Sunday, April 2, 2017

A Road Trip to Charles Towne

Last weekend we took a little road trip to the coast. And here's your history lesson for today: Charleston was founded as Charles Town - honoring King Charles II of England - in 1670 (thanks, Wikipedia). We had picked out this weekend a while back as a good weekend to get down to visit our family, Matt, Tara, Leece and Madison. As it worked out, Fifi and Jerry ended up getting a condo on Folly for the week leading up to our planned Charleston weekend*. We decided to go down a day earlier than we had originally planned so that we could stay with Fifi and Jerry for a night.

*Fifi and Jerry's trip to Folly worked out doubly well for us! They came down and stayed a night in Greenville with us the night before their rental started. They babysat the boys on Saturday evening and Thomas and I had....a DATE (gasp). It was awesome. We drove over to TR (aka Travelers Rest, which is one of the new hot spots if you can believe it), had a beverage at Swamp Rabbit Brewery and then dinner at Sidewall pizza, which was amazing, and picked up some Hot Now Kripsy Kreme doughnuts on the way home. It doesn't get much better than that. We seriously had an awesome date night!

So back to last weekend! Thomas and I both took the day off on Friday and managed to leave work early on Thursday afternoon so we picked up the boys from school and began our short road trip on Thursday, late afternoon. We got to town right in time for dinner and met Fifi and Jerry at Bowen's Island. The oysters were on point. This is one of our fave places to go while we're in town. I didn't take any pictures at dinner, but let me just say that although the food was delicious, the boys weren't thrilled about sitting back down and staying still, after having been in the car for 3-4 hours. So that's that.

We got to the condo, put the boys to bed, watched some basketball and everyone slept great! That is, with the exception of Fifi, who wasn't feeling great due to an allergy flair up. So on Friday morning, we got up and were ready for a full day in Charleston!

Ryan on the couch with Jerry
I loved that he hooked his arm with Jerry's!

Time on the balcony in the morning

The boys could hardly wait to get down on the beach. It was definitely chilly so we waited until after we had all eaten then headed down to the sand. Jerry stayed inside and Fifi ended up going to a local urgent care to get some antibiotics, so it was just us 5 on the beach...

...until we met a family with 3 year old triplet GIRLS! WHAT?!?!?!? It was the craziest thing! We didn't realize they had triplets but he made a comment about Stokes's Tennessee hat that he was wearing. We quickly noted that Tennessee is our 2nd school, behind Clemson, of course, and he said his preference was the opposite and he had a best friend at Clemson. Then I noticed that while the mom was carrying one little girl, he had 2 little girls that looked about the same age that were running around in the surf. I thought those 2 were probably twins and asked, and that's when they said they were triplets and I realized that one that the mom was carrying was about the same size, too. We couldn't believe it and instantly pointed out that ours were triplets, too! What would have been a quick greeting on the beach turned into a 3 hour triplet fest. I had the best time talking to the mama, Leigh, and Thomas made instant buddies with the dad, Jay. There were so many crazy commonalities between us and our families. Here are a few: they live in Knoxville, where Ashley and Zack live, his dad lives in Mauldin right near us, Thomas and Jay's grandfathers both attended UT on the GI bill around the same time and both were members of the Quarterback Club for years (they surely must have known each other at some point!!!), they knew of Wolf Hills Brewery near Tazewell, which was the hat I was wearing, and Jay and Thomas had on the same shirt and the same sunglasses. It was all so bizarre, but in a very cool, very unexpected way! 

Our families on Folly Beach

After a great time on the beach, minus the chill, and the fact that the boys continued to get in the water and then get cold and we ran out of dry clothes to put on them, we said goodbye to our new friends and got the boys upstairs so we could quickly bathe them and put them in dry clothes again. We loaded all our stuff back into the van and said our goodbyes to Fifi and Jerry so that they could enjoy their weekend and we could get over to Tara and Matt's to continue our original plan for the weekend. 
Ryan fell right asleep on Fifi when the other
boys were getting their baths
Trying to get a picture before we left...

He's a stinker
We had planned to run by Chick Fil A or something really quick for lunch but the boys seriously all fell asleep as soon as we got in the car. We let them nap for a while and we did a quick detour to Mount Pleasant, where my niece Kaitlyn lives with her dad. School was out on Friday for teacher workday so it worked out great for us to be able to go for a quick visit. 

