Saturday, November 9, 2013

Summer 2013

I read a blog recently about how when her blog was new, she just wrote. She wrote about her weekend and her vacations and whatever thought came to mind and if she had a picture to add, great. If not, so be it. She just wrote because she liked to write. But more recently, preparing a blog post often involved photo editing and re-reading and revising and second-guessing everything, among other things.

This really struck a chord with me too. I aim to please, and often times I deter myself from writing about certain topics because I've already shared the photos on Facebook and Instagram (hello over sharer!) or don't think others would be very interested in what I wanted to say or don't want to offend a possible reader. (this happens a lot- I need to start an anonymous blog!)

So I'm just going to write. I don't care if I don't have a good intro or ending or if the post tells a story. I don't care if no one comments. That will be a whole 2 or 3 less comments than normal, and who really cares, right? I started this blog for me, and I need to go back to that a little bit.

I'm going to start with everyone's LEAST favorite topic: my summer vacations. With pictures! Absolutely no one likes to look at someone else's vacation photos but I'm doing it anyways. I might as well invite you all over to look at old family photo albums.

(Confession: I know when other bloggers post about their vacations and spread it out like Paris: Day 1, Rome: Day 2, etc. etc. - I don't even open those up. I'm a bad blog reader! They are most likely documenting it for themselves, but I need a cliff's notes version. I can't handle the drawn-out-ti-ness. Says the girl who just drew out an intro for 5 paragraphs.)

Anyways, our 2013 summer vacations.

Charleston, SC: May 4-6
Garden City Beach, SC: June 14-15
Kings Mountain, NC: July 5-7 (mentioned here)
Daytona Beach, FL: July 20 - August 4
NYC: August 23 - 26
Myrtle Beach, SC: August 29 - September 2

Charleston, SC: May 4-6

Charley and I took a quick trip to Charleston to meet two of my friends and their babies for a long weekend. The company was perfect. Love both of those ladies and their babes are adorable too and Charley got along great with them both. The weather was - not perfect. Mainly cold and rainy for the whole weekend. We mainly chatted and let the babes play at the house the whole weekend because, well, we had three toddlers. But we did venture out for a visit to the Charleston Children's Museum one afternoon. Regardless of the weather, the weekend was fun fun fun and it was a great start to the summer vacation season.


Garden City Beach, SC: June 14-15

Basically the same trip as the Charleston one minus a couple personnel changes. Met two friends and their babes for a quick one night trip. The weather for this trip was PERFECT. We spent the first afternoon in the pool. Charley had very little pool experience before this so she was really loving it. After we were all pruney we went back up to the condo and let the babes play and had dinner. 

The next morning both of my friends left to travel back home but I wasn't ready to leave just yet, so Charley and I had a beach morning to ourselves. This morning was one of my favorite times I've had with Charley. She was THRILLED to play on the beach. She entertained everyone out there and just wore herself out. We had already checked out prior to coming to the beach so we had to drive/ride home with salty skin and sand stuck in places it shoudn't be but I was aware of that prior to planning our beach morning and determined I was okay with that. This is when I knew that our beach vacations for the rest of summer were going to be SO. MUCH. FUN. with Charley.

Kings Mountain, NC: July 5-7
John and I bought a camper from my sister earlier this year, and tried it out for the first time on the long July 4th weekend. Charley, John and I went to the Kings Mountain State Park which was only 45 minutes from home. It did end up being a little rainy over the weekend, but we honestly had so much fun anyways.  
The rain would come and go so quickly all weekend. We rented a paddleboat at one point and luckily the docks had a roof over them because it went from perfectly sunny and beautiful at 5:39 p.m....
951 a monsoon at 5:48 p.m. out of nowhere. We got back in the docks without a second to spare.

Obviously the people behind us didn't have our same luck.
Daytona Beach, FL: July 20 - August 4
Most years I am only able to come to one week of the typical 2 week family vacation, but this year I somehow convinced work to let me off for two whole weeks. John was only able to join us for the second week but we definitely made the most of all of his time with us.

The first week consisted of lots of beach time since Charley absolutely loves the beach and just lots of time "relaxing" at the house. I use ""'s because you don't get a ton of time to relax when you have a toddler, but I had several other adults to back me up so on occasion I would get a chance to divert my eyes elsewhere on the beach besides following this crazy girl's every move.

