Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vacation; The Week Long Events

*Color pictures only. Tomorrow will be strictly black and white. Also, just a disclaimer, my in-laws were also with us during this vacation, whom we had the best of time with and took lots of beautiful pictures with. However, these pictures will not be on the blog to respect their privacy. Just know, they were there with big smiling faces :) *

I talked about our ride to South Carolina and our trip home. Now the fun part, the actual vacation. Initially, I was going to split all the posts up into days. Day 1 and 2, days 3 and 4, and so forth. But then when I started writing, I realized that all the days would actually blend together. Because in reality, we did not do much of anything but be beach bums. And beach bums....well we gave that a whole new meaning. Each day was similar than the last. Each day was just as fun and relaxing. Each day was exactly what we all needed.

But lets get into a little further detail here.

On our first full day in Hilton Head Island, Sunday, Elliana and I were up early {surprise surprise}, while everyone was still nice and cozy in bed. It was about 7am, and I realized right away that we needed to get out of this overly quiet condo. And so we started a routine that we continued on throughout the week. Elliana would wake up bright and early, sometimes as early as 6am, and we would hang out for a little bit, eat our bananas, and then take a stroll over to my in-laws condo which was just down the street. I always enjoyed these walks, and theres just something about the South Carolina air, especially during the early morning hours, that brings a sort of peace around you. Hard to put into words really. Perfection pretty much sums it up.

But anyways, we would walk. And hold hands. And I'd kiss on my girl all the way over. And of course by the time we would arrive at the condo, she would light up each and everytime she would see her beloved grandma and grandpa. How exactly did I know that they would be up as early as us? Because those people {that I love} don't sleep! They are early birds, which worked out perfect for us.

Usually we would stay for about 30minutes to an hour in which Elliana would then either start getting fussy for breakfast or she would do her grunting and number 2 would come. Then we really knew it was time to go. A couple times during the week, I actually went with Andrew as well. I know. That means he was up at 7 am too. Hey, two parents here, we mean business.

So that was our typical morning. After we would go back to our condo, I would place Elliana up on her booster chair at the dinner table and she would eat her cereal while watching Caillou. At this point I would get myself ready and pack up our beach bags, cooler, and beach essentials.
By the time Elliana was done with her food, we would then get her ready, SPF'd up, suit on, shades and flip flops in tow. The car was jam packed, and me, my mom, sister, and E would hop in by 930 am and drive just down the street to the beach.

The thing that really saved us all week was the beloved red wagon, which I have written about plenty of times in the past. That thing truly has been amazing. Absolutely. We were able to pack our lives in this thing, squish the tiny tot in there, throw the beach chairs and tent around our shoulder and walk up the trail to the beach. And by trail, I mean like 100 feet.

There are two times {every day} that people would stare around this hour. That being once the wagon hit the sand {the rough part} and two of us looked like we were in major mode trying to push that thing. All while E was all smiles. And the second time was when we were trying to set up the tent.

The thing about 9am and the beach is that... well... it's 9 am and we are at the beach. Which means the wind is extreme. And extreme winds and a beach tent just don't do. Plus add 3 girls into the equation... and I'm pretty sure we were the morning entertainment for plenty of people.

No worries, we managed to get that thing up. And so our "little setup was in the making. Beach tent. Towel in the beach tent. Beach mats, one in front and one on the side. 4 beach chairs. Coooler and bags inside. Wagon parked on the side. Beach buckets and toys out. Boogie board placed on top of the mat for when the boys arrived later.

Ah. Yes. Finally, relaxation. Oh wait, what relaxation? Let's talk about the fact that there is a toddler present. A needy toddler at that. One that on the first day we learned did NOT like the sand. In fact, she would scream and cry if you even attempted to place her on that sand, near the water, or anywhere that did not resemble the tent or the wagon. She would throw her legs up in the air and tense up if she saw she was getting close to the sand. I mean seriously, I thought we had the drama queen of the century at the beach. There were babies her age and even some that were younger that you would see just run around the sand, into the water, and back. Elliana? No thank you. And this continued on for 3 days.

Finally, on the 4th day, while I was enjoying the ocean water, I turned around to see my mom holding hands with a little girl that resembled my daughter. One that was walking on her heels, and throwing her hands up in the air. One that had the look of terror on her face. Oh that one? Yah. That was in fact my daughter. I think my jaw hit the ground. She was walking on the sand. Actually walking. Okay, she had shoes on. But still, walking. Progress people. And I'm pretty sure every single person on the beach was staring at her. And laughing. And "awwwing." Yes, I do realize people that I have raised a prissy little lady. And you would think that this would lead to her to eventually want to walk on the sand? Play in the sound? Run her toes through the water? No way. She did manage to walk onto the sand without shoes on on day 6, with much hesitation and after much pressure from me and my mom.

So you would think this would mean that we never spent any time at the ocean? Right? Wrong. The thing about is, Elliana did wonderful when it came to the heat, sun, and the over-crowded beach. Remember, we had our set-up. And set-up, my friends, is crucial in this equation. We would stay 5hours on average at the beach. That means we ran into nap time. That means that a few of the days I had to take the bike back to the condo, make everyone lunch, and bring it back to the beach to eat. That means a lot of snacks were packed {and eaten}. That means a lot of entertainment was to be had. Books. Crayons. Play-doh. Toys. Towel over head. Spritz bottle. Whatever we had available to keep the toddler busy, we did.

