I should have known it would be an eventful week when the final 30 miles of our trek from Ashland to Nags Head took 3 hours. There was no accident or stimulus sponsored road construction, just lots of people in a very long line headed for exactly the same place. Seems we weren't the only ones who planned a trip to the beach this week.
I've tried not to let the realization that every one of these travelers will likely be heading home with us dampen the spirit of the week, but I must admit, I've woken several times in the middle of the night trapped in a line of traffic that seems to stretch from one coast to the next.
And the escape to the beach away from reality wasn't limited to humans. Jellyfish joined the party. Millions of them. Maybe many, many millions; I quit counting them when the turn of every wave deposited more jellyfish than sea foam or shells on the shore. Some of the locals have said they would be leaving soon, like maybe they've talked to the leader of the jellyfish tribe. But I've seen no signs that they plan to leave one second before we do, and in my nightmare, they actually join us in our exodus from the beach. More traffic.
If the invasion of jellyfish isn't enough to keep you out of the water (and for the record, it's plenty enough for me), a lifeguard told us there is also sea lice in the water. Sea lice are basically jelly fish eggs and they get trapped between your skin and swimwear causing rashes and itching. I suppose the only bright side to that is if the eggs are in a swimsuit causing rashes they aren't hatching in the ocean expanding their herds population.
Kids are kids though. They spent the first day fretting over the various water monsters, but then adapting like only kids can, they simply became water monsters themselves. They quit running from the jellyfish and started carrying them around like pets. They even dug monster holes in the sand and filled them up with water to make temporary jellyfish aquariums. And I've watched it all from a distance. Far away from all jellyfish and their darling little babies.
The water has been far from the only adventure of the week. Our boys have been learning a lot from their older cousins, but I'm afraid that is an update that doesn't deserve being overshadowed by jellyfish, so we'll save that one for later.
Some pictures of our trip are below:
ELLIOTT AND COUSIN LUKE
JUST HOLD MY HAND IAN AND THE JELLYFISH WON'T GET US
SEE - I TOLD YOU I'D PROTECT YOU
FEAR CONQUERED - NOTHING LEFT BUT THE FUN
UNCLE DOUG GIVES IAN HIS FIRST LESSON IN SAND CASTLE BUILDING
RUN LUKE! THE JELLYFISH ARE COMING TO GET US.