Monday, August 17, 2009

our SC vacation: random shots part 5 (the beach; v2)

At the risk of this blog turning in to a boring play-by-play recount of our vacation, I must admit that posting our photographs and memories from this time away, is salve for my soul. Because I know that on a day when life feels overwhelming and difficult, I will be able to look back at these posts and instantly be transported to a different place.

I absolutely love the South Carolina coast.

Not only do I love the topography and palm trees and Spanish moss, but I love that in the summer, the air temperature is balmy and warm. I love the humidity that makes your skin shine. I love wading through water out to distant sandbars and collecting beautiful seashells.

(This particular sandbar we dubbed "Gracie Island".)

I love the paths that are designed for bike riders and the flat paths that meander for miles and miles. And miles and miles. And miles.

I love that the ocean water is warmer than the pool water in San Diego.

I love the afternoon rain showers that leave the world feeling clean. I love that when you go out for an afternoon bike ride ...

It is quite possible that you might spot deer gazing on the dunes. Or dolphins jumping in the open water. Or pelicans swooping fish from the ocean.

Or ... alligators swimming through a swamp. And when you see alligators cruising through a swamp, you remember that alligators can run up to 35 MPH on land and you make absolutely certain that your bite-sized children don't get anywhere near the water's edge.

Because Jim and my mother are still in recovery mode, we rented a golf cart to shuttle around the island. This worked out really well, because even though we were only a few hundred yards from the beach, we quickly realized that the distance was too far for mom and Jim to walk comfortably. So, we would drive them down the access path, across the sand, and drop them (and our 50 pounds worth of beach gear) off near the water's edge.

Additionally, mom would take the cart every day and run to the local market to pick up important items like the daily newspaper and lollipops the size of our children's heads.

It probably goes without saying that our children adore their Noni. She is so good to them. Not only did she buy them a present every time they went to the market, but she served them up an ice cream cone every afternoon. When it was finally time to leave South Carolina and fly back to California this past week, the girls sobbed all the way to the Georgia state line.

Whenever mom and Jim would go in to their room to take a much needed nap, the children would eagerly await until they could hear them begin to stir ... and then ... they'd pounce.

Jim, an avid sports watcher, would have just turned on the television to catch a Red Sox game, when the kids would hijack the remote and turn on Curious George, while laying across his bed.

There is no doubt that Jim and Mom's recovery has been so expedited over the past few weeks, because these children kept them going constantly. You just had a knee replacement and a stroke?

So ... your point is...??





There was the body surfing and boogie boarding we did each and every day. As I mentioned previously, the children's swimming skills really improved on this trip.

As did their ability to take a wave directly in the face without crying.

The terrific trio learned how to time waves and became proficient at catching them at the exact moment so they could ride them all the way to shore.

Some days we went to the beach once.

Other days, we went in the morning and again after dinner.

Sure, I had a great time at the beach ... but I really wish the children had enjoyed themselves.

I could find absolutely no indication that they were having nearly as much fun as me.


  1. OMG, all those pictures are priceless but the last one of William - delicious! Too bad he didn't have as much fun as you.

  2. Gosh you are a great photographer---I never heard the click of the camera. Jim loves looking at the pictures.

  3. I've been loving reading about your vacation and looking at your photos. Looks fabulous all the way around!

  4. Sniff. I miss my house on Sullivans Island. Why did I move back to New England again??? I can't hear you. Why did I do it??

  5. I have been immediately transported into your happy spot and I am extremely grateful. What a great time you guys had.

  6. Wow what a great vacation you had, you make me want to go to the beach and I have never been a beach person...mountains for me. It is just beautiful. And the love your children have for your mother and Jim warms my heart. Special people, you all are so special.

  7. Now I want to go to SCarolina, too!! Love reading about your vaca -- sounds like such a sweet couple of weeks. Great pics too!!

