August Was A Vacation Blockbuster Month

 Just back from a family reunion in Virginia Beach. My father and his brothers... my uncles, aunts, cousins, their partners and spouses. Sixteen of us spread out in a big house that was built upon dunes that were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

As the only parents among the cousins, I realized the following:
  1. I'm not a kid anymore. 
  2. I'm a parent.
  3. Though I didn't regret missing out on the jam band that the younger set ventured into downtown Virginia Beach to see, I did miss out on the bonding experience... which may have been my husband and I bonding over our dislike of jam bands as we prowled outside the bar for harder edged sounds. Instead, our son was a clingy, clingy baby who was thrown off by nearly everything - growth spurt. No way could I ask Oma to attempt bedtime.

 Our son emerged from his growth spurt as he always does, with hiccoughs, usually several bouts over 24 hours. The Hiccoughs make us pause and say, "Oh, that was a growth spurt, not Mr. Hyde." Growth spurts turn us into the Hyde Family.

He also came out of it with an ability to imitate sounds. He's not a talker, just a few words occasionally.  On the ride home, he repeated "Wow" after me. He also imitated the Uhhs and Ahhs and Ows of a reggae singer. At home, he's repeated "No" after me twice. Uh oh.

Twice I found him awake in the morning, playing with toys. He hadn't come to find me, as he usually does at home. This was a mental growth spurt primarily, but alas, he's out grown all shoes but his Crocs.

 Great Dismal Swamp Palamedes Swallowtail fallout. Many of my family are interested in the outdoors, from different angles.

I have always enjoyed the Family Reunions, except that one in Virginia when it rained all weekend and my cousin Leigh made my brother cry by kicking him in the crotch and then I made my cousin Eric cry by kicking him in the crotch. If memory serves, it wasn't really malicious. We were really cooped up. 

My Mom, also called Aunt Bunny, stormed down the steps to the finished basement which was our pro wrestling arena and shouted, "OK, EVERYBODY SEPARATE. EVERYBODY IN SEPARATE CORNERS." Not corners of the squared circle (pro wrestling lingo), but good old fashioned punishment separate corners. The younger cousins were not subject to punishment, to my dismay. They continued to play as we sullenly sat. It was good for us anyway. No more fights for the rest of the weekend.

Which way's the beach?

First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach

Check it out. A nice hike, no bug bites, nice and knowledgeable staff, well kept trails along some beautiful habitat. Sorry we found it only on our last day.