And of course every 30-45 minutes we would take her out of her throne {the tent} and into the water with us. You know so she can see the waves. Maybe start liking it more? Maybe want to get in past her feet? No. That didn't happen. But mama enjoyed taking her out anyway.

Of course there were a couple of days in the week where we had a few meltdowns. One day I had to take her back around 1230 to nap, and another day at 2. I think overall though she did pretty well for us pushing her naptime so far back. I do have to say that the two days at the end where we let her name at 9am and didn't take her to the beach until 11-12 worked out awesome. We would then stay at the beach until about 5, and it was seriously when she was the most happiest. I think this is due partly to the fact that it would start cooling down around 3-4 and the sun wasn't as hot.

Our nights were alreays the same. By the time we got home from the beach we would all get cleaned up and talk dinner talk. Most nights we cooked. One night we went out. And a couple nights we ordered in. And our entertainment for the night was always the olympics. And booze for the non-pregnant adults. Everyone but myself, sister, and Elliana. So needless to say, I passed out early every night.

We ended the trip with a sad hoorah. Elliana ended up falling on the ground in the kitchen and busting her lip, which resulted in her and myself staying in and feeling pitiful for one another. Pitiful for her because she experienced her first boo boo ever. And pitiful for me because my heart was broken for her.

So we all gathered around the kitchen table that night and kind of reminisced about the week. How absolutely relaxing and wonderful everything went. Sure we didn't get to do everything that we had planned... but then again, we never went into it with these big plans. Our goal was to make it a VACATION. And I think we successfully did just that.

And by the time we got home? My dad was calling me asking where we want to go next year.

Big house. Both sides of the family. Beach. Sounds absolutely perfect.
And tomorrow? I bring to you..."what didn't go as planned." Because when does a vacation go as planned right? And the last of the pictures. IN BLACK AND WHITE!


  1. Wow you weren't kidding when you said you had a lot of pics! Sounds like you had a great trip so far! All of these photos are amazing, but my favorite? Your daughter in the pink tutu suit walking away from the camera with her hair in a top knot and then facing the camera!! So beautiful.

  2. me again, just read about her sorry that happened hopefully you both weren't in too much pain!

  3. That sounds like so much fun! I love the pics of E in the pink tu-tu swimsuit! And she SO looks like a mini version of you and your sweet mom :)

  4. you look great mama! i'm excited to visit my family again next month.

  5. Sounds like a wonderful vacation to me! I love all the pics, but especially of Elliana pretending to boogie board. She really is a cute little beauty!

  6. She is such a little beauty!! Too funny about her hate of the sand but great that she managed to walk on it a bit in the end. Maybe more next year! ;) Love all of these fantastic photos. It sounds like such a great vacation with so much beach time. You did a great job vacationing and being a mom to a toddler all at the same time!

  7. Looks like a wonderful time! I definitely had a child that was not sand-happy either...but all in all in was okay and she got over it! And you think running after and keeping one one toddler busy is crazy...try three the same age and a baby in your arms! LOL! It was crazy hectic for us and I think people just felt bad for us! I don't even know why I packed our beach chairs! :)

  8. Sounds perfect!!
    I'm remembering this beach sett up for next summer because we are planning a beach vacation. We just got a wagon, never thought to take it with us till now.

  9. OMG E is seriously just too cute! Love the pictures! I am seriously jealous of that blonde hair! (It's cool to be jealous of a toddler right? haha)

  10. That little blonde bun on her head is adorable! Y'all are the cutest family!

  11. I LOVE EVERY. SINGLE. PICTURE!!! You guys are seriously the cutest!! Please adopt us into your family! Thanks!:)

  12. The picture of you and your sister is so sweet! You guys look so much alike. She just has curly hair!

  13. Love all the pictures!! So cute! My son has always loved the sand (totally a boy thing) but it took him awhile to get use to the water! He would go walk in the water, but when a wave would come up he was RUN ALL the way back to our tent! ;)

  14. Oh my goodness SO MANY gorgeous pictures! You always capture such great ones!!! :) Glad E finally got used to the sand and water. Reminds me of my boss' little boy who wouldn't walk on the leaves for awhile and would lift his feet up so not to touch them! LOL

  15. Elliana is seriously too cute! Love all of her swimsuits and the fact that she sports the sun glasses! What a fun vaca.

  16. goodness, I had so much fun in Hilton Head too. I told my mom to buy a house/condo there so we could go every summer. Loved these pictures and your stories. Elliana is just so gorgeous. The picture of her in the pink swimsuit and little bun ... I can't. Melt. My. Heart.

  17. Looks amazing!!! Elliana is so pretty. Her hair is so cute and I love all her suits!!

  18. Love the pictures of her actually on the sand and examining it. A couple where she is looking at it like, "you really put me on this stuff?" will be priceless when she's older!

  19. so many sweet pictures! e is adorable and it looks like y'all had a blast!

  20. you have such a cute family!

    We went to the beach in July and Breanna was the same way w. sand and water but she was ok walking on sand w. shoes...

    my favorite pictures have to be the ones of E standing by the water looking like its going to get her and the one looking at the sand

  21. I love baby E. She makes me smile in her cute pictures.

  22. My E hated the beach on our trip this year too. I was so upset because I LOVE the beach. She didn't want to play in the sand or get in the water at all. But when we went back to the beach two weeks later, we couldn't keep her out of the water! So maybe next time :)

  23. so many sweet pictures! e is adorable and it looks like y'all had a blast!


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