Our family's favorite place in the whole world is Hilton Head Island. We began vacationing there when Z was four and A was two and it was love at first sight. This year is my family's tenth trip to the island and it marks our first trip since I began my blog. So here, in diary form, is what a week looks like when our family of rednecks goes on vacation to an upscale resort. I'm sure it's quite a culture shock.....for them.
Departing our home with our mini van packed with as little as humanly possible. Strictly necessities. That means bathing suits and snacks. The kids know this is their final chance to go to the bathroom because our van doesn't stop until it needs gas. If you've gotta go, you've gotta wait....we stop for nothing.
7am: Breakfast at IHop with a friend from youth group days from a church we attended together as teenagers. (She and I count ourselves lucky that we survived and I have no doubt the church counts itself lucky that we're gone.) She lives in North Carolina and this was our second annual breakfast with her family. A very fun time and well worth the stop in our trip. 9am: Back on the road, cruise control set at eighty, and we're on the home stretch. Hilton Head Island or bust! 11am: Moving C's car seat to the very back seat might not have been the best idea. Going eighty mph in the daylight with a belly full of pancakes isn't a good combination and vomiting has begun....pass back a Walmart bag because this van ain't stoppin.....Noon: I tried to convince the security guard that I'm really a smart person after a minor snaffoo with the front gate. I don't think he's buying it. 1pm: We've been in our condo for less than an hour and the kids have already mistaken their bathmat for a hand towel. 1:05pm: So has my husband. (Sigh) I live with animals. 1:30pm: Z just found two plastic Easter eggs full of candy hidden in our condo. I was surprised and asked him how long he thinks they've been there. He replied, "I'm not sure, but I'd have to guess since Easter." (Smart***.) 2pm: Beach! This is C's fourth beach vacation in her three years of life and she decided that this is the year she hates sand. (Unlike the year we cruised to Jamaica two years ago when she ate it by the handfuls. My how things change.) 7pm: After our traditional ordering of the pizza, we headed to the pool. It didn't take my boys long to realize that when they straddled over the two fountains that were streaming into the toddler pool, it looked like they were peeing. (So of course they proceeded to try out lots of different poses. Would you expect any less?) 11pm: We're ready to crash! Aaaahhhh.....Home Sweet Hilton Head......
9am: I asked A if she'd like to join me on a fast walk on the beach for some exercise. 9:45am: She informed me that it wasn't very 'fast.' (We'll just see if she gets any sunblock today, won't we?) 3pm: After completely water logging ourselves at the beach and pool, it's time for a cookout, cornhole, and playground before heading to Harbour Town, one of our favorite traditions. 7:30pm: Our traditional climb to the top of the lighthouse! Hot, crowded, narrow, steep, 110 steps....and I'm claustrophobic.....so once again, my apologies to anyone I may have shoved and/or trampled on my way to the top....or bottom. 8pm: We're at the top of the lighthouse and completely hogging the live web cam as we call all of our family members so that they can see us in Hilton Head. We can only assume they're thrilled to put their lives on hold, go to their computer, and watch us wave at them. 9pm: Coligny Plaza to order our favorite treat. The Chocolate Fudge Brownie Feast! A huge brownie covered in four scoops of ice cream, tons of hot fudge, piles of whipped cream, sprinkled with nuts (or Reese Cups if you're my husband), and topped with a cherry. We order one for my husband and A to share and another one for K & me. C eats from both and Z sits there drinking a normal size root beer float while pretending not to be related to us. Then we devour those suckers while ignoring the stares from strangers....and Z. 10:05pm: We found out the hard way that the pool closes at 10pm and that it's non-negotiable. PS. The security guard still isn't amused with us. No surprise there since we rarely get along with the 'special' personality it takes to be a gung ho security guard that I suspect comes from their deep rooted IN-security from some childhood trauma. I wish them well with their therapist. 11pm: Two flashlights + six family members = twenty minutes of non-stop fighting during a night walk along the beach. (Where's a security guard when you actually need one?)
9am: You'd think the beautiful view out the gym window would take away the pain of the elliptical workout.....you'd be wrong. 11am: Unbelievable huge waves today!!! We weren't real surprised to see our lifeguard heading our direction. That usually happens at least once a year and since we had C out in ten foot waves in her inflatable whale, we kind of expected it. But when I asked him if we were doing something wrong, I was surprised when he said, "No, I just wanted to try these rad waves!" I resisted the urge to use words like, "Righteous, dude, and gnarly." Instead I said, "Totally" and gave him the hang ten sign. (All credit for my extensive surfer lingo goes to Crush on 'Finding Nemo.') But the waves were a little too 'rad' for me. My first clue was when I was thrown down face first and realized my boobs were not only exposed but dragging behind me in the sand. I figured I should get out before a small child tried to use one as a flotation device. 5:45: I ate a column of oreos by myself and spent an hour bonding with the bathroom. 8pm: We rode for two hours on a twelve mile bike ride. We could have gone faster but my husband kept jumping off his bike and running onto the golf course to gather stray balls. 9pm: At the pool! 9:15pm: K: "I need my goggles for the hot tub quick!!!!" (Uh oh......)
