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July 13, 2003
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Getting to Sunset Beach

6:29 pm: So it turned out okay. We got to the State Park just an hour ago, and they were completely full up. No vacancy and the next park that had camping spots was another fifty miles out and their phone was busy so we couldn't tell if they were full up, too.

But there was a county park just down the road that said that they had RV hookups and camp spots, too. And they still did. It's a little crowded, not much greenery between spots and there's a road behind us, but that'll be empty come nightfall and people coming home from the beaches. So we're set.

We even have dinner and breakfast in the cooler. Jet and John are off exploring, and I'm writing a little.

The morning was pretty uneventful. I got up a bit later, more like 9 while John and Jet were up at 6:115. folks hadn't had breakfast without me, which surprised me a little. Though I think Jet, Marina, and Jan had had theirs. Jet had eaten and entire bowl of Life cereal, so we might have to get him some of that when we get to Isabel and George's. Or even when we get home, for that matter.

I cooked an egg, and then toasted a split leftover biscuit in the pan in just a bit of butter. It was really good with some jam. Egg and a biscuit and some melon.

Jet and Marina were rampaging about the house. Jet kept stealing whatever Marina was playing with, and then getting interested in whatever Marina next got. After he was rebuffed a few times, and the parents all stepped in to tell Jet that he had to share, he decided he really wanted to see an Elmo tape.

One of the toys he really liked is an Elmo dressed in leather with a guitar, who sing two Elvis tunes to his own words. The problem with the thing is that it can't be shut off. It doesn't have a volume control either, and it only plays two tunes over and over and over again. Jet loved it. He would drag it about by its eyeballs, and giggles as it shook and rattled as it did its own version of "Shake, Rattle, and Roll". Yow. So he really wanted to see Elmo do letters. Luckily, it was actually the whole Sesame Street cast doing the alphabet, rather than *just* Elmo. but John kind of got it into his head to try and show Marina one of the Wallace and Grommet tapes. So he tried to swap it out on Jet. Jet would have none of it. He is usually such an easygoing guy, but in this case, he knew he wanted the Elmo tape, NOT the Grommet one, and he fought, tooth and nail, for the tape he really wanted.

Maybe we should be getting Jet more tapes that are actually made for kids, rather than just relying on the adult ones that we like that happen to be animated or cartoony.

After that, there was an incident with a screwdriver (plastic, but battery powered), a squirt gun, and a can with gravel in it. There was also much running around in the yard, climbing of the climbing structure, and some crying over toys being grabbed. So we figured it was time to nurse him. We'd already packed up the van.

John and I took a while loading everything back into the van, with interested help from Paul, Marina, and Jet. They explored the whole thing while we were loading. That was fun. Jan and Paul are mildly interested in a van for themselves, so they decided to really look at ours and study how it all went together as we loaded our ton of stuff back into it.

So when Jet was ready to nurse, we were ready to go. He really wanted to nurse in the livingroom, so I did that and when he was finally asleep, Jan's sister and Sienna dropped by to visit for a moment. They said hello, and got to see a real, live Jet rather than just a picture and said good-bye, too.

Everyone said their good-byes and we were finally off. Jet was fast asleep in the back. As we went, I ran down my mental list of what had been where, and suddenly remembered that we might have left Jet's sippy cup in the drying rack. Sure enough. We went back and John found the sippy cup AND Jet's smoothie cup as well. So I was glad that I remembered that.

I napped while John drove. We reached Winston and stopped at a local hamburger drive-thru to get chilidog, nuggets for Jet, and a burger for John and one package of fires for all of us. He asked the way to a park and we found it just fine. The cool thing was being able to just pull up the table and eat right in the van before letting Jet see the play park. So he was content to eat fries and chicken, drink some "shakers", and talk with us for a bit.

He's talking a lot more, now, telling us about stuff he sees. He then got plenty of play time while John and I got bathroom breaks, and then he got his own diaper change when he was finally ready to stop.

I had a headache and a gradual gut ache that was getting worse with the twisty roads. So John was willing to drive on. We hit a grocery story on the way to Sunset Beach state park, and Jet wanted to be carried the whole way while we got dinner and breakfast things. He wanted donuts for breakfast, so we got a couple of those, along with fruit and drinks.

So we're here. And we've made it, and we're right by the ocean and can even smell the faint sweat-like scent of it just from here. There's a play area here as well, which Jet liked, and bathrooms right across from the site. With the curtains, this should be very comfy indeed, and probably far quieter than the rest stop we were ate. I'm mildly worried about how cold it'll get, but that's me, and I should just stop worrying.

Yay! John has dinner ready. Later...

Dinner was just a Skillet Sensation, grilled chicken and vegetables with some penne pasta. It tasted wonderful out in the woods. There was a tiny road right by our site, but it was soon empty after dark. Since it was an access to the beach, it wasn't too surprising.

We walked, after dinner, over to the playpark in the park. Jet loved it. It was very much not to any code we'd ever seen, but was still a lot of fun. There was a wooden fort structure and two metal slides that came out of it at various levels. There was an old boat that had stairs up into it Kids would climb up onto the edges and teeter along it like a balance beam. Jet was wiser, and stayed down on the floor of the boat.

There was also a big sand area,, which was filled with fine beach sand. Jet dug around in it, quite happily, digging deep to find the wet sand to "Make balls!" He really liked that the sand would pack in his fist. We watched people playing horseshoes, and people throwing a whistling flying thing that was shaped, in front, like a football. He really liked that and got into the guys' way that were throwing it, but they were good about protecting him and they didn't mind.

When it got darker we headed back to the site. John built a fire from leftover wood, and Jet watched it for a while, but wasn't fascinated with it. He got his milk and drank it up over time. Eventually we brushed his teeth, got him changed, and I nursed him in the quiet dark and he went right to sleep.

John lifted him up into the upper bunk and we set up everything in the lower bunk. We did all our bathroom stuff the same time Jet did his, so we were all set to just go to sleep as soon as he did. Sometimes it's very convenient to have a habit of not doing anything after he's gone to sleep

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