The Real Life Friends & Family Plan

Friends and Family.  It's so nice when these two elements of your life can combine so beautifully, and create an experience that no phone company calling plan can compete with.  We invited our friends, Vegas and Malibu, and my Punkin invited her best friend, Bunny, to join our circus for a day out of town.

anybody got to go?
Although the day got off to a late start, we managed to make the drive to Wilmington interesting.  Hubsy and I led the way, while Vegas and Malibu played surrogate parents, and transported all of the kids!  Of course, Hubsy played his typical game of Musical Lanes, and passed the exit for the rest area, which Malibu had requested.  But that's okay, a few miles down the road, we managed to find him some "alternate facilities".

Our arrival at our first destination, my Aunt CC's house, erupted in a slurry of family photos.  My cousin, whom I hadn't seen in years, and her young boys had been visiting for a few days.  So our grandfather, who lives with our aunt, had the opportunity to have his picture taken with two of his grandchildren, and four of his greats.  When the flashes faded away, we scurried to load up some folding chairs and an umbrella, so that we could get on our way to Wrightsville Beach.

sirens of the sea
As many times as Vegas has walked on the beach, this was the first time in 20 years that she immersed herself in an ocean.  Like the girl with the itty bitty bikini, once she went into the water, she never came out.  Not because of her suit, but because she was fearless.  While the tide was out, a swimmer could make it past the breakers and through the swells, to reach a sandbar, where once again the water came just to thigh level, and one could play in an entirely new set of breakers.  Vegas, not caring about the very real possibility that could very well be "aquatic predators" at this depth, and in the area, swam back and forth between the shore and the sandbar many times over.  In fact, she was hoping that an encounter with an animal might give her a free pass from work on Monday.  The fear of sharks was a very real factor for me.  Usually, despite my apprehension, I do follow Hubsy out into the deep, but these conditions were different.  The sky was overcast, and the water was dark.  A distant storm miles off the coast, whose clouds were visible from the shore, was creating a steady stream of deep rolling swells, and high cresting waves.  Twice I made it halfway to the sandbar, but, let's just say... in honor of The Discovery Channel's Shark Week... I turned back.  The teens occasionally followed Vegas in her attempt to invade Great Britain by sea, while Princess stayed behind and played in the shallows with me.

Once in a while, you could find Hubsy, Malibu, and I taking a smoke break in the beach chairs by the blanket.  We chatted up a storm, and sipped from a few of the beer cans hidden in the bottom of the cooler amongst the colas.  (Sshhh, don't tell).  It turned out to be a rather nice day, considering that the predictors of weather anticipated a series of thunderstorms.  It was bright and sunny when we arrived, and gradually became more and more overcast.  A long slender ribbon of dark clouds took all afternoon to pass over, but waited until it they were off shore to gather and release their rain.  We never saw a drop, although the wind did pick up, and kick sand across the blanket ... oh and let's not forget (as Hubsy's won't let me), also blew the umbrella away.

Hubsy looking all serious
Malibu looking all Malibu

Dinner on the patio was practically waiting for us when we arrived back at Aunt's CC's.  Of course, Hubsy and I were late, after getting lost in the five miles between her house and the beach, and after changing into dry clothes, I was the last to the table, but the chicken and spinach enchiladas were still steaming hot.  The strawberry cake that followed was warm, and the vanilla ice cream that surrounded it was cold.

It was still daylight when we left, but just barely.  We still had a geocache to conquer before we hit the highway, and needed to try to get Bunny back at a decent hour.  By the way, it was she who actually found the cache!  Princess chose to stay with us for the ride home, and promptly crashed out during the drive.  The two teens wished they had stayed with us because, from what I heard, Vegas and Malibu acted a little too much like an old married couple.  You see, that's what happens when you spend a whole day with my children.

Malibu, Vegas, and Bunny
Sinking into bed around midnight, I felt refreshed and recharged, and right with the world, just like I do every time I spend the day on the edge of the ocean.  But this time was a little different. 

When your family feels more like your friends, and your friends have become a part of your family, it's not just a good day... it's a good life.


Hey! Thanks for visiting the circus! Your comments are welcomed and appreciated!