Tag Archives: trip

Annual beach trip

Each year we go to the beach with my parents, Doug’s family and Grandmama.  This year was no exception.  Everyone arrived in Murrells Inlet, SC on Saturday morning (except Tom and I, we drove in late Saturday night after working on the house all day). We rented a large house right on the beach, which is necessary due to the number of small children that we have going back and worth from the beach to the house all day. Because the rates are much less expensive in May than they are for the rest of the summer, we pulled the kids out of school and took off for the beach.  Hands down, we had the most beautiful weather this year.

The cousins were so excited to see each other again.  Now that Doug, Jacqueline and the boys live in Maryland, the kids really appreciate the time that they have together.  I could put thirty pictures in the post to show how much fun we all had, but that would be a bit excessive.  I will show the highlights:

The five cousins having a grew time together.  The ocean was fun, but a big hole and pile of dirt was equally as entertaining….


Doug had his surf board with him and we rented a paddle board for two days.  The kids learned how to surf and ride the waves.  We all briefly tried paddle boarding.  The water was a bit choppy which made it hard to stand up on the paddle board.  Frankly, I was too afraid of what might be swimming under me to fully enjoy the experience.



The best part of vacation was that it actually felt like a vacation.  Many times going to the beach is more of a “relocation” than an actual vacation.  This time I sat in a chair more than I stood up. It was awesome!  The kids were finally old enough to play in the water and not need me hovering over them making sure that they didn’t drown.  The sun shirts that we all have on became the unofficial uniform of our vacation – they were on sale at the beach shop so we all bought one.  By the third day I had on a giant floppy hat and a sun shirt….gone are the days of bikinis and laying out to get a tan.


Tom and I did get our date night out on the boardwalk.  We deemed it as one of our best dates. :)  As for the other nights, we ate well, drank many margaritas, ate ice cream and watched a comedy on TV with Doug.  I hadn’t laughed that much in a very long time.  It was good to hang out with my brother again.

Vacation at the beach was amazing and unforgettable.  It was hard to go home, but I was very glad that the house was immaculate when I got there. (although no buyers for the house yet).  I have to thank Mom and Dad for starting this beach tradition and for carrying it on each year.  Thank you!!

Beach Trip: Day 1-2

We left to go to Murrell’s Inlet in South Carolina on Saturday morning for our yearly family beach trip.  This trip includes our family, my parents and Doug’s family.  We always rent a house right on the beach.  Because it is much, much cheaper to go before Memorial Day, we decided to take Faith out of school for a week and go now instead of after school lets out in two weeks.  Seeing that it is only kindergarten I didn’t have much of a problem doing so.  Saturday morning we left around 11:00am – after I taught water aerobics, Wilson had soccer and Faith had auditions for her camp this summer.  It was a busy morning, but we got it all done (I had been packing all week).

We met Doug, his kids, my parents and Grandmama at the Strawberry Festival at McLeod’s Farm on the way to the beach.  We picked strawberries, ate lunch, ate ice-cream, and the kids bounced on the bouncy castles.  After we had our fun there, we loaded up and continued on our way to the beach.  Here are some Strawberry Festival pictures.






The house is great!  This year we had to get a different house than last year, but it is even better.  This one has a swing set and a fenced in back yard.  We eventually had to rig a baby gate up on the walkway to the beach because Miller and Shepherd kept going down the walkway to the beach by themselves. Not good!

It has been so much fun to see the excitement that the kids have for being at the beach.  Miller was so in awe of the ocean when he first saw it.  He looked at it in amazement and said, “That’s big water!”  He was right.  The whole first day, he and Shepherd ran back and forth picking up shells and then throwing them into the water.   The weather has been a bit chilly in the mornings, but that hasn’t stopped the kids from going into the water anyway.  The kids keep playing in the water, getting cold, going to take a bath, and then drying off only to go straight back to the beach again.  It is almost comical.

The most amazing thing that I have seen so far, which is scary but fascinating at the same time, is sharks.  They were not in front of our house, but were down under the pier which is about two miles away.   Jacqueline’s sister, Monique, and I were looking off of the pier yesterday afternoon and saw more than eleven sharks swimming underneath us. It was crazy!!  The sharks were circling around waiting for the fishermen to either throw back fish or steal what was on their hooks.  They weren’t small sharks either.  Most of them were 6-8 foot Black Tip sharks.  I had never seen sharks in the wild before.  It was truly frightening, but I have been back to see them again.  Thankfully, no one has been bitten here in years.  I have decided that these sharks are like pigeons:  they go where the food is given to them and they go back daily and never want to leave.  Hey…maybe all of the sharks around here are actually down at the pier getting fed instead of out in the water where we swim.  That thought makes me feel better. I have to say that I am thankful that the water is too cold for us to swim out in this year.  I don’t have to worry about it.

Overall, we have had a very enjoyable first couple of days.  It was a bit windy yesterday so we didn’t play on the beach much, but we stayed entertained riding bikes, playing games, going to the pier and playing on the swing set.  Today is supposed to be warmer.


Lazy Five Ranch




Spring Break has begun and we wanted to start it off right with a fun, family day trip.  We went up to Moorsville to the Lazy Five Ranch – an animal reserve/zoo where we could see, touch and feed the animals up close.  It was so much fun!  I enjoyed it as much as the kids.  We payed a little extra to ride on the horse drawn wagon through the park.  We were given many buckets of animal feed on our open air wagon.  The animals came right up to the wagon.  Some even stuck their noses under our seats to get at the buckets.  Wilson was not scared at all.  He fed deer, Brama bulls, a zebra, goats, water buffalo, bison, and many, many other wild animals that you don’t get to see up close.  Faith sat in the middle of the wagon – she is afraid of most animals, but enjoyed looking at them all.


One of our favorite parts was feeding the giraffes.  They put their long necks down over the fence and ate from our bucket.  Very cool….



Here is how up close and personal we got with some of the animals….




After the hour long wagon ride we went to the picnic area to eat lunch and play on the playground.  The kids loved the playground that looked like a wooden ship.  There was also another animal area where we could pet goats and camels and see many exotic birds.  A peacock roamed the parking lot.  We were there almost three hours and could have stayed longer.

It was a great family adventure.  We will definitely be going back to the Lazy 5 for many years to come.


An Abrupt Ending

I woke up at 11:00am Sunday morning and thought to myself, “I miss my kids and husband. I want to go home.” I have never done that before. I usually love having my time away. This time, however, I wanted to go home. Luckily, because I bought my ticket with Kristen’s father’s Delta miles (who is a preferred customer) I was able to easily change the day of departure. Kristen’s sister, Kate, lives just down the road from me and was flying out that afternoon as well so I was able to get on the same flight.

It is a tricky situation explaining to your friend that you want to go home early. Everyone with kids knows that sometimes you just need to go home and be with your kids. As it was explained to me in premarital counseling, my order to priority/commitment is: God, husband, kids, immediate family, others. I was away long enough to really gain an appreciation for my family. I love my husband. I love my kids. I love my parents and friends. I wouldn’t change any of them or want my life to be anywhere else except with them.

I kind of reminded me of “When Harry Met Sally” when Harry realized that he loved Sally. He ran all the way across town to find her on New Years Eve. He said something like, “When you realize who you want to spend the rest of your life with you, want the rest of your life to start right now!” That is how i felt. I flew home a day early, ran through the Atlanta airport to catch my connecting flight, and wanted my week to start right then with them.