7am: While having my coffee a large frog hopped by my chair....in the living room!!! (Remind me, is it good luck or bad luck when a frog crosses your path?) 8:20am: Time to leave for my massage! (This is technically 'work' for me. It's called research, people.) 9:45am: Forty-five minutes into my ninety minute massage I was pulled from the depths of my semi-conscious state by the sounds of a bird whistle. I'm not a fan of nature sounds during a relaxing massage so I was immediately annoyed with his c.d. Then I noticed that the strange bird call perfectly coincided with each of my exhales. I was finally forced to face the embarrassing realization that the bird sound was coming out of my own nose. (Crap, is that embarrassing.) 10:45am: Security gate debacle #2 but this time I'm not even tempted to convince the 'In-security' guard that I'm super smart in real life. After all, I'm not the one who needs the therapist. (Please refrain from commenting if you disagree.) 12:15pm: While sitting on the beach, C announced that her ear hurts. 1:15pm: Ten trips to HH and we're just now seeing the inside of their Urgent Care. (Not bad!) 3pm: Amoxicillin and drops are prescribed. (FYI: It's true when they say people move at a slower pace in the South. Do they not realize that we're on vacation?!? So hurry up for crying out loud!!!!) 6pm: On our way to the Hilton Head Diner for a cheeseburger that my husband had last year and he's been talking about it ever since. 7:30pm: Slow service with a sub-standard waitress and when my 'deluxe' cheeseburger was delivered to me plain I was a little perturbed. I asked her where all of my toppings were and she informed me that you only get toppings when you order fries. (Huh?!?) I turned to shoot her my very best 'WTF face' when my husband suddenly apologized to her because of my misunderstanding. (And that's when the fight started......) Note to self: The next time a frog crosses my path, go back to bed immediately.
10am - 12pm: I parked my beach chair in the waves while my family slept in. Heavenly! 4pm: Z successfully passed his driving test before vacation, therefore our family now has three licensed drivers. In the interest of confidentiality, no names will be used in this portion of my entry. We have drivers #1, #2, and #3.....and today, driver #1 accidentally hit a guy riding a bike as driver #2 chatted on the cell phone in the passenger seat. Okay, technically #1 just barely bumped the guy's back bike tire. No injury, no damages, but that didn't seem to make the bike rider feel any better about it. Driver #1 waved an apology but the guy on the bike put his shocked and angry face up to #1's window. Driver #2 continued their phone conversation and tried desperately to avoid eye contact with the angry face in the window. Driver #1 explained, "I said I was sorry, I don't know what else you want from me" and drove away. (Yet another Hilton Head first because shockingly we've never in our our ten years hit anyone on a bike. So much for that record. Also in the interest of privacy, I won't tell you which driver # peed their pants from laughing so hard afterward. 7pm: Riding our bikes to McDonalds for milkshakes. (Let's hope for Driver #1's sake that Karma is a myth.)
**This clearly calls for a vote. What do you think? Who hit the bike rider? Go to the top right under the picture of the brownie feast if you'd like to take a guess**
10am - 4pm: Typical day....Beach followed by the pool. (A quick soapbox moment if you don't mind: Kids need a vacation too! So will the over zealous dad who was pacing around the pool all afternoon with a notebook as his three young daughters, sporting professional swimming goggles, did continuous laps of the butterfly stroke and practiced flip turns, please just let them play and have fun?!?! Better yet, get in and play with them! And the same goes for the mom forcing her son to practice speaking French by the pool. Not everything has to be educational! Thank you. Soapbox removed.) 7pm: This evening on our bike ride we noticed a 'No Trespassing' sign on the golf course. Hmmm....wonder if that's new? 9:30pm: I told a young teenager in the hot tub that she looks just like the actress who played 'Sabrina The Teenage Witch.' She seemed pleased until K followed it up with, "You look like the witch on 'Bewitched' too." (For future reference, one comparison to a witch can be a compliment, two comparisons to a witch has the potential to give a young girl a complex.) So when Z jokingly said, "Gee, why don't we tell her she looks like the witch off 'The Wizard of Oz' while we're at it," I decided we should go back to the room before we inflict further damage.
Our last day! We're a little sad but a little excited to get back home. We spent the morning and early afternoon at the beach and pool and the rest of the day cleaning, packing up, and taking some final pictures. With exception of Z tossing a Frisbee up onto someone's third floor balcony and taking out a solar light with a football, it's been an uneventful day. (Better go knock on some wood now.) We'll end our vacation with our traditional stop at Golden Corral and a final souvenir stop before beginning our night drive back home. 7pm: Driving across the bridge. We had a wonderful week but it's time for us to go back where we came from.....and the island rejoiced.