We ended up splitting our drive into two days and caravanning with the whole family. Eli was able to ride with all of his cousins in a separate car, which he loved, and Jude slept most of the way. We really lucked out with the good-traveling-genes that they acquired!
The house we stayed in was HUGE and awesome! When we arrived we were all running around to see every square inch! The top floor had a big open area with a living room, kitchen, dining area, and of course a gigantic deck to sit out on and watch the waves. The floor below that housed all of the bedrooms and a small sitting area. The lowest floor had a theater room, a game room, and some more bedrooms. Then there was a pool, hot tub, and the boardwalk out to the ocean!
As soon as we finished exploring we went straight for the water. I was expecting Eli to run right for the waves like he did last year.... but NO! He was terrified! I think it was a combination of the loud crashing and the constant forward movement. It was so crazy to see him apprehensive and to know that he could now comprehend a dangerous situation. He was afraid the waves were going to "come for him" and he didn't want ANY of us to go too close! He remained this way for the whole week, although he did get a bit more comfortable with playing in the sand near the water as the days went by. He reminds me so much of Uncle Sean!
Eli did enjoy the pool though! Luckily we had a heated pool and a jacuzzi because the weather was kind of chilly while we were there. The kids were like fish all week! Wanting to be in the water or near the water constantly! They had so much fun!
While we were there we were able to do so many things. We stayed in the town called Duck, which was the adorable little beach town. We explored the town boardwalk on the sound, ate at Duck donuts, played miniature golf, went to Roanoke Island and saw the first settlement recreation, went to the aquarium, Kitty Hawk Kites, Jockey's Ridge State Park, and took a tour in Corrolla to see wild horses. Eli loved finding little crabs on the beach that all came out at night! Such amazing experiences!
Not to mention, while on this vacation, Jude must have missed the memo that we were supposed to be relaxing... during our trip he got up into a crawling position for the FIRST time and began rocking AND he cut his first two teeth on the bottom!
Can't you see why I want to go back already? :) We had a wonderful time!