  8. One of many cuzzins!8/18/09, 9:06 AM

    GORGEOUS!!....Everyone in the pictures and your vacation spot...just gorgeous!

    There is nothing like a vacation on the beach. Always the best. The kiddos all look so healthy and happy. You and Charlie look relaxed and carefree. Auntie and Jim look AMAZING!! Jim diving into the ocean cracked me up. Good for him, squeezing every ounce of joy out of life. Auntie looks like she is walking quite well and...where's the scar? You'd never know from these photos she had her knee replaced.

    Glad you all had a wonderful time and I loved hearing that the children cried when it was time to leave. That is the always the best compliment to a host/hostess.

    If a move is still in your future, my two cents is that a return to that area would be the happiest and healthiest spot for your brood.

    Always tough getting back into the structure and normalcy of home, but welcome home anyway!

  9. It is really wonderful at the beach here. We all used to go to Fripp, rented two houses and the whole crowd would go. The trips will really remember this trip, because our grands do, and still talk of it. Your pictures tell a great story, you and Charlie are doing a super job with your family, still hope you will come HOME again. Ps I told Annmarie to stay, but noooo, she had to get back to the freezing cold.

  10. Please continue to post about your vacation until you run out of pictures! I am having THE best time vicariously!
    ~Mad(elyn) in Alabama

  11. I would move back there in a heartbeat. Truly. If you and Charlie can work anywhere, why not give your children the advantage of close family, beautiful scenery and absolute happiness at all surrounding them. LOVED all the pictures.

  12. Please keep the vacation pics and stories coming. If anyone is bored, s/he can stop reading.

  13. I love these picture posts! I started vacationing in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina from the age of five, and we've gone every year (save for a few now and then when we did a different trip instead; but that was maybe only five times in 19 years that I missed a trip to Myrtle Beach!).

    I want to also take my children there, my boyfriend has come with my family twice and he also found a love for it. We live just outside of Toronto, so we just take two days (one overnight stay in a hotel on the way down, I mean) to drive down and then can enjoy two, peaceful weeks on the beach.

    Thanks for sharing your photos, as South Carolina is such an important place to me too, and I love seeing these!

  14. Love the pics. It reminds me so much of the time Lisa and I took our kids and spent time at Hilton Head with our parents.

    I went out on a bike ride w/Alexander (@ 5 at that time), Brian on a tandem w/me, my Mother on her bike and my Dad.

    WE ended up on a about a 12 mile treck through the island - where my Father swears we were never lost!!

    Of course this was after his fall off his bike resulting in a broken wrist; my Mother's fall off her bike w/scrapes and bruises all over her face, elbows, knees, a new discovery of a dirt road (somewhere), and poor Alexander trying to keep up!

    Several hours later we found McD's - Where my Mother decided to cross the road at the same time a white van was trying to beat the light - but Thank Goodness - as my Mother stated while holding Alexander's hand.

    She was in the CROSS WALK! (Ya know the white painted lines on the road) That way no one could hit her!! Great logic. ;-)

    Ah memories! (my heart is still racing retelling the tale) ;-)

    All in all I wish we could do it all over again. It was a wonderful time. So glad you guys had so much fun with yours. Love, Marg.

  15. These pictures keep getting better.

    Keep posting. They are awesome.

  16. It sounds like you guys had a great time. I am anxiously awaiting more postings for the rest of your trip.

  17. I just found your blog while searching for feeding tips for my 6 week old twin girls...podee, huh? I'm considering is hectic but I will be sure to check out your blog when I have more time. And incidentally, I just changed my blog template from "harbor" earlier this afternoon! Great minds.

  18. Dear Jen, Charlie, children, Mary and Jimbo:
    We just love to look at these photos.....again and again and again and again!
    This is how to live and you all look so refreshed and happy.'
    Love, Poppa Alex and Kathleen

  19. Jen, please post yet again what kind of camera you have. Your pictures are WONDERFUL! Do you play around with settings or are these just set on "auto?"