I just got back from a week at Wrightsville Beach, NC, with my extended family. We’ve been doing it for years, with only one missed summer (when I graduated from high school).
As the years have gone on, the number of participants has grown. I think we’re at around 14 people, and when my dad’s cousin and his family come, it goes up to around 21 people. (Depending on who’s coming, who’s bringing a significant other, etc.)
It can get a little nuts.
Fortunately, my dad’s cousins only visit for the day. If they spent the night, sleeping would become… interesting.
The house we stay in has 6 bedrooms, each with a bath. That makes it manageable for 14. It’s essentially two town houses glued together in the middle, with a giant common area. Each side has its own kitchen. On one side is the living room/den (kids’ side), and the other side is a big dining room (old people side).
What makes the house great is that it’s oceanfront, and that we can rent it, rather than dealing with the hassle of owning it. Owning a beach house is like buying a sick pet. You need to pour in a ton of money and attention to keep it from falling apart, and at some point, it’s going to leave this world anyway.
Why? Hurricanes. They eat beach houses. And if the hurricane is bad enough, and moves the mean high tide line too close, you won’t be able to rebuild.
So we rent, because it’s easier.
Regardless, it’s great that I know for sure I’ll have a chance to spend some time with my extended family every year. That means catching up with my cousins, aunt and uncle, and my little second cousins. (Not so little anymore, though!)