Monday, April 28, 2014

Hilton Head Vacation

My family (the Labiszak clan) had been wanting to plan a family trip to Hilton Head Island, SC forever.  Our vacation plans finally materialized this April!  My parents rented a condo big enough for the family, and all the rest of us had to do was show up and par-tay!  Here is a quick overview of our trip with a few highlights thrown in.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The kids and I flew out of Boise, and towards SC on Sunday.  It took three flights to get us there, and was a long day.  Luckily, my kids are well traveled, and do fairly well adventuring through the skies.  My dad and brother met us at the Savanna, Georgia airport and drove us to the island.  Tralee and Hunter were super excited to see their cousins, and I was excited to see the rest of my family and NOT be traveling anymore.  We all stayed up pretty late talking.  My Jim was still working Sunday, but flew in to meet us on Monday.

Hunter on flight one

The kids and I on the final flight of the day
Monday, April 14th, 2014 

The kids and I slept in a bit on Monday.  Amy, my SIL, and I chatted a good portion of the morning, and then decided it was time to get up and explore.  I got myself and Hunter ready, Tralee was too busy playing with her cousin Haylee to be bothered, and my little man and I explored the grounds.  We discovered the awesome pool area, checked the pons outside our building for alligators, and wandered the trails a bit. 

Hunter checking the water temp of one of three pools 
Not in Boise anymore!

Approving the pool area

I finally got Tralee ready (only because her cousins were getting ready too), and we headed out for a bike ride.  The only problem was, the bike we rented for Tralee was too big for her, so we had to call the rental place and order an exchange.  They couldn't make it out for another hour, so while the rest of my family set off to ride to a beach, the kids and I decided to take advantage of the pool area.  It was sunny and 80 degrees after all!

I love the outfits my girl puts together!

Hunter at the splash pad

Tralee swimming

Checking for alligators, turtles, and rainbows

My munchkins and I started swimming around 1-ish, and didn't leave the pool until around 6pm.  There were three pools on the property, as well as a splash pad.  With the super perfect weather, we didn't really want to leave.  Also, at some point Jim showed up (HOORAY!), and Brady, my nephew came out to play.  Haylee had a headache so didn't swim until later on.  I can honestly say, playing in the pool all day with my munchkins was a perfect start to our little vacation!  

Later that night Jimmy, my brother, and his wife Amy drove to another part of the island to look at the Harbour Town lighthouse.  I tagged along.  It was fun.  We wandered around the shopping area, grabbed some ice cream, and watched the sunset.  We saw some dolphins jumping just off the beach as well -- delightful.  Hopefully Jimmy and Amy didn't mind sharing this romantic setting with Lil' Sis making a third-wheel of herself.  

When we got back from the lighthouse all the kids wanted to swim again.  My hubby, the saint, obliged.  In fact, I'm pretty sure Jim took the kids swimming EVERYDAY rain or shine.  

Don't I look like the Cat-in-the-Hat?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday was a rainy rainy rainy day.  We mostly hunkered down, played games, prepared dinner, napped, chatted, read books, watched tv, and ate.  Honestly, it was pretty nice.  My Aunt Mary and Uncle Mike, who were also vacationing on Hilton Head Island, came over for dinner that night.  After dinner we played games.  My hubby took the kids swimming in the rain this night also.  What a bunch of crazies!

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Wednesday wasn't rainy, but it was chilly and windy!  The men went golfing in the morning, and froze.  When they came back, and the weather was a bit nicer, we drove to a local beach that was said to be good for shelling.  All of us went, except my dad, who went on a long bike ride.  We found lots of little critters at the beach; a horseshoe crab (alive), jelly fish (dead), clams (both dead and alive), and clam shells.  Later on that night we ate at a local eatery called The Sea Shack.  The food there was pretty good for fast service.  I knew it was going to be yummy, since the line wrapped around the back of the restaurant.  We waited for 30 to 40 minutes, and I wasn't disappointed.  Not the best sea food around, but pretty darn good for the price.  Also, they had frog legs, alligator, and some other odd menu choices to pick from.  I wasn't that adventurous, but I did try something I've never had before; soft shell crab.  They were pretty tasty!  My favorite thing I had was the lima beans!  My dad said it's because in the south they add bacon fat to every dish, and that's probably why they tasted so delectable.  I'm not sure what was in the beans, but they were finger-lickin' good.  

Mom and me at the beach

Haylee and Tralee

Cousins in the hot tub


Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Thursday was a bit warmer than Wednesday, but still on the chilly/windy side.  We knew that Friday was going to be another rainy day, so we took full advantage of Thursday's sun, even if it was a bit nippy.  Our day began with breakfast at Skillets.  Aunt Mary and Uncle Mike joined us for our morning meal.  It was fun to see them again.  After breakfast, my dad, hubby, and Brady met Uncle Mike and went golfing.  Jim and Brady shared a cart.  Brady drove the whole time and only crashed once.  They also saw a few alligators.  FUN!  The women, kids, and Jimmy all went for a bike ride.  We rode to the beach, and Jimmy took the little girls geo-caching.  They found a little box of prizes.  Hunter and I chilled at the beach for a while with Amy and Grammy Char Char.

