To Charleston and Back

Since Jeremy went to Disney World, we decided to take Jackson on a mini-trip to Charleston so he could have a memorable spring break too. Not knowing what to expect, he reveled in being the only child for a few days and staying in a hotel. He kept his fingers crossed that we’d visit books stores and the Charleston library. (We did!)

Charleston is beautiful, and though the temperatures were not ideal, we were happy to have lots of sunshine and low-key crowds. Chuck fished, Jackson jumped waves, and I took pictures of all of it.

Here’s the first photo dump.

A walk through Charleston

Anchor house

Jackson at Folly Beach

Wing span

Sandy feet

Catching sting rays

Ships

cobblestone

Washington Square

There’s no way that Charleston can be compared to Disney World (which Jeremy is loving, by the way), but there is something very special about spending one-on-one time with your kids. They are much more enjoyable when their personalities are allowed to shine, when there isn’t competition for attention or sibling rivalry to cast a shadow on a family vacation. Jackson was a delight, happy to go here or there, a little tired after a lot of walking, but nothing that an ice cream cone couldn’t fix.

Blue Bicycle Books Late afternoon on Folly Pink and white pompoms Southern mansion

A walk through the college

The Monday Morning Report

So you’re in the loop:

Major ate a plastic spatula Thursday night. It’s finally coming out. Of both ends.

Jeremy has cornered the market on world news  now that he listens to the Christian radio station each morning. As I pour my first cup of coffee, he gives me all the updates. Today I was told we shouldn’t buy beef from California, Texas, Illinois, or Arkansas because the meat has a disease in it. Now you all know.

My first short story is due today. I’m all kinds of nervous about submitting it.

It’s supposed to snow this week. Old Man Winter can suck it.

Chuck gets home this week after a long time of being away. Words cannot express.

I’ve tried watching some of the Olympics in the evenings, but I’m distracted by Sochi’s overpopulation of stray dogs and Bob Costas’ pink eye. The is the first time in my life that the Olympics are on and I’m like, “Eh.”

And finally, I discovered that two of my photos from Charleston and the Isle of Palms have been shared more than 700 times on Pinterest. Neato!

Marina

Always Worth It

Charleston in Pictures, Part Two

As I ignore “Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater!” and other exclamations blowing my way from the boys’ bedrooms, I offer another batch of photos from Charleston.

_DSC0206 _DSC0213 _DSC0222 _DSC0228 _DSC0229 _DSC0243 _DSC0246 _DSC0265 _DSC0290 _DSC0292 _DSC0297Just in case I didn’t know I was home from vacation, the dog made sure to vomit his dinner on the living room carpet last night and chew up one of Jeremy’s Star Wars cups. He’s sweet to welcome me home so appropriately.

Charleston, Take Two

This, dear readers, is a do-over.

Soon after we moved back to East Tennessee from Texas my best friend, Karin, and I ran off to Isle of Palms for a much-needed break from reality. She was newly single again and I had spent two years living away from her while she muddled through a big life change. The trip was going to be only three days (when three weeks would’ve been better), but we were going to enjoy every second of it. However, about 12 hours into the trip, we were rudely interrupted by human forces beyond our control and that sent the trip into a tailspin of emotions. I’ll save you the details but instead say that while Charleston and Isle of Palms are beautiful, the trip was overshadowed by a dark cloud.

So, we’re going to give it another try.

Rarely am I away from my children. My entire life is set up around them, which is intentional and what I have chosen, but sometimes I really, really need to go to a restaurant and order only for myself. I need to drive somewhere in a car and not answer questions from someone in the back seat. I need to go to sleep and wake up with no one else’s schedule in mind but my own. On the surface, it sounds very self-centered, but every mother knows that there comes a moment when you take your children by the hand, look into their sweet innocent eyes, and say, “I love you dearly, but I really need to miss you for a minute.”

Chuck and I are great tag-team parents, affording one another time here, or time there. But on the whole, the day-to-day care-taking sits on my shoulders, and that is particularly true for Karin and her children. So, with that in mind, we are running away for a few days in an attempt to recharge our brains and recapture what we tried to accomplish two years ago.

For what it’s worth, I do not worry one bit about Chuck’s ability to care for the boys while I’m gone.Digging dog

The dog, however, is another story.

P.S. Dear ocean, I’m coming. See you soon. XOXO

Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms and Charleston – Day One

Let’s start with this, shall we?

A mini-trip to the Isle of Palms, South Carolina, has been planned for two months – ever since Karin reached near-meltdown and I resolved that my years-long separation from the ocean had been darn near long enough. We found a deal, saved the cash and blew out of town for the weekend.

It was a seven-hour drive, which is in the middle of “a quick drive” and “too far.” We left early Saturday morning and were seaside by 2:30 p.m. Chuck arranged for us to enjoy massages upon arrival (isn’t he adorable?), and afterwards we settled ourselves in the sand.

Despite being on vacation, I knew getting up with the sun was necessary for me. Karin enjoyed the extra sleep while I enjoyed a personal Sunrise Spectacular with The Creator.

The only other onlookers were dedicated runners (God love them!) and sweethearts walking hand-in-hand. There was also the occasional dog owner tossing a tennis ball into the ocean for his retriever.

We specifically chose a beachfront hotel for this reason – the flexibility to do what we each wanted without disturbing the other. Even though I woke up earlier than Karin, we were both ready for beach bumming by 8 a.m. in order to maximize our very short time.

By the afternoon we forced ourselves to clean up and drive 20 minutes to Charleston (to be pronounced with a long southern draw, like Chaawlston). Already in love with Savannah, I knew I’d love Charleston, which is a much larger city with equal the charm. With only hours to spend there, we drove around before parking to walk in an attempt to see as much as possible. On reference from an old high school friend, we enjoyed a lovely dinner at Fleet Landing and watched a partial sunset on a nearby pier.

The architecture of the Old South is so romantic.

When the sun started to set, we drove back to the Isle of Palms to finish the evening on the beach. People were still swimming, still frolicking, still trying to hang on to every second in the sand. I don’t blame them. Having never been a real beach person before, I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed just sitting and listening to the waves. It was intoxicating.

I have a dozen more photos to share, but I’ll save Day Two for tomorrow. The second sunrise was even prettier.