Monday, July 29, 2013

Real World: Hilton Head (family style!)

We’re back! We had a fantastic time away during our first family vacation as a foursome.

All of our prep for the long car rides and swimming really paid off – the Pickle was indeed a fish in water and I couldn’t have asked for two better travelers in the car (no frazzling moments to speak of!).

As a kid, I never did beach vacations. In college, no spring breaks on the beach (nerd). My first experience was almost 10 years ago while nannying for some friends during a trip to Topsail Island in North Carolina for nearly 2 weeks. I’m bitchy when I’m hot, so I didn’t think I’d be crazy about the beach, but boy was I wrong! But, it took me a long time to get back. Last year, Phil and I took Dylan while I was super pregs to St. Pete Beach to celebrate our friends’ wedding. The weather was cool and D and I both got sick, so we didn’t spend much time in the ocean or the pool.

For this trip, we shacked up with five other families in a huge house on South Forest Beach. 
Our super sweet pool and the view of the ocean/beach path from our deck
Some stats for you:

25 houseguests (12 kids, 11 parents, 2 babysitters)
8 bedrooms
7 bathrooms
1 awesome pool

This trip was a great blend of time with family and friends. Sooo clutch that we had babysitters along for our vacation so that we could spend some time out at night (hello, Frosty’s!). 
D was a maniac in the pool and Sienna warmed up by the end of the week. D would wake up in the morning, jump on me and grab my face and tell me two inches away, “Mama, let’s go in the pool AND the ocean!!!” And, that we did! The poor kid tripped and skinned his knees at least five times on our path from the backyard to the beach, so he was not a fan of the beach by the end of the trip. S, however, became a little daredevil and would power crawl into the waves. (Unfortunately, she also was a sand snacker.)

My little sand letters were a big hit with the kids!
I really, really liked Hilton Head because there was a lot to do, and I hope to go back. The pool and ocean were great, obviously, but you also could bike everywhere, there were lots of restaurants and there were other little areas to visit like Harbour Town, which hosts the iconic lighthouse.

As I mentioned, I loved Topsail, but it was pretty isolated. If you tire of the beach, you’re pretty much screwed. I’ve heard that it’s similar with the Outer Banks.

Where have you been that you’ve loved? Looking for ideas for future summers!

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