And then my head exploded.

So you know how our family is so lucky because we get to go on our own family reunion beach vacation, and then a month later we get to do it again with our beloved un-family, right?

Some of our happiest memories are of our weeks in Sandbridge, Virginia, with this amazing, loving, welcoming family of dear ones.

And we did join them again this year, and we did have just the swellest time again, too.

It's hard to convey the fabulousness of this week: it's about the food . . .

. . . the quiet time with friends . . .

. . . the running or relaxing by the water . . .

. . . the singing . . . .

Really, this is how a beach week is supposed to be.

But here's what I want to know: If YOU went into to see the hilarious and heart-warming Despicable Me with your urchins, wouldn't you expect that your eight-year-old piece of crap minivan would still be in the parking lot when you came out? Me, too! And yet you and I would be mistaken.

Apparently, while some family vacations are not complete without medical intervention of some sort, it appears that other beach vacations require the theft of the family vehicle to complete the experience.

And can I just say that I absolutely had the complete experience: the police report; the late night phone call to get someone -- anyone -- to come fetch us in the middle of the night; the lovely chat with the nice insurance company lady; the discovery that a rental car is not covered in our plan; it was everything you could want a car theft to be -- and even more!

Because I had even more glamorous excitement on the drive home from our fabulous vacation: the sunny girl and I zig-zagged across the state in order to retrieve the girl in charge, who had been attending Hollinsummer (more on this in an upcoming post, but early reporting indicates: gosh! It was fun!) in Roanoke, Virginia. We were in the zag portion of our journey when we had to stop for necessary re-fueling, by which I mean Chik-Fil-A. A fast food parking lot is the best place to sideswipe another vehicle while driving a rental car, I always say.

Oh, the tooth-gnashing and clamped mouth as I avoided letting loose with a string of self-directed wrothful epithets! Oh, the dread in calling the husband! And oh! oh! But the deep and sincere chagrin at the thought that the husband would be scampering like a bunny as soon as he got off the phone to fill the fabulous neighbors in on my ridiculosity!

I'm not even going to tell you about how the police eventually recovered the stolen "vehicle" but how it was also involved in an armed robbery so it is being held as evidence and they'll get back to us about the part where we actually get the stinking thing back -- like I want it back, after all this drama.

tangent: My friend Tim says it's time to ditch the mom-mobile mentality and get a Mercedes coupe. But I think what should happen is that I will get a very sturdy Vespa. And I will get a big wicker basket to hang on the front. And I will wear a floppy hat with a giant pink flower. And if the girl in charge needs a ride to softball practice, she can grab her equipment bag and climb into the basket.

All in all, it was just the most relaxing vacation ever -- aside from the part where I poked a stick in my eye in frustration and angsty despair. Twice.

Image credits and information:

OK, so since I'm clearly having one of those summers, my tragically beautiful and new camera is missing -- even though it made it home safely from the beach. So:

All the lovely beach photos are courtesy of various members of the Kline/Moran/Pollard/Dixon clan whose Facebooks I have scavenged. Thanks, everyone.

Crappy photos were taken on my iPhone.