Thursday, July 11, 2013

Vacation in Pictures

I felt the need to steal some of my mom's pics and post them to further document our Hilton Head vacation.
We went for a dolphin tour. I was amazed by how close they came. A few came right up to the boat. So close that we could have touched them had we reached out our hands. Which I expressly forbade the boys to do, mind you. Dolphins have teeth, y'all.

"We are ready for the beach, momma."

This is pretty much what the kid did when he was at the beach. I mean he ran and jumped and "body surfed" (his words). But he did it all with great joy and abandon. One of my favorite things about this kid is that he lives life with gusto. He is in it.

He also danced and posed a lot in the ocean. Also with great joy.
This, however, is more illustrative of baby E's general opinion about the beach. For the most part he just wasn't a fan. Until the last day. Then he decided it was tolerable. Just possibly even a bit fun.
The pool, on the other hand, is now a favorite of baby E. He kept jumping in with his eyes and mouth closed and popping back up with a huge grin. I'm thrilled he now is a fan of swimming. Up til now, that's not really been the case.

We really enjoyed the biking. It made me want to get my own bike for home. You know, until I remembered that is isn't nearly as flat here as it is in Hilton Head. I could ride a bike all day there. Here, I'd make it down the hill from my house and then have to walk the bike back up.

All this talk and warning about all the alligators. We saw one (and not at our resort). Someone had to point it out, too, like we didn't even see it on our own. The boys were impressed with these signs though.

Should we go to HHI again, I think I'd like to stay at Sea Pines. Our area was nice (Royal Dunes), but, I gotta say, Sea Pines seemed super nice. We were a 3 min walk to the beach (literally) so that was wonderful.

We had fun just hanging out in the rockers at Sea Pines, people watching. E seemed to enjoy it as much as I did. 

He also tried to guilt me into giving him my ice cream. After he'd already finished his own. I didn't give in. I mean, I love him and all. But we were talking ice cream, on a 85 degree/90% humidity kind of day.

So, we just rocked some more.

And then we rode the "Charlies" (aka trolley) around. Which I'm pretty sure was the boys' favorite part of the whole trip. I have no idea why the boys call them "Charlies" but they do. And it's so cute that I don't feel inclined to correct them.
My favorite part of vacation was just being away from home (and work) and watching them experience the whole thing.
Today's Lesson: As wonderful as vacations are, it is also wonderful to be home.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Proposal

Today's is my and hubby's 13th anniversary. It seemed a good time to document and share our proposal story.

It was a hot day. A really hot day. The ohmylord humid kind of day that is normal for July and August in these parts. I'd driven from home down to the camp where hubby was working for the summer. This was pre-GPS and I have the directional sense of a marshmallow. In short, I was proud of myself for getting there without getting lost. Because, really, it was quite an achievement.

When I arrived, the camp manager (who became my bff many years later!) handed me a clue of where to find hubby. It was something about going to where we'd first met. I had no idea. Plus, even once I figured out he meant the pool, I had no idea where the pool was! I'd only been to this camp once before, and it had been like a year before. And, as previously noted, I am directionally impaired.

Once I got to the pool (with future-bff's assistance), there was another clue, and another, and another. Now, I gotta be honest here. I was fairly certain I knew what was at the end of this trail. So I had some motivation. However, it was hot and humid (have I mentioned that?) and I was getting kind of cranky. I was also starting to doubt whether there would be a ring at the end. Truly, if there hadn't been, what would still have been a lovely, romantic gesture, would have just ticked me off.

When I finally climbed the hill to the shelter (after, I might add, getting lost not once, but twice), I saw it was decorated and there was music playing. Hubby was in the middle and a chair was sitting in front of him. He was so, so very nervous. I've only seen him nervous a couple of times, probably never had before that.

If hubby were to tell this story, at this point he'd probably say that I plopped right down in that chair and stuck out my hand to him, shoving it in his face, awaiting, no demanding my ring. I, however, am fairly certain he's confused. I don't remember it happening that way at all.

