I’m really sorry guys. This poor blog has been so neglected since the wedding. I just haven’t been able to snap out of it. It’s a snowball – there are so many things I want to blog about that I don’t even know where to start, so then I end up just not blogging at all. Sigh.
I am leaving for vacation early tomorrow morning. Wait a minute, didn’t she just get BACK from vacation? Yes, you are correct, I am vacation-spoiled. But believe it or not, I need it. Our life post-wedding has been quite the roller-coaster. Our house is on the market, there has been a lot of landlord drama, we are moving again, and much more that I will fill you in on when I get back. Plus, while the honeymoon was fabulous, as you saw from the re-caps, it was not exactly relaxing. The constant adventures and excursions didn’t leave much time for pool-side naps and reads. So that is exactly what I plan to do next week…
Casey and I are taking off tomorrow morning for Charlotte, NC! We have a special trip just the two of us planned for the weekend. And then on Monday night, we’re heading out of Charlotte down to Hilton Head, SC – for a fabulous week of fun, food, and family. We are staying in a beach house with Casey’s aunts, uncle, and cousins, and I could not be more excited!
This vacation is extra special for me. Bear with me for a short story. Yeah right, her stories are never short. Whatever, it’s my blog. Like I was saying…
My vacation-spoilage started at a very young age. My great-grandmother had a beach house in Stone Harbor, NJ – and in case you don’t know about it, I can assure you that it’s one of the greatest places on earth. My mom spent every summer of her life at the Jersey shore, so naturally, once we came along, we did too! Every year, school let out in early June, and we packed up the car a few days later and headed for the coast. Just me, mom, and Rebecca (and eventually Sarah!) – dad had to stay home and work – sucker! We rode bikes, played outside from sun up to sun down, made summer friends, learned to boogie board, read books on rainy days, and lived in a perfect beach side paradise until August. I wish I had known then just how lucky we were…
In August, my dad would fly to New Jersey, and we’d pack up the Aerostar and drive it down to Hilton Head for the last two weeks of summer. Every year, my grandparents hosted the yearly Holcombe family reunion in Hilton Head – every aunt, uncle, and cousin – about 30 of us in all. Some of the best memories of my life are from those summers. Just pure, genuine, uninterrupted family bonding – story-making, story-telling, and so much love.
Not to get too sappy (or make myself seem too old!), but things were different back then. I would go away for the entire summer without ever making a single phone call. Every few weeks, I’d send postcards and letters back home, but for the most part, I just lived in the moment. I worried about things like whether or not I built my sandcastle high enough up in the sand. I didn’t feel a nagging, obsessive need to check my phone, email, blog, or bank balance. I know that part of that was childhood innocence, but I also know that there are ten year olds on Facebook now. It speaks to how the world has changed, and sometimes I wonder if it’s been for the better.
At the end of the summer that I was 14, my parents got divorced, and the innocent beach-loving, carefree kid that I was went with it. Later that year my great-grandmother (from the New Jersey side) and my grandpa (from the Hilton Head side) both passed away. My family never went away to the beach together again. I’ve been back to New Jersey once for a few days, but I haven’t set foot on Hilton Head sand since the summer that – in my heart – I knew would be the last one. It has been 14 years, and I can’t wait to go back. I was raised in Cincinnati, but I grew up at the beach.
My goal for the week is to find my sandcastle-building, carefree spirit again. To live in the moment, and enjoy every drop of sunshine and saltwater.
So with that, I’ll see you guys in a week, and not a moment sooner! It’s Friday and it’s summertime – go play outside!