Scenes from Summer Vacation

by , posted on July 30th, 2012 in Features, Style

photos © Dave K Cooper

The family and I recently took a week-long vacation to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Initially, I had hoped for a more adventurous vacation, but when I started looking at airfare, Dave and I agreed a trip to the beach made more sense. At the time, I was a bit sullen thinking it wasn’t going to be a very exciting trip. Goes to show how little I know.

We kicked around a soccer ball, read books, put together the most complicated puzzle I’d ever seen, jumped over waves, watched Rocky & Bullwinkle, built sandcastles, went on a boat ride in search of dolphins, walked along a pier and gazed out at the never ending stretch of ocean. We played round after round of Uno. I lost nearly every hand. We played Scrabble. I lost at that too.

At night, we looked at the stars and marveled over how many you could see when there were no city lights. Dave introduced the kids to music of his youth (TMBG); the kids introduced Dave to the music of theirs (One Direction).

We walked in puddles, ran down sand dunes, rode our bikes and ate frozen yogurt way past our bedtimes. After the kids went to bed, Dave and I sat on our rooftop deck and listened to the ocean. We talked. We laughed. We shared what was happening in our lives and dreamed of the future.

I do not remember a time when I was more at peace, relaxed or whole. It was exactly the type of excitement I needed.


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17 Responses to “Scenes from Summer Vacation”

  1. Sandra Says:

    July 30th, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Beautiful – beautifully written and photographed. As usual! I feel how relaxed and recharged you feel…

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Thanks Sandra! Honestly, I am so thankful for that week. I wish it didn’t come around just once a year.

  2. erin//suchsmallsteps Says:

    July 30th, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    I’m glad you had a wonderful trip! That’s high on my wishlist of places to travel.

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Oh I hope you get there one summer! This was our third year in a row and there’s still so much for us to see and do there. I can see why it’s a popular place for families to return year after year.

    And if you ever do find yourself planning a visit, give me a shout!

  3. katie//salt+pine Says:

    July 30th, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Looks wonderful! :)

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    It really was wonderful. You’ll have to come to the east coast one time. The Atlantic is warm!

  4. Sarah Says:

    July 30th, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Looks like such a peaceful week at the beach! We didn’t get to go this year… We don’t like to mix newborns and beaches. :( Next year though!

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Yeah, newborns and the beach don’t go together so well. I found it challenging with daredevil toddlers too. You’d think one face plant in the water would be enough. Nah.

  5. Chantale Says:

    July 30th, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Gorgeous photos! We’d love to visit the Outer Banks but, oof! It’s so far away.. Did you rent a cottage? It looks terrific. You really are a family of 4 dreamy good looking people you know that? lol. Also, let’s see TMBG.. that ain’t New Kids on the Block.. stumped here. Help an old lady out will ya? ; )

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Ha! It’s They Might Be Giants. And yes, it’s a hike for sure—even for us! But you weren’t too terribly far away last year when you hit Virginia Beach. It’s like you were practically there, right?!

  6. Chantale Says:

    July 30th, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Hm.. if you say so. lol. Ok ok, almost there yes. They Might be Giants!! I can go to sleep now. Thank you. : )

  7. Jennifer F. - American Mom in Bordeaux Says:

    July 31st, 2012 at 4:24 am

    Just found your blog…enjoying it! It’s so fun to just have a relaxing vacation! My best memories as a child were just playing by the water at a lake – and being lazy in the sunshine!

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Thanks so much Jennifer! Isn’t it interesting how the simple things are often the things that make us feel most satisfied?

  8. Melanie Says:

    August 1st, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Jen, it sounds fantastic. So glad you had this time to recharge. I love the photo of you at the end of the post! Super adorbs. :)

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Thank you Melanie! The whole vacation helped me realize some things I want out of life and how to make those things happen. Amazing what happens when you take time off, eh?

    Speaking of taking time off! How was your vacation?!

  9. Brooke Says:

    August 2nd, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Your hair is sooo good. Makes me want to cut mine. I agonize over this every 14-18 months…grow or chop? Ha.

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    HA! I was just having this same conversation with myself! It’s in an in between stage and is causing me some hairnxiety.

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