Our plan all along for this vacation was to "do" as little as possible. Beach, pool, reading/napping at the beachhouse, repeat. This was all fine and good, except Eleanor and I both have incredibly fair skin. By the middle of the week, even with constant, if somewhat haphazard, sunscreen application, we were both getting a bit crispy. So we decided to spend a day away from the water, out of direct sun.
We went to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, which was just a short drive from where we were staying. I think the Currituck lighthouse is one of the smaller ones in the Outer Banks, but it's still nothing to sneeze at: 214 curving metal steps, up about 150 feet.
Added to that, Eleanor wore me out before we even set foot in the lighthouse. There was a short, slow-moving line waiting for the privilege to climb all those steps. While the rest of our group waited in line, Eleanor felt the need to run. She and I ran back and forth across a grassy patch, racing from one tree back to Grandpa's legs (and one unsuspecting guy whom Eleanor mistook for Grandpa) back to another tree, back to Daddy's legs .... she couldn't get enough. Clearly, from the above picture taken before the climb, I could get enough.
Finally our group was at the front of the line. This is the point where we explained to Eleanor that Mommy can only carry one child up 200+ steps, and that was the child in my belly. Eleanor would be sticking with Daddy for this adventure.
And of course, when I'm off the hook, she doesn't even get carried! She told us that she was going to climb the steps by herself, and that's exactly what she did. Every. Single. One.
Yet, when we finally reach the top, I'm actually not a big fan of heights. The lighthouse didn't seem that intimidating from the group, but the view from the top was still dizzying to me. Especially knowing that my 2-year-old was wandering around, sticking her head between the bars. Luckily, Eleanor actually felt the same way about being up there, so she and I headed down together while Keith hung out and took some pictures.
And of course, when I was in charge of Eleanor on the way down, suddenly she was tired and wanted to be carried. I tried carrying her down one flight of the stairs, but they were an open metal staircase and between my inherent pregnant off-balance and carrying Eleanor, I was convinced I was going to trip and throw her over the railing to her death. By the bottom of one small flight, I was practically hyperventilating.
Keith came to the rescue and carried her down the rest of the stairs. Between the running and the climbing and the panicking, I think it was the most exercise I got the whole week. I enjoyed a bit of sightseeing, but I was also happy to go back to the beach/nap/pool routine, too.