Tuesday, August 18, 2009

IOP 2009

The girls
My men
My hottie
Having fun in the water fountain
Scott & Jen
Will finds a crab while ocean seining
Scott & Allan help out with the ocean seining
A visit to Ft. Sumpter

What an incredible vacation we had at Isle of Palms! We spent the week there in a huge house, just three doors down from the beach. Best of all, our longtime friends, Scott and Jen, and their three munchkins drove all the way down from MI to join us!
I wasn't sure we were actually going to have a place to vacation. Jen and I were burning the midnight oil trying to find a "last minute" deal to house our two families. Our criteria was simple. We just needed a place to sleep for a week, anywhere along the Atlantic coast. Funny thing, as the date grew nearer, our list of wants grew longer! Not really, but we really were holding out for the perfect house, in the perfect location at the perfect price. Patience paid off, because less than one week prior to our departure, we finally had a house booked. It was nerve wracking, but worth it!
To sum up the week, we hit the beach, Allan got burned, had a visit from the family that was down for PD's graduation from nuke school, hit the beach, Allan got burned, took a break from the sun to visit Charleston and Ft. Sumpter, hit the beach, Allan got burned, hit a pool, Allan got burned, hit the beach, Allan got burned......you can guess what comes next!
The highlight of the trip (for me, anyway) was the ocean seining. We signed the kids up for this at the resort and got the best entertainment EVER for $5. A marine biologist met us at the beach with a long net. He then drug the net through the ocean just a few feet out and brought it back up to the beach. There were all kinds of critters inside and he identified them, told us the part they play in the ocean life and other interesting facts. The kids were able to touch everything and then throw the creatures back in the sea. I just can't say enough how cool this was! No surprise, Will was completely geeked out about all of the information, Allan and Scott were able to help out with the net and all of the kids got to touch crabs and fish. Jack REALLY wanted to keep the fish and just couldn't understand why he had to throw it back in the ocean when they took the trouble to catch it in the first place!
Other than spending almost every waking moment on the beach, we were able to do LOTS of talking and catching up with Scott and Jen. The kids picked up right where they left off over a year ago. We did lots of drinking and good eating. The kids even got to watch lots of TV while we were cooking or getting things ready for the day. A HUGE treat for our kids!
I told Allan afterward that this was the first vacation we have taken where I was really able to relax. There were no bottles, no diapers, no strollers. What a huge difference all of that makes! And the kids got along so well, that we just didn't have to worry about what they were doing 24/7. They simply entertained themselves!
I can't end this post without at least mentioning the worst part of the trip. Jack got lost on the beach. I now understand the meaning of the words "every mother's worst nightmare". It was a nightmare. He was missing for so long that the police had to be involved. Thankfully, I found him a LOOOOOOOOONNNG way down the beach. He was playing in a pool of water and found a white crab. He wanted to show me and just started down the beach to find me. Of course, I was right there, but he didn't see me and kept walking. I seriously don't know how he got so far down the beach. That child has NEVER walked fast. In a matter of minutes he was out of sight though. I just thank God that he was on the beach and we found him.
Our beautiful children

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