The Fagan Five took a real vacation! While we’ve taken a trip to Wisconsin for Christmas once, this was our second big road trip with our kids, the first one being when we moved from Utah to Indiana. However, this is the third time in Josh and my relationship that we’ve gone on this trip! We vacationed with Josh’s parents, again, at a house on Chincoteague Island, Virginia, on the tip of the Maryland peninsula.
Josh and I have such fond memories of our previous two trips to Chincoteague, the first time when we were just dating, five years ago! The second time was when we had only been married for about 8 months. This trip was the first trip we’ve taken there with kids, so we were excited to share the adventure with them!
This trip, however, was very last minute. We literally decided to go the day before we left. Josh’s parents had been planning this trip for months, but because Josh would be in classes, we’d have a new baby, and probably no money, we had declined the invitation. Josh’s sister and her family were all supposed to be going instead. But, due to some Fagan family drama, she and her family were no longer going to the beach, so his parents extended an invitation again to us. After much deliberation, prayer, thoughts, phone calls to relatives, and arrangements with Josh’s teacher, we decided to go! We love the beach!
We left on a Friday afternoon, July 26, skipping Michael’s four month well-baby check-up (it will now be a 5 month appointment, so no stats on our big boy just yet!), and driving for about nine hours until we got to Josh’s aunt and uncle’s house in West Virginia. We crashed on the floor and on an air mattress for the night. They had three of their granddaughters staying with them, and it was fun for the second cousins all to play together for a while the next morning while breakfast was made and things were being packed up.
Everyone at the house packed it up and headed to a different aunt and uncle’s house in Maryland, about two hours away. It was the family reunion of the trip: aunts, uncles, parents, grandma, cousins and first cousins once removed (or our kids’ second cousins) were all there. We ate some food and got to know each other. Josh hadn’t seen some of these relatives for decades. Yes, really, decades. Our kids had fun playing with their second cousins, the dog, and more.
We went and visited with Josh’s great-aunt and uncle for dinner that night and then returned to the previous aunt and uncle to stay the night, and we’d also stay there the following night. We went to church at the local ward the next morning, and then had lunch and hung out with Josh’s aunt and uncle, and their son’s girlfriend’s family as well. Slightly awkward being there for that, but it was great getting to know this aunt and uncle! They are super nice and courteous, even mindful of our religious differences. His uncle read Lisa several books and got hand puppets out and more. They were so sweet!
We left their house Monday morning and headed to Chincoteague Island. We would be meeting Josh’s parents there, after they got the keys. We bought our weekly pass to Assateague Island, and took our girls to the beach briefly. They loved seeing it for the first time, especially after all the hype and prep we’d put into it! We all loved splashing in the waves, well, all except for Michael. He didn’t like the loud noise and the cold water or even the wet sand.
After we got all settled in at the house, along with Josh’s parents and a different aunt and uncle joined us, we went back to the beach that night, this time with swimsuits on. We took the French kid, Basile, (or “the boy” as Lisa called him) who was staying with Josh’s parents this summer (Josh’s dad used to work for/with Basile’s father who lives in France) along with us. He was so much fun to have on this trip. The girls loved playing with him. He was such an “older brother.”
The next day was my birthday! I turned 25! I am now a quarter of a century old! I went for a short 1.8 mile run in the morning, went to the beach for about 4.5 hours, got a nice sun burn, had some cake, and had a great day!
We also spent a lot of time out on the pier, with Basile kayaking, setting some crab traps, and enjoying the scenery, and the beautiful sunsets on the bay.
Because of the sunburn and then later cold/rainy weather, we ended up staying at the house for the next two days. Totally lame, but we had a great time exploring around the house, going down the pier to the bay, coloring, making paper airplanes, painting with watercolors, drawing, and reading.
But, then we went back to the beach for the last few days. It was so wonderful! The weather was warm, but not sweltering.
We didn’t go our last day there, but did walk up to the lighthouse, getting bug bites all along the short way. We also stopped and saw some of the famous wild ponies (who were penned the week before we arrived), and their grandparents bought all our kids some Chincoteague shirts, and even bought our girls (anatomically correct) horse figurines.
We all had such a great time and are so glad that it went so well. The worst part was probably Josh and I getting sunburnt on our first full day at the beach. That was pretty dumb of us, but otherwise, best vacation there yet! It was also fun that we stayed in the same house we stayed in during our first trip to Chincoteague. And we enjoyed all the sunsets. Here’s the last one at the house:
I also read two whole books during the trip, and started a third during the ride home. We dug holes in the sand, rode in on the waves, saw dolphins, caught crabs, and much more. We are trying to figure out how we can go again next year!
I love my family and love my children. They did so awesome with all the new things they experienced and handled the car rides amazingly. I am so happy and rejuvenated. It was also nice taking a break from the computer and going to bed by 10:30pm every night.
Enjoy all the pictures! And more posts will come soon. And thank you SO so much Brent and Susan for inviting us to join you! We really appreciate it. And we appreciate Jim and Linda, and Steven and Marilyn for letting us crash at your places. We couldn’t have been able to make this work without that.