Not only is North Carolina home to the most beautiful barrier islands I've ever seen, but it's also home to my sweet niece, Alia!! Oh, and her parents, too! We we so happy to learn that we could get a direct flight from here to Durham and get a chance to see them before heading to the beach.
The kids did really well on the flight. The man across the isle from us consistently humored James every time my naughty little boy would say "uh-oh" and then throw his sippy cup down to the floor. The girls did well with their coloring notebooks that grandma gave them last Christmas, some food, snacks, and a few of their favorite books. I went into the flight wishing that we had an Ipad or Ipod or I-anything-that-keeps-kids-entertained-for-long-period-of-times. But my girls surprised me. They did better in those 3 hours than they usually do in 1 hour of church! I think between the novelty of flying and the fact that they got their very own sodas, they were too happy to be bored!
Jared and Kristie were wonderful hosts, letting us completely take over their nursery and front room. We finally got the kids to bed at midnight (!!) and forced Jared and Kristie to stay up even later to tell us all about their life, their future, and what it's gonna take to get them to move to Colorado. Kristie also showed me some of the amazing things she's been sewing lately, including this adorable Easter dress and jacket--she's amazing!!
The girls were so happy to play with their cousin in the morning. And she was so happy to have so many adoring fans--not to mention a life-sized baby doll she could climb all over.
The 5-6 short hours we had in Durham that morning were extremely well spent. Jared took us to the Duke Gardens, and i swear my jaw was dropped and covered in drool the entire time we were there. I've never seen so many beautiful blooms and blossoms in one place in my life! EVERYTHING was in full bloom! They say it's stunning everyday of the year, but the beauty we saw that day was more like paralyzing. Standing in that garden, I had the thought that we could turn around and fly back home right there and then, and the trip still would have been worth it. It was just the beauty that my winter-logged heart needed to see.
And I forgot my camera.
So these photos are courtesy of Jared's camera, my phone, and the Duke Garden's blog.
Look at the wisteria on this canopy! (Speaking of wisteria, my brother was on a certain shameless TV show a few episodes ago! Check him out from minutes 2:01-2:19)
|The tulips were breathtaking. And they were everywhere. In full-bloom|
|The rain let up the second we arrived, but the girls still insisted on using the umbrella|
The Duke Gardens aren't the only amazing thing that Durham has to offer. They also have Hog's Heaven--a restaurant famous for their North Carolina BBQ. Now, I'm no connoisseur of BBQ, but I really can't imagine that any other state's BBQ could top that heavenly grub! It was the best pork I've ever eaten in my life. And that includes Cafe Rio's sweet barbacoa pork!
Thank you, Jared and Kristie, for hosting us, and sharing your beautiful town with us!!! We love you!!
And now's the part of this post where i include pictures that i forgot or didn't fit in the last post--'cause I'm still not done thinking and talking about this trip.
Did I mention that the house had a huge billiards room?
Did I mention that we saw the most beautiful lighthouses in the world?
Did i mention how good-natured my baby was, in spite of getting very little sleep, and not feeling well?
Or how stinkin' cute he is?
Did i mention how much fun we had at the beach?
Did I mention that Reid and our brother-in-law, Nathan, ran 4 miles, barefoot on the beach? And that some serious blisters ensued?
Did i mention that Reid got plowed by a wave, thought his ear was plugged for 6 days, but turns out it had all this sand in it? You gotta click on the picture to fully appreciate this.
Did I mention that Reid's dad took us all to the Aquarium in Manteo and that we saw sharks, petted sting rays, and rescued virtual sea turtles?
Did I mention that getting back into reality has been particularly hard on a certain bread-winner in the family? Did i mention how we already miss the family we just spent a week with? and how much we love them? Did I mention that I now dream of living in a lighthouse?
I just want to be sure I've mentioned every single last detail about this trip.
'Cause it really was such a great vacation.
Did I mention that?