I remember him taking my hand and leading me to the chair and asking me to sit down.

I remember thinking "finally!". Finally, what, I'm not quite sure. Probably, finally I can sit down and have this fan blow on me.

I remember him getting down on one knee.

I don't remember at all what he said.

I remember tearing up.

I remember not being able to talk.

I remember nodding yes.

I remember holding my hand out to him, delicately (not shoving it in his face!).

I remember his hands shaking.

I remember the ring on my finger.

I remember us both crying.  And laughing. And happy. And love. So, so much love.

That's what I remember.

Happy anniversary, dear husband.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Lessons from Vacation

1. Remember your camera. Or, if you forget it, bring your mother who is great about taking pictures. Then just steal hers.

2. Order your rental bicycles before arriving at vacation. Because apparently they will be sold out before you arrive. Particularly during the week of 4th of July. Hopefully, you - like us - will finally find some after 5 or 6 phone calls.

3. It is a bad idea to slap the mosquito biting your very sunburned leg.

4. Also, don't scratch mosquito bites on your very sunburned leg.

5. Also, put sunscreen on your legs (in addition to everywhere else), because even though having tan legs sounds fun, having sunburned legs that will inevitably go back to white, is not. Particularly when they're covered in mosquito bites.

6. Apparently your children can actually sleep in the same room.

7. They will still be up at 6am, though, because they could care less that you'd like to sleep in on vacation.

8.  White is generally not a good choice for bathing suit if you're planning to get wet. Unless you're under the age of 7.

9. You know that old saying. "it's like riding a bicycle"? Well, riding a bicycle is like, well, riding a bicycle. Even after more than 20 years, your body will still know how to ride the bicycle.

10. Taking a walk on the beach in the evening is romantic. Getting lost when it is pitch black on the beach however, not so much.

11. White shirts and khaki shorts/pants for beach pictures are popular. Really, really popular. Perhaps other combos will become popular. Soon. Otherwise, all the Christmas cards this year will look the same.

12. Riding bikes on the beach sounds fun, and romantic, and all that crap. Until you try to ride bikes on the beach. And then you realize that it's actually hard, and you go really slow, and it's, like, sandy. Stick to the bike paths.

13. When your mother offers to watch the children so you and your spouse can go out to dinner, don't be an idiot. Take. Her. Up. On. It. Then go to bed early. Because the children will be up at 6am.

14. Dessert should be eaten every day of vacation. Sometimes twice. Trust me on this.

15. Vacation is the perfect time to use that $500 SpaFinder gift certificate you won. And, because you can only have so many services done in one day (thus it's hard to spend the whole thing), you should leave a huge tip and make the day of the ladies who provided the lovely services. $150 tip, anyone?

16. Relax your standards about the children's TV consumption. Because every time you turn around, someone will have turned on the blasted thing. So, either go with it, or your head will explode. Which would ruin everyone's vacation. Next week, the hammer can come back down on this one.

17. Don't check your work email while on vacation. Just don't. Really.

18. When you've been in the car for hours and the children won't nap and they're picking at each other and crying and whining and driving themselves/each other/you crazy and you think you are going to scream (!!!!!), turn up the music really loud so you can't hear their whining and crying and look out the window. Pretend you're rocking out by yourself. They'll eventually shut up, either because they're worn out, or because they think you've lost your mind. Doesn't matter, because they'll be quiet.

19. 85 degrees and 90% humidity really is too hot to babywear the 33mon/35lbs toddler. He needs to learn to walk a few miles eventually. Now is as good a time as any.

20. It doesn't matter how prepared you are, something will not go as planned. Decide how important that one thing is before you react. Otherwise, lots more things could go wrong.

21. Only stay places with washer/dryer access. I mean it.

22. Check with locals and Yelp before choosing a restaurant.

23. Go ahead and put swim suits on your children, even if you're just "walking" on the beach. They're going to "accidentally" get in anyway.

24. Have fun! But don't feel pressured to make every moment memorable, perfect, or "the best". Let it be what it is.

25. Relax. Try to at least. Try hard.