Immediate nap time for Stokes and William in the car

I thought the boys might be grumpy when they woke up from their quick nap, but I think the excitement of getting to visit with Kaitlyn took over. It took just a few minutes for all the kids to warm up to each other and soon enough, Kaitlyn took Stokes and William upstairs to play with her. Kaitlyn is such a sweetheart and loves her little cousins. They think she's pretty awesome, too!

Reading to William

Coloring with Stokes
Playing a bball shooting game

After we left Kaitlyn's house we met up with Tara, Leece and Madison for dinner at Mex 1, which is this really cool coastal, Mexican fusion type of place. Yum! Matt had to work late and wasn't able to meet us, unfortunately. But we had a great dinner and a fun time.

Dada and Stokes
I think Stokes was tasting the lime and laughing!

Aunt Tara, Leece and William
Madison and Ryan held hands, unprompted!
After dinner, we went back to their house, got settled in, got to spend some time with Matt, then put all the kids to bed and watched more basketball (March Madness time!). Great, chill evening!

Saturday morning, Aunt Tara made us a fabulous breakfast and then we took the kids on a little adventure. We weren't sure what we wanted to do to entertain the kids on Saturday so after discussing a few ideas, we settled on a visit to Charles Towne Landing (hence the name of this post). This was so cool! It's not far from Tara and Matt's house and is a state park. It's very affordable and so pretty. There are several different section of the park, but we opted to visit the Animal Forest natural habitat. It was like its own mini-zoo and we knew that's where the kids would get the most entertainment. We seriously could have spent an entire day there wandering around, but with the littles, we had to pick and choose. The animal area had animals bison, an eagle, a bear, pumas, goats, deer, otters, and many more. There was a turkey that Stokes "talked" to, back and forth. This was so hilarious and ironic because we actually call Stokes "Turkey" or "Turk Turk" sometimes. I think it's because Stokie got shortened to Tokie, which turned into Turkey, etc. You know how nicknames go. Thomas and I were saying that we wish we had a video of this interaction because the turkey would look straight at Stokes and start gobbling away. Then he's stop and Stokes would do his own gobble/laugh and then the turkey would start again and they went back and forth for a while, while the rest of us just cracked up! Anyway, the park experience was great and the kids got some good walking in and had some fun!

With the bear in the lobby

Walking toward the Animal Forest
(I loved that William and Leece were holding hands!!)
Cousins with the marsh in the background
The boys - Can you tell that Stokes was upset? He'd just gotten in
trouble for running towards the marsh and not listening.
He got a stern arm grab and a talking to. Then he
didn't want to smile. LOL

After a yummy lunch at Kickin' Chicken we went back to Tara and Matt's and Tara and I stayed there while kids napped and Thomas and Matt went to Holy City Brewery. I may have dozed off a little with the boys. There's nothing like an afternoon nap when you've had a busy and exciting morning! :)

Later that afternoon, we played outside in the backyard while Matt grilled shrimp, filet and asparagus for dinner. It was so good!

The next morning, we kept Tara and Matt and the girls from going to church, unfortunately, but had another great breakfast and fun morning of family hang out time before heading back to the upstate. 

It was a great opportunity to spend some time with our family that we love so dearly. The got the beach, we got a zoo, we got lots of good food and laughs. What more would you possibly need? 

We got to stop by Rush's in Columbia for lunch. So good! Can someone please remind me to order the junior sized cheeseburger next time?!?! I always forget and it's way too much food! If you're easily grossed out, stop reading here. :)
You know you're a parent're out to lunch and your child with a strong gag reflex (Ryan) starts coughing. You immediately put your hands up to catch anything that comes up (i.e. throw up), catch said throw up in your hands, call for your spouse to hand you something to put it in, let it ooze out into lots of extra napkins, use for a few more napkins to wipe your hands again, throw all the used napkins away, run by the restroom for a quick hand washing, then go back to your seat and continue eating as if nothing ever happened, appetite still intact. We've perfected that routine. I don't think anyone else in the restaurant even knew that it had happened. I hope not, at least, because it might have ruined other people's lunch. Ahhh, the joys of parenthood. And sorry for the yucky story, but it's kinda funny and hey, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do! 

No comments:

Post a Comment