10:30 PM (Randall posting): We are all exhausted! We had a wonderful day, even though the weather was not exactly "beach-worthy." It was overcast and sprinkled on and off all day, but we packed all kinds of fun in anyway, even if we never made it to the beach or even the swimming pool.
This morning we got up early and went on a dolphin cruise that left from Beaufort (for those of you who have been wondering where we are, we're staying at Atlantic Beach). The coolest thing about our cruise was that it was a catamaran, and Elisabeth got to ride for part of the way in the "net" between the hulls at the front of the boat. The dolphin part was a huge disappointment. I think everyone but Elisabeth saw dolphins, but that wasn't surprising because the dolphins were really far away. We did get to see a wild pony on an island closer to Beaufort, but other than that the cruise was a bust. We had a great time riding the boat, though.
We had lunch in Beaufort at a restaurant recommended by some friends and that was quite pleasant. We spent some time afterwards browsing in some shops and driving through Beaufort, but before too long it was clear that we were all pretty tired. We came home and Susan and Sophie took a nap while Elisabeth and I went grocery shopping and scouting out Putt-Putt options for later today.
Once Susan and Sophie woke up we all went for a ride, had dinner at a pizza place in Emerald Isle and spent the rest of the evening at "Jungleland" (which has miniature golf as well as various "State Fair" type rides and an arcade). We played Putt-Putt, rode bumper boats, went on a big slide, and wasted a handful of dollar bills on Skee-Ball and video games. It was a blast! By the end of it all, Sophie was so tired she was sucking her thumb, and I thought I might take up sucking my thumb too!
Like I said, we didn't do much beach-type stuff (none of us put on a bathing suit all day), but we had a great great day. We'll wrap up some stuff tomorrow and head home, but we have certainly had a wonderful few days together as a family.
Sophie has been such a trooper through all of this. I worry about pushing her too hard, but she just takes everything in stride. She is so cute because she is so curious about things (like riding in a boat and going on a ride at Jungleland), but she is also so very, very cautious. She never does more than she think she can (neither does Elisabeth), but it's so clear that she wants to experience new stuff.