Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Front Porch

After visiting the doctor last week and finding out I would most likely need a C-section, Justin and I packed up and began our much awaited trip to the East coast. The trip has roughly three parts, a visit to Atlantic beach with his mom Judy and sister Jill, then South to see his dad John and wife Diane, then up to the Jers to see my family. As I write to you now from a rocking chair on the front porch of the Watkins (Judy’s madden name) beach house, I cannot not imagine anything better.

We flew into Raleigh Durham Tuesday night. The flight was less then enjoyable. Now that one baby is pushing my liver into my right rib sitting up strait in a chair has become a challenge. But I had my first good night sleep in days at Judy’s house and we left early Wednesday morning for Atlantic Beach. The beach house is literally a family home. Growing up Justin and his cousins would pile into their grandparents home at the beach. It is located in a relatively quiet town and two blocks from a beautiful beach. While I only had the privilege of knowing his grandparents for a few years, I came to understand them much like my own—hard working people who would do anything for their family. They left the family beach house for their children and grandchildren to enjoy, and we most certainly have.

We spend the last few days lounging under an umbrella in the sand and riding the waves of the 80 degree Atlantic Ocean. The beach chairs where perfectly positioned so that my ribs did not hurt, it was as though I was meant to sit on the beach for days. Justin’s friends came from all over to enjoy the beach life with us. Phil drove down 6 hours from the mountains, Pier four from Raleigh, Mark and Emily three and half from Standford, and Trey, Lauren, and four month old Macy (the cute little girl pictured above) drove an hour up from Wilmington. It was as relaxing as could be. Justin grew up with most these boys and though wives and children have entered the pictured they hung out as if they had never been apart. Yet unlike me, when it was time to say goodbye they did as if they would see each other later that night, though we all knew it would be at least a year or more before they might meet up again. I admire that ability in Justin and strive for it in myself. I must admit if all my friends and family lived in one state I might be eager to return. Yet Justin assures me he loves our life in Washington, yet I would not put it passed us to move east one day. But for now it was beach life and no worries.

Each morning we work up Justin cooked breakfast and we walked two blocks to the beach. Pregnancy had its benefits. While everyone lugged umbrellas, paddle ball, chairs, coolers, boogie boards and what not, I was in charge of the 1980’s handheld radio and a towel. At lunch we would walk back to the house, I would take a quick nap and then right back to the sand. I do not know if there was ever a real declared winner of this year’s body surfing contest, but I can tell you it will not be the last.

It was so nice to get to spend time with Judy and Jill. The next time we see them is guaranteed to have a bit of a different vibe (insert Rae has a hard time with change in here). I cannot thank them enough for their hospitality and company—especially Jill, it is not too often we get to bond and hang out together. I look forward to her visit to the west coast. And, if her care for me this week is any indication; I know she will be a great aunt. Today we are riding down to Willmington beach with Trey and his family, picking up a rent-a-car, and driving to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina home of John and Diana DuPre. The second leg of our trip guarantees to bring more sandy beaches, warm ocean water, quality seafood, and a good time with family.