Between us, we had kids ages 13, 12, 10, 5, 4, and 6 weeks, and my sister was 7 1/2 months pregnant. Our interests ranged widely, from my teenage beach bums in training, to their uncle the fisherman, two little boys who were not safe in water without supervision, and a dubious mom who wondered if she'd get a chance to jog on the beach or lie in the sun between kitchen duty and laundry patrol (that would be me). The last thing we wanted for our $2,800 was to hear choruses of "I'm bored." Could it all come together?

As we drove onto the island, the only things visible from the narrow road were shopping centers and entryways to various residential areas. Suddenly I had my doubts. But in the week to come, "our" beach house and the surrounding community of Duck would prove themselves more than capable of accommodating our full range of needs, interests, and sleeping habits - and the Atlantic Ocean and its beaches were endlessly entertaining as well.

Those of us who got up early to watch the sun rise over the water, or take a shot at bass fishing, ran into those who were just calling it a night after hours of MTV and Instant Messaging (yes, we brought our laptops). In between, the older kids hit the beach for swimming, boogie boarding, and a little tentative surfing. The baby slept in her stroller surfside as her mom and big sister, Emma, spent an entire afternoon on a sand sculpture of a giant mermaid. The 4- and 5-year-old boys were happiest at the pool in our backyard or the lifeguarded community one near the beach, and their pregnant mother reclined contentedly alongside.

The teenagers jumped on bikes to make shopping excursions for toe-rings, frisbees, and ice cream. The dads led golfing parties to several of the island's wide selection of putt-putt choices. While playing Horse in the driveway, my sons met the neighbors for a few rounds of hoops. The pool, hot tub, and showers were in use virtually around the clock, and afternoon lounge-a-thons and nightly fireworks displays became a regular affair. A masseuse came to de-stress The Pregnant One.