If we thought Orelia couldn't love the beach any more, we underestimated the fun she would have with her four older cousins.
She felt a special connection to the eldest, and I couldn't figure out if Orelia thought of her more as a friend or a mom-friend (she loves her mom friends dearly).
Whenever she was around, Orelia wanted to be with her.
Orelia chanted her name constantly, and we could always get Orelia dressed and ready for the beach with a promise her special cousin would be there.
Daddy even got a break from being designated pool playmate when Orelia found someone even sillier to tickle her toes and give her "high ten."
Uncle Bobby proved an ideal playmate for the kids.
Especially because he was willing to do some heavy lifting and he could take a joke.
John was occasionally still needed for pool time if Orelia needed to "swim" away from chasing cousins.
Only the funniest ones, of course.
Almost every day a new hole was dug at the beach to bury as many cousins as would fit. As the shortest, Orelia would be in up to her belly, but somehow she could always find a way out.
One of Orelia's favorite beach activities with her cousins was asking them to walk with her to the trash can with someone's empty coke cans or water bottles. I can't count the number of times she managed to rope one of them into making the trek with her. I think they all enjoyed the attention, actually.
Orelia's been talking about the vacation ever since we got home and has loved looking back at all of the photos. She's so lucky to have such sweet cousins willing to let a toddler tag along. Nothing beats cousin time.