Well needed vacation

Family Vacation 2010

The trip began on Friday morning around 6:30 when the alarm went off.  The bags were already packed so I needed to throw on some comfy clothes and wait for the phone call.  Around 7:15 we received the call from husband’s parents letting us know they were passing 275 and we would meet them on the road.  Away we went!  We met up with husband’s parents heading south on 75.  Our final destination for the day was Columbia, South Carolina.  About 4 hours into the trip we needed to make our first stop for gas and food.  Cracker Barrel is a family brunch favorite so we found the next closest one and pulled in.  After lunch we figured we only had about 3 ½ hours left until we arrived at the hotel.  The drive was going much more quickly than we had expected.  We arrived in Columbia around 4:30pm.  It was time to clean up and decide on dinner.

After asking the front desk lady about dining options in the area we decided on Carolina Ale House.  This restaurant was only a few miles from the hotel and seemed to have a good menu (after looking online at all our options).  Dinner was good.  Everyone had the Ahi Tuna sandwich, except me.  I had the Baja Chicken Salad.  After dinner we went back to the hotel to play husband’s favorite board game, Trivial Pursuit.  He rarely gets to play this game because I feel so dumb and never want to play.  After the game it was time for bed.

We met in the lobby for breakfast around 9am with plans to be on the road around 9:45 to head to the airport in Charleston to pick up husband’s brother, sister-in-law, and niece.  We left with plenty of time because we arrived at the airport with about an hour wait.  You could tell we were in the south.  It was HOT and HUMID!  Finally, they arrived and we were on our way to Kiawah Island.

Our place was amazing.  With six adults and one baby we had plenty of room.  Each couple had their own bedroom with bathroom.  All the rooms looked out to the ocean.  We had a full kitchen and gas range.  This place was perfect.  After unloading the cars we were ready to head to the beach.

Saturday night husband’s parents cooked dinner.  We had fresh salmon, baked potato and a salad.  I wasn’t feeling the greatest so I called it an early night.  Sunday morning we woke up and decided we wanted to rent bikes.  I, husband, and sister-in-law went and picked up four bikes and a baby trolley.  Back to the beach we went Sunday afternoon.  For dinner on Sunday night we attempted to try a restaurant on the island next to ours but the menu was very limited so we went back to where we had lunch the day before.    Sunday night husband and I also drove to the end of the island and saw some spectacular homes.  It would have been better in the daylight but it was nice to have some alone time.

Monday morning we got up and my sister-in-law and me, with baby in tow, ride our bikes to the grocery store to get Starbucks.  Ice venti quad no fat, no whip, white chocolate mocha was the drink of the week for my sister-in-law.  I personally enjoy a caramel macchiato.  Returning from our bike ride we got ourselves ready for another day at the beach.  Do you see a theme here? Ha-ha  For dinner Monday night we had hit up the local farm to purchase fresh shrimp, flounder, and veggies.  My husband loves to cook and was volunteered to make the meal for the night.  It was delicious (minus the corn on the cob).

Tuesday morning was another day at the beach.  We also had our family photo session on the beach later that night.  It was a perfect day to have pictures.  We were all in white, except my mother in law, who wore a teal color.  The pictures came out great!  The baby did awesome and gave us some great pictures for us to look back on.  After pictures husband, father in law, mother in law, and I went to dinner at this fantastic restaurant.  You could tell we were in the south with this meal.  I had a spicy shrimp dish that was hominy grits topped with crawfish and shrimp with a spicy sauce.  DELICIOUS!

Wednesday we started the morning with a LONG bike ride.  The great part about Kiawah Island is the beaches are hard so you can ride your bikes along the ocean.  Eight miles later we arrived back at home! I was exhausted because it was HOT!  After cooling off in a cold shower away we went to the beach.  Wednesday evening we all went on a sunset cruise.  We got to see dolphins and a gorgeous sunset.  Husband was in heaven with the camera taking pictures!  After the cruise FIL, MIL, husband and I went to dinner at the local bar and grill (more a bar).  This was yet another great dinner of shrimp!

Thursday we packed up the cars and drove into Charleston.  We drove through the Battery area, saw Rainbow Row (beautiful, colorful homes) and also walked the open air market.   We also took a carriage ride through some of Charleston.  We saw homes that range from $400k all the way up to $1.5 million/room! CRAZINESS!!!  We saw the smallest home in Charleston at approximately 900 sq. ft.  Back home we went.  Tonight we were babysitting so mom and dad could get a night out alone.  After bath time and play time we ordered pizzas for dinner.

Friday was our last full day on the island.  After getting up and running to the store for coffee we packed up lunches and headed to the beach.  The baby was seeming more comfortable with the sand so we had several walks up and down the beach singing songs and looking at all of the birds and people walking dogs.  After a day at the beach we went to the Charleston Crab House for dinner.  DELICIOUS!  I got my share of shrimp and had some amazing grits and hush puppies!  It was a great meal to end the week.  Once dinner was finished we went back to the condo to pack up for our early morning departure.

7:45am was our set time to be in the cars, and on our way.  Our goal was to drive home in one day.  We figured it would take about 12 hours.  The first three hours of the drive weren’t awful but they were busy with crazy drivers and a fair amount of traffic, mainly people heading to the Clemson game.  After a quick stop at Cracker Barrel for brunch we were back on the roads.  We had heard that I-40 was going to be awful due to construction.  Luckily, that wasn’t the case today and we made it through with no problem.  The drive was going great.  We made one more stop about an hour away from home for gas and in about 10 ½ hours we had arrived home!

Nutmeg, the cat, was excited to have us back and that night going to bed on my own bed was amazing.  Overall, vacation was wonderful.  It was nice to spend time with the in-laws and I hope to do it again in the future.  We have fabulous memories and will be telling stories for years to come.