A Weekend Escape

Dear Penny,

This past weekend was one of the most eventful ones that we have spent with you yet, because we took you on our first family vacation to Folly Beach. We thought it would be fun to go on a vacation in our own town, since Folly Beach was celebrating their 40th anniversary and there would be lots to do all weekend. Plus, it would be a good trial run for when we go on a vacation that isn’t a mere 45 minutes away from home.

Our trip started with Daddy packing the car. That took longer than expected. You are tiny but you have lots of stuff! In addition to our beach tent and chairs, we needed to find room for your stroller, bed, bath tub, and all of the other things that we seem to need for you on a daily basis. (And our stuff too).

Once we finally hit the road, we dropped Charlie off at Nana and Papa’s, and made it down to the beach in no time. You of course fell asleep during the drive (you can’t resist a good car nap), and stayed asleep as we transported you into your stroller. You woke up a little while later to a cool breeze and the cheerful sounds of oldies music playing on the back patio of Taco Boy. Mommy and Daddy had already enjoyed a good lunch (and a margarita or two), and you were ready for some lunch of your own!

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We strolled over to the park, which had temporarily become the venue for an art show, and Daddy fed you on a swing overlooking the marsh.

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By that time we were able to check into our hotel room, and Daddy brought up all of our stuff while we checked out our beautiful view.

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Nana and Papa met us in our hotel room a bit later, and you entertained us all with sweet smiles and coos. Then, it was time to hit the beach!

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We couldn’t wait to put your toes in the sand and the ocean for the first time, but you weren’t quite as eager. You preferred to take a nap on Daddy’s chest which seemed to last forever, (I kept wanting to wake you but Daddy said no), but when you finally did wake up, we got you straight out of that Baby Bjorn and into the surf. Surrounded by friends Elsie and Aubrey and their mommies and daddies, we watched as your toes wiggled in the squishy sand and were quickly washed away by the rising tide. I’m not sure you were all that thrilled to go from a peaceful nap to having your toes plopped into the brisk foamy water of the ocean, but you were a good sport.

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Of course, the invigorating water awakened your appetite, so we walked down Center Street with our friends and found a table at Rita’s, where we could all get some dinner. With full tummies and sleepy eyes, we couldn’t resist just one more walk on the beach before bedtime. We could see the moon peeking out from behind the clouds, and the frothy white caps of the ocean waves crashing toward the shore. There is something so magical about being on a beach at night- it feels as though you are on the edge of the world with the vast darkness spread before you. This, mixed with the sounds of the waves hitting the shore, lulled you into yet another nap. While you dreamed sweet dreams, Mommy and Daddy walked hand in hand on the pier and marveled at our good fortune. Does life get much better than this?

When we got back to our hotel room, you were so soundly asleep that you didn’t even stir as we put you into bed. We slept with the balcony door open so that we could hear the ocean and feel the breeze all night long, and awoke hours later to the sun peeking over the horizon.

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Even though it was cloudy and drizzly that morning, we trekked to one of our favorite breakfast spots on Folly, The Lost Dog Cafe. We got a spot on the patio, and had a hearty and filling breakfast. The rain went away and the sun came out, and from there, the rest of the day flew by. We watched a surfing competition and took you for a dip in the pool. It was your first time in a pool, and you weren’t sure what to think. It might take you some time to learn to love the water, but we know you will soon enough!

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After a bath and a stroll down the street to check out a vintage car show, we had lunch and checked out of our hotel. Packing up the car went a little smoother this time around, and you fell right asleep, exhausted by all that you had seen and done this weekend. We swung by Nana and Papa’s to pick Charlie back up, and he gave you a big sloppy kiss as Daddy buckled him into the seat beside you. And still, you slept.

In spite of a little rain and a minor mishap in which we learned that you can never get lax about bringing all of the “just in case” items in your diaper bag (you may have had a messy blowout during breakfast that I forgot to mention earlier), it was a great weekend getaway. Mommy and Daddy have been on many vacations just the two of us, and now you make three. Our trips will be very different now but different in wonderful ways, because you make everything brighter. There is truly nothing better than watching you experience things for the first time. You just wait, Penelope Joy, because there is a whole lot more of this world to see!

Love,

Mommy and Daddy

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