When John arrived for week two, we had several things planned. First, Charley had to show Dada how much she loved the ocean.
And we had several other things planned:
  1. Go to Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
  2. Use our Groupon we purchased for Hydrobikes in New Smyrna Beach.
  3. Go tubing at Blue Spring State Park.
Check, check & check.
NYC: August 23 - 26
So this wasn't supposed to be a vacation at all because it was actually a work trip. But we got there and finished all we were supposed to do in half of the day Saturday when it was supposed to take us all of Saturday, Sunday and maybe even some of Monday. So, once we were finished working Saturday, myself and a coworker of mine (who was also a NYC first-timer like me) spent the rest of the time being tourists and fitting in as much sightseeing as possible.
While I was in NYC, John was in Bristol, TN (and Charley was at home being babysat by various family members). At one point I sent him a picture of where I was at that moment, and he replied with his view of the moment. I laughed at the extreme differences of it all.

We managed to fit in all of this in our short, impromptu sightseeing adventures: a bus tour, a ride on the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, a visit and tour at the World Trade Center Monument, several visits to Time Square, Grand Central station & a slice of Junior's cheesecake, and a pedicab tour around Central Park.
Myrtle Beach, SC: August 29 - September 2
For our last vacation of the summer, my parents, my BFF, John, Charley and I went to one of our favorites, Pirateland Campground in Myrtle Beach, SC. I've told you about a few of these trips before.
Sometimes we vacation here and never even leave the campground because there is so much to do within the campground. We did venture out a couple of times this trip though because I knew there were a couple of things Charley would love. First, we went to Ripley's Aquarium since our last aquarium visit was so successful in Atlanta earlier this year.

We also went to downtown Myrtle Beach one afternoon/evening to ride the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel and take Charley to an amusement park to ride some rides. I don't think Charley stopped smiling this whole day.

And the rest of the weekend we spent at the campground watching Grandaddy fish, spending time on the beach or at the pool and just enjoying each other's company. It was a really great long weekend.
So, there's that. I'd ask you to also share your summer vacation pictures and stories with me but you likely did that months ago. It's currently 40 something degrees outside and looking at these pictures makes me long for warmer weather already.


diana bowers said...

Hopefully Summer 2014 is filled with similar vacations! Also, I am jealous of your camper and the trips you can take.

Larry Small said...

I LOVE seeing ALL your pictures and reading about all the cool adventures... whether they are at home or away! Love you all!!
Sally, Larry, Haileigh and Madison!

Jamie Smith said...

I am a terrible blog reader, as you referenced. I rarely comment, even when I love the post. So, I thought I'd comment here because I applaud bucking the system and doing whatever you want! I have a blog I often fail to update (as is the current situation) and when I do update, I put it all out there. Whatever I feel like. Because I have like 40 readers. And because I am writing for me, not them. If someone finds a nugget along the way to amuse them or educate them, wonderful. Otherwise, I am just adding my small piece of life to the internet time capsule. Keep writing! :)

april said...

Oh, I so enjoyed this! Charley's face running out of the water was adorable. I rarely edit my photos except to maybe crop them for instagram - if I did all that I'd never post a photo.

Heather said...

I actually enjoy reading about other people's vacations. It gives me ideas of where to travel or glimpses into different parts of the country and it's fun to see people I care about so relaxed and enjoying life. So, post away about your vacations! I write about mine in grave detail but I also enjoy reading back to see what we did.

Re: the "just blog" thing ... I've heard a lot of people talk about this lately and I'm glad you've been inspired to write more often. I love hearing about your daily life! I think sometimes people get so caught up in what to write, they go off the grid with blogging completely. Like blogging stage fright or something. I probably post about super boring things but I like having the documentation of what we did, or how we're living our life at the moment. I try really hard not to care what other people think or how many comments a post generates. It always annoys me when people (not you!) have "rules.". JUST WRITE! It's the real, everyday posts I find most interesting anyway.

Laura Diniwilk said...

You go on more vacations than anyone else in the history of the internet. Which I like, because lots of cute pictures. Keep em coming!

Also, I still have yet to post my pictures from our little mini vacation this year, but it's on my NaBloPoMo list nonetheless.