Monday, April 20, 2015

Spring Break 2015

It's always a much anticipated and appreciated gift to travel to Myrtle Beach, especially the FIRST trip of the season. The kids are becoming more and more aware this blessing too.  This trip, the twins asked about other friends and what their beach condos looked like.  "Do all of our friends have beach condos?", they asked.  I think it's cute that they are starting to realize that having your own beach condo may not be the norm and it is a perfect opportunity to teach them to not take it for granted and to show gratitude to a hardworking grandad and daddy. We are very thankful.  

We decided to make our first trip, to Myrtle Beach, during Spring Break.  We left Tuesday night around 5:30 pm and got there around 11:30 pm.  We stopped for about 45 minutes to eat dinner.  So it took us about 5 hours and 15 minutes to ge there.  The kids fell asleep on the last 30 minutes of the drive and got a second wind, helping us unload and unpack.  They are so helpful at the beach because they are just so excited about everything.  
The next morning, we headed out to the beach.  The weather was beautiful, but the water was pretty cold.  I could barely even put my feet in the water.  Of course, our kids didn't seem to notice.  They enjoyed it all, but especially loved playing in the sand. Their biggest highlight was when Darren would cover/burry them with sand up to their necks.
We threatened to keep them there most of the day while Darren and I sunbathed.  I know they didn't believe us, but I think the wheels were turning at the thought of  "What if they really do?!?!"
It wasn't long before they popped right out of the heap of sand, covering their bodies.
I also joked on instagram, when I posted the below photo, saying, "Ty doesn't know this yet, but they plan to burry him alive!"
During this trip, we had a 6th family member join us... "Sadie girl".  She traveled excellently. We only allowed her to use the potty the ONE time we stopped, to pick up dinner.  Traveling to Myrtle Beach, with 3 kids and an over grown puppy, was definitely proof that our mini van is so helpful. Getting another Rhodesian Ridgeback may NOT be a possibility after seeing how crowded our van became with just one. The way home was a little more challenging because we went shopping, so we had more things to bring home.  Everyone was a little scrunched.  We will just have to use our "white and nerdy" hard shell, turtle, cargo carrier next time.  
Sadie loved being on the beach.  I wish we could have released her to roam free, but I was terrified we'd never catch her.  We did buy a leash that goes into the sand and then gives her a 60' foot extension.  She mostly just enjoyed sitting with us and feeling like a part of our family.  I was really excited that the beach rules, up until May, allowed her to be with us, on the beach, anytime of the day.  After May, the rules change, which stinks.
The first night we usually always go to our favorite dinner joint, "California Pizza Kitchen and Games".  The kids are used to this tradition and I LOVE that we have created that tradition, but this time, we chose to meet up with a few of our Church friends (Belchers and Cannons) at Señor Frogs.  Then we walked around Broadway At The Beach with them.  We rarely get to see anyone at the beach that we know, so that was fun, and the kids didn't even complain about NOT being able to go to their favorite Myrtle Beach dinner spot.  Below, is a photo of the kids funny balloon hats.  Actually, even the adults got them.
The beach always provides great opportunities to rest peacefully.  Lilah was BEAT between a very late night bedtime, the night before, and a day at the beach.  She took a short nap (accidentally) before heading out to dinner.  Doesn't she look so peaceful?
The second night, we did take the kids to the Ultimate California Pizza Kitchen and Games, after a short trip to Tanger Outlets.  Darren and I were excited to get a little shopping in.  At the California Pizza Kitchen, we always give the kids $25 each (Darren included). The money lasts about one hour.  It's fun watching them run from game to game, swiping their game cards, wining tickets, in hopes of getting some big prizes at the end. We won over 5,000 tickets this time.  That was the most tickets we've ever accumulated. When we were through, we came home and took the kids (Sadie included) on a loooong, night walk, on the beach.  
Ty carved Jesus' name in the sand.  I am so glad that our children do have Him on their minds often.  
My handsome, almost, 10 year old.  
Jaxey Jo!
Liley Bo!
Sadie Girl!
And just so you know I was actually there...Darren and I!
Selfies.  They never turn out good! But I was happy to be a part of the family photo album.
Day #2, we did the pool.  Day #3, we went back to the beach!
This was my typical position/spot.  Sit back, relax, and snap away!
Look who joined us again?!?!
These next four pictures bless my heart.  I am glad that we finally selflessly gave in and got a family pup!
OH MY GOODNESS! I can't wait to frame this one.
You can tell both Liley and Sadie are happy to be at the beach!
The beach wasn't crowded at all and the weather was seriously perfect.  
The view from our seats.
Loads of digging took place.  
Happy Girl!
On night 3, we took the kids to "Dickey's".  It's a restaurant we used to have locally and man do I wish we still had it.  It's sooooo delicious.  THEN, the kids were able to enjoy their first experience at "Ride Makerz".  Grandad and Grandae, as well as Darren and I, chipped in, and they each received their own remote control car.  I will do a seperate post on that experience. (Below) I always take pictures in this one spot, near our condo. It really does makes for some great group shots. 
Can you take this?  Haha.  Ty desperately needed a haircut, but it's still such a fantastic photo.  
It's hard to believe this kid is almost 10.
What will we do with her?  Haha.  #shescaresme
My handsome little guido!
Her favorite hand sign for photos.
On Day #4, we switched things up a little.  Darren, Ty, and Jax took Sadie on a LONG walk, while I got ready.  We went to a yummy Mexican lunch, then we headed back to the condo.  Darren allowed me to go to the Tanger Outlets without everyone.  I shopped for about 3 hours, while Darren let the kids swim their little hearts out.  I was very thankful he allowed me to do this because the Tanger Outlets is a great place to shop.  The last night is always the saddest.  We have to worry about packing up and cleaning the condo. We normally save it for the morning of our departure, but Ty had baseball practice, so we made certain to leave Myrtle Beach by 8:00 am to get him there on time.  Darren wants Ty to be a leader and show that he is responsible.  I'm glad he is instilling those values in him.
We still had a great last night.  We didn't get home until 10 pm. Our tradition, on the last night, at Myrtle Beach, is USUALLY to eat at Villa Romanas.  This restaurant is phenomenal.  Everything about it.  It's the real deal Italian food.  The service is stupendous. And the entertainment is something we can't wait to encounter.  We have grown accustom to the accordion player being there.  He is so funny and can pretty much play anything you request.  He makes a point in visiting each table.  The food is so good, my children actually tried soup and salad and ate every last drop of their meal.

You can see a small clip of the accordion player below.  We requested him to play the song "Amazing Grace"
Well, that pretty much concludes our Spring Break trip to Myrtle Beach.  The car ride home was very adventurous in that we had so much more stuff to bring home and a tad too many car riders.  I am thankful the Lord blessed our travels there and back and that our only hurdle was the space/room in our van.  We will take it!!
 
OH, and Darren NEVER lets us go off the beaten path, on the way home.  He is usually anxious to get home so he can unload the car and mow the lawn.  BUT... he had been craving Biscuitville since our trip to Greensboro a few weeks ago.  So, he stopped and finally got himself a biscuit. The rest of the car declined! I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip.

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