In the not so distant past, we lived by the beach. Not just any beach. This beach.
This incredible spot was about 15 minutes from our house. It wasn’t even the closest beach to the house, but it was worth the extra 5 minute drive. Back when Noa was an only child, I would spend at least 2 or 3 mornings a week watching him splash in the ocean, play with sea turtles, and throw sand at unsuspecting sunbathers. It was idyllic, I know that. I didn’t know it at the time, but looking back I can’t help but be amazed that God gave us 4+ years in His incredible masterpiece known as Hawaii. The beach above, specifically, is called Lanikuhonua (Lonnie-ku-hoe-new-a).
I remember when we found out, 4 long years ago, that the Coast Guard was going to be transferring us from Hawaii to Elizabeth City. All I could think about at the time was how much I would miss the beaches and I recall Austin and I making a pact that we would come to the beach here in NC at least once a week. Fast forward, 4 years and 3 kids later, and I guiltily admit that we don’t make it out to the Outer Banks nearly as often as we promised ourselves we would.
Yesterday was Labor Day, and we took advantage of the day off work and off school to make the 50 minute drive out to the beach. My favorite spot on the Outer Banks is Coquina Beach. Unfortunately, driving to Coquina adds at least 30 minutes to the drive, so we decided to keep it short and go to the closest accessible beach access, Kitty Hawk Pier. I have a special affinity for this spot, though, because it’s exactly where, almost 10 years ago, Mr. Bean and I said “I do.” Every time we go to the Kitty Hawk Pier, I am reminded of the day that we said our vows. It’s a little surreal to go back a decade later with 3 kids (and 1 tag-along best friend).
Now that Noakea is 6, he is so independant around the ocean. We still keep a good eye on him, obviously, but it’s so nice to be able to let him play in the shore break or swim out to the sandbar. Having his best friend, Cayman, come along was a total score, because Noa and Cayman played non-stop for the entire 2 1/2 hours we were there. Banyan and Avenlea, being younger, tend to stay up in the sand more than in the water , but they had a great time nonetheless. Now that school has started back up, I know our beach trips are going to be even more rare, but being out there with the kids was such a sweet time. It has always been our dream to raise our children at the ocean. Watching them play in the waves and dig in the sand just seems so “right” for us. No toys, no strife, just happy children playing in God’s creation.
I love the days when the waves are small and they can run wild in the surf. So much fun.
This little timid guy is just as happy throwing sand and watching the big boys play. No desire to venture into the water.
This one was happiest foraging for anything she could stuff in her mouth. Food, sand, shells….she’s not very picky at all.
Showing me their seashell collection.
Bringing sweet Cayman along made Noa’s day. Who would have thought 4 kids would be easier than 3. I think we need to adopt a 5 year old.
Out of focus, but too silly not to share
Images taken with Nikon D90 and 50mm lens or iphone 5.