Family Vacation! Outer Banks

We just had the most amazing family vacation!
Everyone in the family from Dad and Gwen on down were there, including Grandma and Grandpa Richens. It was a full house!
We all flew out to Durham, NC, visited Libby and saw her cute house and stayed in a hotel the first night. The next morning everyone gathered back at Libby's house and we all drove a 4 hour drive to the Outer Banks.
The boys did really well on the flights and the drive. It was very nice. Once we got to the house we unloaded and then headed to the beach. It was the first time both Tanner and Chase had been to the beach. They weren't too sure about it, but that's ok.
The next day was Sunday and while everyone went to church we went exploring and souvenier shopping although we didn't find anything. Then I believe we went to the beach and also swam in the pool at the house. I'm pretty sure we were at the beach and in the pool every single day. It was great!
One of the days we went on a Pirate Adventure. It was amazing. The kids got to dress up as pirates and got tattoos panted on their arms. Then they literally snuck out to a real pirate ship. We set sail and we all got to watch the kids find the hidden treasure map, send enemy pirates to Davy Jones' Locker, hunt for treasure and learn how to talk like pirates. It was a hot hot day, but so worth it. The kids had so much fun I hope they remember it for a long time.
We also saw the Wright Brother's Monument as well as the Bodie Island Lighthouse. Kollin climbed to the top of the Lighthouse while I stayed in the air conditioned car with the boys since there were height limits and carrying kids was also not allowed. It was fun that was because he got pictures from above and I got pictures from below.
On the last day we went to the beach and Britta took family pictures. I can't wait to see them and hopefully I will have them added to the family album! Then we packed up and drove the 4 hours back to the hotel for the night. The next day we all went to hang out at Libby's house for a while and we all went out to lunch before we had to say good-bye. It was so sad to leave Libby and her sweet little family. We sure miss them!
We went to the airport and started our journey home. This time the boys were not too happy about the flights and layover. I think they had had enough from so much going on all week. But we eventually made it back to Utah late at night. Troy came and picked us up and we went straight home and everyone went right to bed we were so worn out.
It was such a fantastic experience to go out there and spend that special time with the entire family.
First time at the beach

Getting ready to sneak to the pirate ship on the Pirate Adventure

Sneaky sneaky

Firing cannons at the enemy pirates!

Pulling the treasure chest out of the ocean

Gwen also planned another treasure hunt at the house that night and all the kids got pirate pj's

At the Wright Brothers Monument

Kollin at the top of Bodie Island Lighthouse

Chase was waking up Daddy one morning with blowing raspberries into his arm.

Going to the beach

Grandpa Cannon showed up to the airport the first day in SLC in this shark hat. It was hilarious! Just like my dad!

Our beautiful house we stayed at

On the first plane ride from SLC to Detroit

Layover in Detroit

At the car rental place in NC. Tanner is really into Transformers right now and wanted a picture by "Bumblebee." But he was worried he would transform. I told him he was sleeping and wouldn't transform. But then he got excited and wanted to know when he would wake up so he could say hi. Such a sweet boy!

About half way through the 4 hour drive. Grandpa Cannon upgraded our rental car to a mini van so we could haul whatever luggage that wouldn't fit into other's cars. That's why our car looks so full, and it was not all ours!

Over the last hour or so of the journey Chase started to get sad. So desperate times called for desperate measures, and those measures were called Oreos.

The view from the balcony at the house the first morning.

We found a bull riding machine in one of the stores we shopped in, but it was a hammerhead shark! The boys loved bouncing around in it.

Grandma Cannon teaching the kids a Sunday evening lesson. They actually held still and listened!

Grandpa Cannon is the most amazing grandpa ever!

Shirts Kiersen and Andrew had made after seeing a hilarious YouTube video of a southern woman telling everyone to stay out of the ocean because there have been a lot of shark attacks in the Outer Banks this year.

You won't catch me up there!

I had to get a picture by the Manatee mailbox that was across the street from the house.

Last day on the beach

First flight home. Durham to JFK

Second flight, JFK to SLC. Things were getting sketchy

Grandma and Grandpa did bubbles with the kids one night in the driveway

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