Monday, September 22, 2008

The 2008 Family Vacation Awards

Whew - we are finally back from our beach vacation. It was a fantastic trip, so much so that I would like to issue some awards.

Best week to go on vacation: Ok, seriously. We could not have planned this better. The weather was perfect in South Carolina last week, and it seemed to be the only place in the country not getting severe storms. Back at home in Ohio, the remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through town and left 300,000 people in our county without power, including our house. Our street was in the dark for 4 days, so I was very thankful to be gone. The only downfall is that we lost everything in our fridge and freezer. I'm bummed about the meat, but the biggest "shucks" is the supply of frozen breastmilk. I didn't have a lot, but it hurts to lose that. But huge kudos to my friend Stephanie who came and cleaned out everything so we wouldn't come home to a stinky mess.

Most stylish great-grandparents on the beach: One of my big motivating factors for taking this vacation was to get to spend an entire week with my grandparents. They are 2 of my favorite people on this earth and I don't get to see them often enough. It was a very special time that I will always remember. And my grandfather, who will be 84 this week, rode his bike 5 miles up and down the beach and swam in waves that were too high and rough for me.

Best beach hat: My baby boy hardly knew he was at the beach. I'm sure he loved all the extra arms to hold him and lots of extra kisses and snuggles. His feet never touched the sand or the water, come to think of it.

Best sandcastle: I can't really pretend that Katy helped me much with this. While Brian was snapping this shot, he said, "Smile, Katy! Mommy's really proud of herself!"

Best sport: Aunt Mel rode in the van with me, my husband, and my 2 small children for most of the 24 hour round trip to and fro. She even stayed in "Katy's Special Room" (read: Motel 6) for the first night of our adventure, where we had to sit quietly in the semi-dark after 8pm. Somebody give that girl a Klondike bar.

Best Thing We Packed: This was Brian's idea. Katy has this hamper that collapses flat. Brian suggested that we put it in our suitcase so that we'd have a place to put dirty clothes through the week. Brilliant! It made a huge difference in maintaining my sanity in the condo (much better than trash bags or "secret compartments" in your luggage).

Best suit: My mom wins this one. Her bathing suit was like a beach outfit - stylish, comfortable, modest, and water-friendly!

Best shirt: Greg and Grandpa would have to tie for their beach print wear. But it's worth mentioning that my Grandpa hasn't worn a shirt that wasn't a solid color in 40 years. He sported this one for the very special occasion of visiting the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum in Savannah, GA in which he served during WWII.

Biggest milestone: My son cut his first tooth on the beach! How memorable is that! We were all constantly putting our fingers in his mouth - "Do you feel it yet?" and it finally popped out toward the end of the week. What a trooper.

Biggest water bug: Oh. my. gosh. This girl loves the water. It was all we could do to get her to go in for lunch. She loves the waves, loves the seashells, loves the sand. Love, love, love. She woke up one morning and ran out to the kitchen, throwing her arms in the air and shouting, "We're at the beach!!"

Biggest surprise: Mom and Greg rented bikes for us to ride, and it was so incredibly pleasant. The beach was a bit windy, but the bike trails were marvelous. (I know, I know, Katy should be wearing a helmet. I didn't know we'd be doing this so I didn't bring one.)

Best spot: I've always said in the past that I wasn't a beach person. This was really the first time I've had a vacation where we stayed right on the beach, and we had plentiful chairs and unbrellas for relaxing just a few hundred feet from our deck. You know what? I might just turn into a beach person yet... especially if these fine folks keep inviting me to come.


bluedaisy said...

What a creative recap and it's fantastic that you had such wonderful weather. Great pics! It looks like you guys had so much fun. Glad you made it back safe and sound! PS: Thanks for your recent advice:)

Giselle said...

Sounds wonderful!

Kelsey said...

Looks like such a great trip! I'm glad you had fun, and missed the power outage!

Pam said...

Welcome home!
Thank goodness you guys were out of town when Ike hit. Glad someone cleaned out your fridge (said guiltily). Can't wait to see you all at some point!! Katy and David have grown so much and I can't believe how different he looks.
We finally signed up Jack for the gymnastics and I'm looking forward to him & Katy doing forward rolls together!!

Jen said...

Glad that you had a great time and missed the remnants of Ike. We were very fortunate and never lost power. Aren't "whole family vacations" the best? We've got another planned for next June (Angel and family are even flying in)...can't wait!