Whew! It feels like we were gone a long time…
Last Friday, I threw on a tube-top beach dress and cowboy boots, and got my yeehaw on at the hottest Riverbend concert of all time – literally. I’m talking high 90 degree temps in a shoulder to shoulder crowd jammed in under the pavilion with no breeze – hot stuff! But totally worth it to dance along with Lindsey Boots to two of our faves – Dierks Bentley and Brad Paisley. Man, I love summer concerts…
After the concert, I dropped the rest of the cowgirls off at the bar, and headed to the grocery store at midnight to grab snacks and cooler goodies for our big car trip in the morning. Note to self: going to Kroger on a Friday at midnight in a beach dress and cowboy boots draws some unwanted attention. I ended up in bed around 3:30am, and was up at 6am for our departure. Needless to say, Casey drove the entire way (thank you!) and I did a lot of sleeping.
We arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina around 1:30 on Saturday, and stayed until Monday night. Details of the Charlotte trip will be saved for a future blog post, but it was definitely a fun weekend – Charlotte is beautiful! We headed out of Charlotte and hit the road for Hilton Head, to join Casey’s family for a few days of fun in the sun.
I can’t tell you what we did each day because, as they should, the days all run together. I can tell you that they all involved lots of sunshine and sand, hours and hours of talking and stories, beach reads, bike rides, loooong walks, and delicious food. Here is my week in pictures…
While I am a total sun person, I have a thing about getting too much sun on my face. The sun down there was hot as hell, and I was forced to take drastic measures in protecting myself from getting football-like wrinkles in my 50s. The only protection I could find was this absurd Indy Car trucker hat that I found in the back of the car (thanks, Chuck!), and I wore it every day with pride:)
Vacations are the times when you get to do exactly what you would do if you didn’t have to work, right? For me and Casey, that means getting to workout as much and as long as we want to, without all the other annoyances of life (jobs, errands, etc.) eating up most of our time. Every morning, me, Casey, and Grandma Diane were the first three up, and we’d start each day out on the porch together enjoying the quiet morning, and a few cups of the strongest coffee in the world.
After coffee and fuel, Casey and I would take off for either the beach or the bike trails, and do a long run/walk for no less than ten miles. It felt so great to be able to walk for (literally) hours, with no agenda to rush home to, and no plans for the day. Plus it let us relax and eat as much as we wanted to without feeling guilty about being lazy vacationers. Our morning “workouts” were really just a great chance for us to enjoy the beautiful island and weather, and talk about work, plans, life, and the rest of it.
Despite being annoyed by it, Casey was a champ and carried my camera in his pocket when we ran, so that I could capture the vacation in pictures. I just kept reminding him that “it’s for the bloooog!” Typically we started walking, and finished with running, so we were hot and drenched by the time we came home to enjoy breakfast with the rest of the family. Good thing my camera was in a Ziploc!
Now when I was there every summer, I always knew it was a private lane, but I didn’t realize how freaking exclusive it is! Innocence of youth I guess, because my mom assures me it was always like this (although I swear it wasn’t gated before…). Regardless, both entrances from the beach and the street had big iron gates blocking the access to my beloved Turtle Lane. I seriously think it is the only gated street on the entire island – how ridiculous! Despite Casey’s protests, I did sneak inside the beach gate for a minute or two, just long enough to soak up some memories and snap a few pictures…
Grandma and Grandpa’s old condo, that as kids we weren’t actually allowed to go in (funny now that I think about it). But I did get to store my super cool alligator raft and boogie board inside their gate, and that was good enough for me!
The boardwalk we would run down to the beach during the day, and catch frogs on at night. I felt such a huge surge of memories walking through this spot. Cousin Sarah, I thought of you when I took these! :)
The pool where I can honestly say I probably spent at least 10% of my life in. Seriously – two weeks in Hilton Head and you could not get me out of this thing. Since we spent two months at the beach in New Jersey, when we got to Hilton Head all I wanted to do was swim in the pool. Quick story – when I was two I jumped into the deep end of this pool (right behind me) after a toy, while my mom and my babysitter were deep in conversation on the pool loungers. I was under the water for like two minutes before my mom noticed and jumped in with her clothes on. I think I still turned out okay.
Being the beach girl that I am, I was typically the last person on the beach. There is something about being on the beach at like 6pm, when most people have gone in, and then sun is starting to weaken, and families come out for pictures and dog walks and cocktails in the sand. It is my favorite time to be at the beach for a few minutes, all by myself.
And that basically sums up my week! Simple, just as it should be. Many many thanks to Haley, Andrew(s), Jeff, Diane, Kevin, Tracey, and Toby for a great time. Double thanks to Toby for the amazing food, and all the good cooking advice:)
And now for my next vacation…! We are leaving Thursday night to spend our Fourth of July weekend in the most patriotic place imaginable – Washington, DC! Neither one of us has ever been there, and we booked our trip forever ago with free flight vouchers left over from last year’s trip to Vegas. We’ll be visiting my great friend Blake, and we’re planning to do most of the typical touristy stuff – Capitol, Arlington, Lincoln, etc.
If you have any good suggestions for things you think we should see, or any great veg-friendly places to eat, please comment!
Happy Birthday, America! Thank you for a four-day work week!
(and Happy 1-year Anniversary to Liz and Eldrich – crazy!)