Trip Update

It’s raining. Really, pouring would be more accurate. We were happy to sit under the sunshade tent on the beach until the lightning started. Again. We arrived late on Saturday, and since Sunday it’s rained at least a bit each day. Today it’s been mostly rainy since 11 am. Luckily Cute W had checked the weather early, so we all got out on the beach asap this morning. But really, even when the weather’s bad, it’s not such a bad day to play with your cousins or chitchat with sisters.

On the road, I had to pull out my camera when we stopped at a Starbucks for breakfast. That’s because they had samples of their refreshers drinks, and it was pretty hilarious because we all thought that they were heinous. Like, so awful that it was funny. There was a big tray of them.

So of course the girls are always up for a free sample, and they each try one. They take a taste and they both make faces and the cashier has an awkward smile plastered on his face as they struggle to not spit it out. And then the exclamations of disgust are so emphatic that all four of us have to taste both flavors just to assure ourselves that they’re awful. Yep. Then the joke was on us, because apparently they’re designed to give you an energy boost! Exactly what you want at the beginning of a long car ride. Awesome.

In Starbucks’ defense, I thought that the spinach, feta, and egg white wrap was a surprisingly tasty and not-too-bad-for-you breakfast option. Also, I liked that they were giving away their coffee grounds:

Later in the day, J was thrilled to see several signs cheering for Olympic gymnast  Gabby Douglas, which were all over the place since she’s from Virginia Beach. Following long-standing tradition, we had BBQ for lunch. This year we ate at Frankie’s Ribs in Virginia Beach. My favorite part was the onion ring loaf.

So bad, and yet so good.

We’ve had a bit of drama because poor M was in dire need of a new swimsuit before our North Carolina trip, and I didn’t manage to find one. She had a Target bathing suit that she never wore and an LL Bean bathing suit that she’d worn so much that it was losing all elasticity. She likes basic one-pieces without frills, ruffles, flowers, or sparkles. And no pink. That’s surprisingly difficult to find. LL Bean was sold out, so I’d ordered a Speedo, which arrived and turned out to be the wrong size. Then I ordered two other sizes of  Speedo suits.  So M and I spent several days in suspense. During that period I got a tip from a mother of older girls: Dolfin Uglies. Which I think I’ll do next spring. But meanwhile, it was time to leave and the stupid suits still hadn’t arrived. On our first full day at the beach, M’s Target swim bottom fell off. At this point her Aunt Betsy (aka Big Sister in the comments) swooped in to the rescue, and she took M to six different stores and finally found a couple of suits at kmart of all places. M was exceptionally happy.

Last night we were all sitting around chatting, and my Dad was retelling the story of Cute W’s and my college graduation. We’d gotten engaged February of our senior year, and we were going to school all the way in Iowa (Grinnell College), so graduation weekend was the first time that we all saw each other in person since the proposal. It was also a week before our wedding (we went with a small backyard ceremony). My parents were “concerned.” Cute W seemed okay, and I usually had good judgment, but they’d really only met him about two times before this. Neither of us had jobs (at a party following the ceremony, when people asked us what we were doing next, we’d say that we were going to “live on love”), and they weren’t too sure about it all. Which we’ve heard, about twenty times at least. Cute W likes to hear this story and laugh about their concerns, because of course everything turned out great (so far!). But maybe the girls hadn’t heard it? My Dad always talks about how he was muttering to himself and generally not psyched at all until it was time for the baccalaureate service. We were running behind schedule, so we arrived fairly late, and there were way too many people trying to crowd into the fairly small Herrick Chapel, where the service was held. So as we crowded into the place, prospects for actually sitting down seemed poor at best. And then Cute W called the two sets of parents over to him. He’d snagged an entire row in the choir loft, so we were all able to sit. And that, my Dad says, is when he relaxed about the wedding. He decided that Cute W gets stuff done and presumably would take care of me okay, based on this chair-claiming incident. At the end of the story, M said, “So, he gave you a chair and you gave him your daughter?”

Everyone laughed, and then my Dad  insisted that I report M’s zinger on the blog. So here it is.

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