2011 Vacation - a recap!!

Well, our big trip to Hilton Head Island was a success!  This was our 8th year, as a family, visiting this gorgeous island.  My parents, my sister and her 4 kiddos and me and my kiddos started coming to Hilton Head in 2000.  I was pregnant with my first munchkin, my sister had 3 little munchkins.   Now, in 2011, I have 3 munchkins, my sister has four and her eldest, a 17 year old, brought a friend to hang out with.    It is a much bigger and older group. This year was the first year we went without bringing our little Caroline.  My MIL was so kind to offer to take her.  And, to be honest, I don't think we would ever even go if we had to take Caroline.  She hates the car, so a 12 hr car ride would be miserable.  She hates too much heat/sun, so the beach would be a nightmare.  She hates too much noise and too many people, so a house with 14 people in it would be the last place she wanted to be.  I missed her so much, but know that she was much happier at home.

It was a great week.  We had had many amazing highlights:

- Our trip down was easy peasy - no traffic, no problems, kids were great other than the occasional "when we gonna be there???".

- Our home was gorgeous - beautiful view, lots of space, everything we could ever want and more.

- Our weather was spectacular!  It was sunny and 90 every day.  We had one evening of thunderstorms, but that was it.

- The kids were in heaven having their cousins around 24/7.   My girls and my sister's youngest girl are 3 peas in a pod.  They rarely leave each other's side.  My eldest also was completely enamored at my sister's eldest who is 17 and had her friend with her.   Christina spent a good chunk of time just ogling over her teenage cousin and friend.

- My kids were having so much fun, in fact, that they literally were starting to cry midweek with the thought that we only had a few more days.

- I thoroughly enjoyed my morning runs on the beach and, afterward, relaxing coffee on the deck!

- And lastly, we were so excited that my friend Denise also came to hang with us for a couple days.   Denise and I have been friends literally forever as our moms were friends in high school.   Her sister now lives nearby so she and her sister and her sister's family came by to enjoy the beach.  I even got in a [very] mini beach photo session for her sister's little one!  I will share those adorable photos later!!!

But no vacation is complete without a few lowlights:

- On day 3 we walked out to the beach to find it covered with jelly fish.    Depending on the currents, the water temp and a whole host of other factors, there are days where there are so many jelly fish that you literally can't swim without being stung.    We had 2 days of jelly fish, where the adults just sat by the water and the kids just hung back at the house pool.  But, our thunderstorm midweek did its magic and the fish were completely gone on day 5.  Phew!

- We also had a few days in the beginning where the kids' overwhelming excitement and subsequent lack of sleep came to a head and we had meltdown after meltdown with the little ones.  Luckily, a few nights of roping them into their beds much earlier than usual did the trick and everyone was back to normal soon.

- And I probably would have preferred solid bedroom doors rather than louvered "southern style" doors that literally had no soundproofing whatsoever.   A little inconvenience as the teens were up late and the grandparents were up very early, so there was only about a 6 hr window when the house was actually quiet.  But that was definitely just a minor annoyance.

- Oh, and there was the 12 hr ride home that turned into a 14 hr ride home when we encountered a major accident in Virginia and ended up taking backroads to avoid the almost standstill, miles long, traffic jam (UGH!).  And then coming home to find my garden and ALL my flowers completely torn up and [almost] destroyed by coons!  GRRRRR!!!!

But the good definitely outweighed the bad!  And I can't wait to go back!

Our view as we had our morning coffee on the deck!

hhiblog6 Our evening sunset view!


Our amazing beach!

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Fun times with family including a rare photo when I am actually on the other side of the camera!


My dad - unable to participate in much of the fun, but just happy to relax and enjoy the chaos around him.


The Hilton Head wildlife!







And the Sea Pines deer!


I was also able to rope my own family into coming to the beach for a quick evening photo session. And when I say "rope" I mean DRAG. They were ridiculously uncooperative, including the husband, but I persevered and won and the photos are just beautiful. I am planning a separate blog post with those pictures, but I will leave you with one sneak peek!

That light!   Those colors! *swoon*.


It was a wonderful week, it has been an exhausting few days trying to recover and get back into the swing of things.  But it was all worth it!!  Hope to do it again!!!!

And more photos from my beach session[s] coming soon!!!!


EEK!!!! I forgot to add one of my favorite photos of the week - I found this one afternoon and just adored the sweetness and honesty. Why can't we adults be more like kids?