This was one of those once in a life time trips (that I hope to repeat!) and I'm so so thankful everything worked out the way it did and we were able to make it all happen.
Drew drove out with me to Iowa to spend a few days working there before he went to Arizona and we went to NC which was really helpful having him there for that part of the drive.
My mom and I started the drive at 3 AM after we had gotten a few hours sleep. Our first stop was Asheville and it's about a 13 hr drive from my moms to there and we wanted to get some of the driving done when the kids were asleep. Perfect choice, so by the time we made our first stop for gas/breakfast/feed Soren/ switch drivers the kids had slept the whole way and we were already 4 hours into the drive.
I can't say enough about how my kids are amazing travelers. Seriously the best.
We made it to Asheville in time for dinner and running around a bit before bed. And the next day the kids had the times of their lives running around in the mountains at my aunts and uncle's house. Picking berries, playing in their pond for hours, roasting marshmallows.. as much as I like to think they are city kids, they really thrive out in nature.
After our time in Asheville we made the 6 hour drive to Wilmington to spent the week on the beach with my sister, brother in law their son, and my brother, sister in law and their son. We had two condo's in a 4 plex literally Right on the beach. We couldn't possibly have been any closer.
We had the best week. We would get up..too early, and my mom would usually take the kids to the beach pretty early while I would stay back with Soren for his first nap before we joined them. Then after lunch and nap often we would go back down to the beach.
The kids absolutely fell in love with the beach. Jasper would have spent every second in the ocean if we would have let him, while Tindra was content to hang back and play in the sand while going in for dips with me or another adult.
They had so much cousin time and loved every minute of it. I thought by the end of the week we would all be sick of the beach, but nope..we could have easily stayed longer and still had a blast. Best part about the beach? Best naps and sleep time. They would be so exhausted they would fall asleep the second their heads in their pillows. Which is a major bonus when on vacation. And then the adults would meet on the deck right outside with baby monitors for game playing and some drinks.
One day my mom and I took a break from the beach and took the kids to Jungle Rapids, a water park right in Wilmington. We definitely could have stayed there all day! And probably would have if Tindra and Soren weren't so badly needing naps! Tindra really became a fish at this pool and was finally brave enough to put her face under the water(!!!!) and Jasper felt like such a big kid being allowed to go on all the tube rides by himself, with me waiting at the bottom, though I did go on a few with him as well! We also took turns taking them go carting there, which Jasper basically thought was the coolest thing ever, and I definitely won some cool points when I pulled into first place at the very end.