Friday, June 8, 2012

Summer Lovin'

As our family embarks on our much anticipated Arizona adventure this week, I leave you 
with a series of posts, "Summer Lovin".  I've asked some really special ladies to share 
stories about their favorite summer trips, hobbies, and recipes to inspire you while 
we're gone.  I hope that you enjoy their company as much as I do. 
I start "Summer Lovin" with one of my favorite vacations: a family trip we took with 
some of our best friends to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina three years ago.  This trip 
was sort of a "last hoorah", a chance to let loose and be free before we gave ourselves over 
to a new level of commitment.  It was a time of celebration: I was starting a new job
Shawn had just gotten a job promotion, and we were days away from 
signing paperwork and purchasing our first home.  This trip was our last getaway 
before embarking on a whole new journey in our lives, and what better place to visit to 
let your soul dance free than the beautiful beaches of South Carolina!  Accompanying us 
on this journey were some of our very best friends: Vinnie, Charlie, and their son Luka. 
 We have been in each other's lives for over 10 years, served in the military 
together, witnessed each other live our dreams out loud.  They are our favorite family
 to travel with and we always have the most amazing time together.
We rented a condo on Hilton Head Island for a week on a very family friendly resort.  It 
was beautiful: not the kind of beach you see in tropical magazines, but a woodsy, rustic 
vibe.  It was like being in a thick, ancient forest with an ocean right along side.  I loved 
the stark contrast, it was breathtaking.  
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Charlie and I rented bicycles to travel the island, strapping our little ones in and peddling 
the days away.  We had the deepest talks on these magical bikes, the wind in our 
hair, endorphins flowing through our veins.  We talked about everything, confiding in 
each other the way only she and I can, our babies blissfully riding and watching the
 beautiful scenery go by.

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We began each day early, loading up on a healthy breakfast and riding our bikes down to
 the beach by 9 am.  The babies chased the hermit crabs around while we enjoyed the 
early morning sun.  Traveling with another family is so comforting, you are able to help 
each other with your children, form a team and make the most of each moment.  You are 
on the same page with scheduling, aware that time must be permitted for naps lest you 
have a screaming baby on your hands.  And so we started each day early, giving 
ourselves enough room for an afternoon siesta and a much happier clan as a result.

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In the midst of our trip, we were blessed to have a babysitter for a few hours and 
an amazing double date night as a result.  We got all gussied up and enjoyed an 
amazing meal, adult conversation, and a wine I will never forget.  We walked on the beach
 at sunset, our toes in the sand and our hearts on our sleeves.  Love was in the air: how
 could it not be with such a picturesque backdrop?

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My favorite memory of this trip was on our last morning at the beach before we packed
 up and headed home.  We found a couple of boogie boards at our condo and, with a grey 
and overcast morning, waves crashing in anticipation of a storm, we body boarded 
the morning away.  We laughed until our bellies ached, playing with our children and 
enjoyed being children ourselves.  On a journey where we were celebrating a new journey 
in our lives, this was the morning our souls got to be truly free.  We had spent a 
week enjoying each other, confiding in one another, delving deeper inside ourselves and 
this was the morning to let all of that wash over us, letting the waves carry it all away
 in preparation of the next tide in our lives.  It was truly magical.

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I will forever remember this trip in my heart, it was such a significant time in our lives 
with some of the best friends anyone could hope to have.  We kissed our friends goodbye 
and wished them an until next time.  We returned home to our HOME, keys to our
 first house together.  We began a new chapter, armed and ready with the spirit of the
 beach.  And on our new bookshelf, we placed a photo of our trip to sweet Carolina...


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Deanna Fike said...

isabelle looks so young! and check out that sweet little red head. (you know i'm a little biased when it comes to gingers.) ;-) hope you and your family have a wonderful trip!

Vanessa said...

I've seen this pics before (wink, wink) but each time I see them I'm reminded of the four years I lived in Myrtle Beach, and we need to go back there soon. Some truly wonderful memories on those beaches.

Summer Crosbie said...

So fun! I can't wait to see everyone that is guest posting!

Caitlin A. said...

What a fun trip! :) Love the photos and your recap.

kristy said...

You are seriously rocking those bathers. Have a great trip.