#DoyleBeachParty 2014: An Overview

Please bear with me, as this post is going to be long and filled with a TON of pictures. You know, Babies’ First Beach Trip and everything.

#DoyleBeachParty 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com

The Deets*: We went to Corolla in the Outer Banks for a week with Tim’s family (his sister, brother, brother’s wife, mom, dad, grandfather, cousin, and cousin’s husband). It was amazing to have 10 adults and just the two babies. Lots of love, hands to hold, and quite a few breaks for Mommy and Daddy. We still had sleepless nights (getting up every 2-3 hours), but it made the days so much more bearable and relaxing!

#DoyleBeachParty 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com


Doyle Beach Party 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com




Doyle Beach Party 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com

The Setup: Get ready to be jealous of our beach-front house for the week.  3 master bedrooms on the top floor, Plus the kitchen, living area, dining room with huge table, and a half bath. The living area also had floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out on the beach (yes, it is beach-front property). The second floor had 5 master bedrooms: 1 had a handicapped bathroom, 1 had a sliding door to the deck and hot tub, 1 was a bunk room with its own living area, and 2 were a little separated (and perfect for the 4 of us). Our room had a gorgeous deck looking at the ocean and private bath, and the room attached had 2 twin beds and a bathroom in between that room and ours. We moved the twin beds a little to fit the two pack-and-plays, and we were good to go. That floor also had a living space, pool table, and a wet bar with full fridge. The bottom floor had the gym, two-car garage,  heated pool, and private walkway to the beach. Oh, and the house had its own elevator!

Doyle Beach Party 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com

The Baby Gear: Traveling with two 6-month olds wasn’t without its fair share of challenges, especially with the gear. We started our packing list a month ahead of time, and we were constantly revising it up until the last minute as their needs changed. We have been having problems sleeping both during naps and at night, so we knew we needed to bring the rockers to help them sleep. Although I will do a separate post on packing for a week for 6 month olds, here are the big things we brought: 2 pack-and-plays (cribs), 1 MamaRoo, 1 travel swing, 1 tandem stroller with extra seats, 2 umbrella strollers, nursing pillow, Bumbo (doubles as a high chair), Summer Infant activity chair (doubles as a high chair), bath chair, diaper bag, diaper caddy, contoured diaper changing pad, travel diaper changing pad for upstairs, 2 containers of wipes, 2 huge sleeves of diapers (although we only used 1), white noise machine, video monitors, 2 Baby Bjorns, doorway jumper, stand-up walker, outfits, swim items, play mats, toys, sleepers, baby towels and bathing supplies, beach tent, picnic blankets, stroller fans, baby sunscreen, and burp cloths… Oh yes, that is a lot of stuff. But because of this, we had what we needed and didn’t have to freak out that we were without something.

Wild Horse Tour - DoyleDispatch.com

#DoyleBeachParty 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com

The Baby-Free Excursion: At the end of the week, the 7 middle-generationers took a trip with Corolla Jeep Adventures to go see the wild horses. It was an amazing trip, filled with lots of education (I’m such a nerd), sight-seeing, and amazing photo-taking opportunities.

#DoyleBeachParty 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com



The Beach with Babies: We were blessed with amazing weather, and so it was never too too hot. In fact, with the breeze blowing, it was sometimes chilly. We still tried to avoid taking the babies out at the hottest point of the day. Because Audrey had just become a good sitter-upper, we only needed to take a Bumbo for David. They loved being down by the water with the waves, family, and sand. We tried to keep them as sand-free as possible with the sun tent and a beach blanket, but it was impossible to keep things completely sand-free. We just carried a bottle of water to wet and clean items when needed. When David got fussy, we would walk him down by the ocean and play “Hello Ocean, Goodbye Ocean,” where I would stand close to the tide line. When the waves came up, I would say “Hello Ocean,” and then say “Goodbye Ocean” when they would go away. He was fascinated with the ocean.

#DoyleBeachParty 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com



The Pool with Babies: Thankfully, the pool was a salt-water pool (good for their skin) and heated, so we could enjoy it with them. Unfortunately, the air was chilly at the times of day we were ok with them outside, so we didn’t get to use the pool as much as we would have liked. Still, they really enjoyed swimming, with David kick-kick-kicking away and Audrey just trying to lick the water (so she didn’t get as much time as David).





The Dinners: Each of the adults took a night to plan and cook dinner. We ALL went all out on these nights, turning them into total theme nights. We had cold cuts, kebobs, turkey burgers with brussel sprouts and sweet potato fries, burgers and hot dogs, a taco bar, an Italian night, and a clean-out-the-fridge-and-eat-all-the-leftovers. We had 3 full-size fridges, and we used just about every square inch of space. It was quite impressive, but we will hopefully plan and coordinate a bit more before next year so we aren’t all buying and brining the same things. Still, no one went hungry at all (or if they did, it was their fault).

#DoyleBeachParty 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com


Doyle Beach Party 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com

The Games: Each night after dinner, we either played a game or watched a movie. My personal favorites were our annual Doyle Yankee Swap (moved from Christmastime to the beach since we would all be together) and watching Uncle Buck in honor of Tim’s Uncle Dave (David’s namesake) who passed away last summer. Basically, if you have seen the movie Uncle Buck, you know Uncle Dave. It was wonderful to see it all together.

IMG_7298#DoyleBeachParty 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com#DoyleBeachParty 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com

The Sunsets: On the last two nights of our trip, I was able to sneak away (the first night on my own, and the second time with Tim) to watch the sunset. Although the sun sets on the sound side (and we were oceanside), we still got some amazing photos of the incredible colors.


The Haircuts: Tim’s cousin Rachel is an amazing hair stylist in New Jersey. She owns her own salon and does amazing things with a razor! So, I have been toying around with chopping my hair off for a while, but I have never trusted anyone here in VA to do it. So, when I was talking to her about it, she offered to cut it for me while we were at the beach. I decided to go for it! She also cut my mother-in-law’s hair and Tim’s grandfather’s hair. She does an amazing job!

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The Family: Of course, the main reason to get away was to be with our family for the week. It felt so wonderful to wake up and have everyone there. We all see each other often, but to actually escape and be with each other and get along for a full week is amazing. Plus, it was Tim’s dad’s birthday week, and it was a great way to celebrate his special day! Oh yes, I married into an incredible family! I am so lucky! Plus, 10 adults : 2 babies = an amazing ratio!

*I’m sorry for using the term “deets.” I know that it’s SO 3 years ago (or longer?). I just had to do it so that when Audrey and David look back on this post in 10 years they will be so embarrassed.



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