Later on we all met up for a kayaking adventure.  My dad didn't go, because he was worried his shoulder wouldn't appreciate it (he recently had shoulder surgery).  The rest of us ventured the wind and paddled away on a kayak tour.  When we started paddling, we were going against the wind.  Many of the people in our group were blown right to the edge of the water.  However, we all made it.  Haylee and I shared a kayak together.  I had a blast paddling with her, she's so fun.  My Jim took both of our kids with him, Mom and Jimmy went together, and Brady and Amy teamed up also.  I kept thinking how awesome this adventure was, especially when Haylee and I were paddling under some piers and the wind would blow us into the posts of the pier.  Trying to navigate our way around the obstacles in the wind was exciting.  I definitely thought my arms would be sore the next day, but they weren't too bad.  The good news that paddling against the wind brought, was that our trek back to the dock was super easy!  Once we turned around and headed back, all we really had to do was steer the kayaks and let the wind do the work.  On our little tour we saw millions of oysters (and learned how deadly they are -- bacteria wise), a turtle, birds, and a mother and daughter dolphin duo.  Some of us missed the dolphins as they were a little ways from us, and another boat tour pulled up and blocked our view of them.

Our tour guide was pretty funny.  He was definitely a tell-it-the-way-it-is kind of guy.  He shared some crazy stories, made fun of some not-so-bright people, and taught us a lot about the tides, wildlife, and history of the area.  Our kayak tour was a blast.  We all left wet, cold, and happy!

Lizard catching was another favorite past-time of the vacation

Can you spot the alligator?  I'm pretty sure Brady wanted to keep it as a pet.

Jim and his golf ball by an alligator.  I think he took a mulligan on that stroke!

He looks hungry.  Brady wanted to go pet it, Jim stopped him.

While peddaling through the moss-covered palms Hunter shouted, "THIS IS THE WAY TO LIVE!"  I laughed, smiled, and agreed with my smart lil' guy.

Walking to the beach

Windy and beautiful!

Jim and the kids in the Atlantic

More kayak fun

Tralee loved it when we paddeled up to each other, and held hands.  At one point Hunter was cold and wanted his mommy really bad, so we paddled up to each other, and held hands.  Once Hunter found "da mole" he calmed right down, and was ready to continue the adventure.
Selfie op!

Haylee and myself

Another less-silly selfie

The kayak crew (minus Amy and Brady who had walked ahead).

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Friday it rained and rained and rained and rained.  Which meant that the girls shopped and shopped and shopped and shopped.  Ah. . . nothing like a little retail therapy.  I'm pretty sure Jim took the kids swimming in the rain twice this day.  The night ended with movies, snuggles, games, and more chit-chat.

The boys

And the girls

Saturday April 19th, 2014

The weather was actually kind of nice this day.  It sprinkled a little bit, but was warmer.  My dad and hubby golfed in the morning.  When they got back we went for a bike ride to another beach.  It strated raining again on our bike ride back from the beach.  Jim probably took the kids swimming again in the rain.  Later that night we went out to a nice restaurant, Reilley's.  The food was delish, and it was the perfect end to our little vacation.   

Hunter letting the water kiss his feet.

Jim and my before and after picture for a diet pill.

My boys

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

We flew home.

Everyone agreed that we need to make Hilton Head an annual family event.  My hubby thought that twice-a-year would be nice!  I wouldn't complain one bit!

Camel's Back Park

A few Sundays ago the kids and I were itching to get out of the house and do something nature-like.  So, we packed ourselves into the car, and drove to Camel's Back park.  The kids played at the park for a bit, before we climbed the big big hill.  They're always so proud of themselves after this feat.  I'm proud of them too. 

After climbing the big hill, we hiked around the hills, splashed in some water, and played in the sand.

 After out day at Camel's Back, we drove home tired and happy.  It was the perfect end to a gorgeous Sunday.

Photo Plop

Just your standard photo plop below:

Morning pug snuggles

My spring decor.  I made the bunny thing.  The kids made the birds.

Hunter says to me one day, "I'm wearing shoes so spiders can't get me."  Good for you bud!  Shoes and undies are the perfect anti-spider uniform.

Hunter and I drew the solar system one day, including the dwarf planets.  I had to look up the dwarf planets online because I had no idea what they were.  Hunter knew. . .  is it bad that my four-year-old is smarter than me?

I looked into my side mirror and saw some little feet enjoying the fine weather

Play group shenanigans.  These boys were burning off some energy in the bouncy house.

Tralee and I had a date at the mall while Hunter was at a birthday party.  She looked so adorable in her little outfit she put together, that I had to take a picture.
The End