the one where I wonder if a family vacation is actually a vacation

We spent a week away and it took nearly the same amount of time for me to tell you about it.

Last week we packed up and drove over the bridge to The Cape for a week with some friends and their two young kids. Caroline was counting down the days until she and Dan could be together for "SEVEN DAYS!" She told everyone who would listen how excited she was, not for the trip, but for her friend. It was quite sweet. It's hard to not find this one charming.

We spent time at a little house built in 1911 by the great great something or other of the family that still owns it. It is entrenched in a time warp of an association that our friend Courtney has spent her summers at since she was in third grade. A family beach with gentle waves, a lifeguard during high tide, floating docks to jump off, mud flats to explore, crabs to entice with periwinkles and snag in pails on a jetty of rocks, and a theme of kid friendly and safe. It must have been a magical place to spend summers in, see the same kids each year, and now Courtney brings her own family back to share in the loveliness of it all. We were grateful to have the week to bask in the time warpy goodness of it all.

We spent a morning exploring the nearby museum of natural history and the mud flats. Caroline developed an affinity for moon snails and we practiced catch and release of many unhappy crabs.

The Moms spent a day at the Chatham Bars Inn Spa and we reconnected with some old friends and all eight of our collective children. Court, I still don't know how we pulled off that meal?!

As time slipped away, we strolled one morning through Chatham...

ate penny candy on the Library green before noon...

and finished the day with a fishing trip where each kid caught exactly one fish, which was exactly the same, and perfectly fine with me. Someone was a little anxious about the trip and refused to smile for what would have been a sweet photo. Connor was absolutely petrified of the fish, but his sister's favorite part of our entire vacation was holding that just caught lobster in her hands.

The kids had a ball and Steve and I feel like we need a vacation to recover from the week. Four kids in one house was amazing fun and tremendously challenging all in the same breath. There were meltdowns and tears and stomping and time outs galore, but there were moments like this too. These are the moments I know I will hold onto.


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