in hand and a huge grin on her face, she and Caroline and Daddy headed up.

Can you see that tall guy dead center in the blue with two little shorties next to him??  Apparently Johanna led the group, taking the least amount of stops to the top and once at the top, ready to head back down.

Another traditional outing at the beach is Uncle Eddy's.

Homemade custard, a talking parrot, and patio seating outdoors next to the mini golf.  Everyone's favorite outing.

One of my favorite parts of going to the beach with family is the down time at the cottage.  Kids coloring at the table, huddled around someone's iPhone watching some kid's show, cousins playing with cousins until the very last moment they are awake, and best of all, adult time at night after all the children are asleep.  Laughter, games played, ice cream and Oreos eaten, and on and on the night goes, every night.  And then, Saturday inevidenably comes, goodbyes are said, bags are packed, and attempts to leave before the sun is up are made.  And many promises and dreams are made until the next summer... These are special memories indeed.

What about you?  Do you have trips you take annually?  What are your favorite parts?

the sleepy time gal