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Our Vacation Re-cap

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I can’t really seem to figure out why I can’t write about our vacation. I think it’s because I’m sad that it’s over… part of me still holding onto the idea that it won’t really be over until I write about it… as if I’m closing that chapter by blogging it.  

It has been more than a week since we got home. And, yet, I still don't want to admit it is over. But, alas, it is. And, I'm getting further behind by avoiding blogging this, because, as always, life keeps going on in full speed. :) 

Maybe another reason that I can't seem to get motivated to post about vacation is because my camera was broken on our first day of arriving in Florida. And, what would this post be like without beautiful photos of the beach and my sun-kissed babies? But... well... no pictures yet. Ok. So, I have a few pics from our cell phone cameras. I'll include those. Still... not happy that the ones I really loved are stuck on a camera that I haven't been able to turn on. Ugh.

It was a great vacation. I was a little nervous about how it would go… traveling to Charleston, South Carolina first, staying a couple of days, and then traveling some more to get to Dunedin, Florida. I was worried we wouldn’t feel rested… that it would feel like we were running around too much.  

I was worried for no reason. Was it our most relaxing beach vacation? Well, no. The travel did break it up a little. But, was it worth it? Yes. Definitely. Charleston was more beautiful than I expected it to be. Honestly, I could have stayed there an entire week and probably still would not have been ready to come home. It was so charming… so cute… yet it still had all the luxury of a larger city and the feel of a real tourist destination without a ridiculous amount of traffic or waiting. We spent our first evening there eating at Hyman’s and wandering the downtown market. The kids enjoyed it… the food was delicious… and we even got a free gift certificate to go back to Hyman’s (Dawn, remind me to give it to you before you leave for Seabrook in August) for wearing our stickers downtown. :)

The second day we were there, we had to go to the beach. I was hesitant because I didn’t want to miss anything in Charleston, but I had two children who had been promised a beach vacation and they were not about to wander around a hot downtown all day with the coast so very close by. I didn’t fight them much… as a matter of fact, I was having a really tough time not being on the beach immediately, too. So, we took breakfast (our only McDonald’s stop during our entire stay – a small miracle) to Folly Beach. It was gorgeous. The kids had a great time… and both of them shared with me that they NEVER wanted to go home. See video here (I have similar video of Jake, but I can't seem to get it downloaded properly... apparently I have issues with technology these days):


Brad and I had already began our typical vacation discussion… when are we moving to the beach? Which beach do we want to move to? Should we move to a city close to the beach, but not actually on the beach? Which city would offer us the best job opportunities? Which place would be best for the kids? What in the world would our parents do? Could we find a place that has direct flights from Lexington or Huntington or even Charleston for our families to use (and us as well?)? Could we really leave our families behind to move? All of these conversations are the same every year… always with the same answers… we don’t know. :) Still, they happen every year… and I’m slightly convinced that each and every year, we get a little bit closer to taking that leap. Will it be this year? Who knows? 

We spent that evening shopping at the Outlet Mall (which was only about a mile from our hotel), looking at the USS Yorktown from the riverfront, wandering around town and looking at old buildings, roads, and shops, and eating more seafood at A.W. Shuck’s (a fabulous place, I have to say). Then, while we would have been so happy to stay the rest of the week, we packed up our stuff, slept a few hours, and headed to Florida.  

The trip down was not bad at all. In fact, other than a few small towns with very low speed limits, it was pretty enjoyable. This is the part where I gush and brag about how awesome our kids are… sorry. They travel so well. Eight hours to Charleston, South Carolina. Then, we traveled eight more hours to Florida. The fighting was minimal… the sleeping was practically nonexistent, and yet, they were great. They are such wonderful babies (or big kids as they point out these days).  

Florida… Clearwater might have had the prettiest sand I’ve ever seen. The first night there, we ate dinner at Crabby Bill’s (where they had AWESOME crab legs that I kept making a mess with and hitting Cilla and Bret with from across the table) and then we watched a gorgeous sunset on the white sandy beach. Aww… how I miss it already. Cilla was, as always, adorably pregnant and Bret was, as always, making the kids wild. Well, no more wild than usual, really. It was still beautiful. Kids screaming (and getting in the water despite my threats) and still a beautiful sunset. 

The entire week was pretty much perfection. We had gorgeous weather. We got tan. YAY! We relaxed on the beach and the kids played in the waves. They collected seashells, got buried in the sand, and screamed at seagulls. Hmm. That doesn’t sound peaceful, does it? Well… let me tell you… these seagulls are unlike any I have seen before. They literally stole a sandwich out of Bailey’s hand as she was eating it. I’ve never seen more aggressive birds in my life. Of course, that just so happened to be the day that the waves were larger and stronger than normal. So, Bailey had already had a major wipeout on her boogy board (as in, I saw her feet and only her feet for quite some time before Brad was pulling her out of the water). To top it all off, that was the day that us girls all went to the spa to have pedicures and manicures and the guys went to golf. Wouldn’t you know that Bailey got locked in the bathroom at the spa and screamed as if she was being locked in a dungeon? Oh… it was funny. It was all funny, even if she didn’t think so.  She didn't think it was the best day of our vacation. 

Jake enjoyed the beach more than any other year, I think. Well, I don't know. He did love Hilton Head a lot. But, at least he has moved beyond his hatred of the sand. Brad and I were so worried when he was a little over a year old and we went on our first beach vacation. He sat in a chair or on a blanket the entire time we were at the beach. He didn't want to touch the sand because it would stick to him. Thankfully, he's outgrown that. We were temporarily terrified that we wouldn't be allowed to vacation at the beach. Jake did pull out his old chair stunt on our last day on vacation though. He knew we were planning to go home that day and he had decided that Superman and Batman were crying for him at home. They missed him so much that he just had to get home right then. We had plans to spend the morning on the beach before leaving town. Jake did not like those plans. So, he refused (loudly) to wear his swimming trunks. He then wore two t-shirts, to reinforce the message that he was not going to swim. And, finally, he made us carry him to a chair on the beach so that he wouldn't have to get in the sand. Picking your battles really came in handy that day. :) Instead of fighting with him, we just let him make his choices. Of course, he ended up in full clothing, soaking wet and sandy, because he couldn't resist the beach any more than the rest of us could. 

One of my favorite things about vacation is the good food. We ate seafood almost every single night of vacation - the only night that we didn't was the night that we cooked out at the beach for Cilla's birthday. That's also the same night that my phenomenally talented best friend took this year's family photos. I can't wait to show them off to you. I even got to play on the camera some too and took some of her pregnant belly. So adorable. 

And, just like last year, I got to mark off some list items with this vacation. I visited Charleston, South Carolina. I helped Cilla mark off an item on her list - going to play putt-putt golf. It was fun... and hot... and sweaty... but fun. The kids had a good time. We had a good time. And, I totally kicked butt. Yes, I'm bragging to Brad and Bret here... because it isn't often that I get to win. 

We saw dolphins, took a boat ride to Caladesi Island, and spent evenings eating ice cream, watching sunsets, and discussing everything under the sun. Ahhh... vacation. Why do you only come once a year? 

As a sidenote, I hope that I'm able to share some of my photos from our vacation soon. If not from my own camera, I know that Cilla is going to have some really awesome ones to share later. So... more to come... because I'm definitely not done with this vacation. lol. 

Until then... here are a few of my favorites from our cell phone cameras: 


  1. It sounds like the perfect week!! And yay for the Hyman's gift certificate...
    thanks :)