Sunday, February 21, 2010

Back to Reality...

I know I said I would update as soon as we returned from our vacation, but who was I kidding? We needed a little time to get back into the swing of things after being gone for a whole week before I could sit down at the computer and blog. I apologize in advance to anyone using a slow Internet connection- there are a lot of pictures that follow, so it may take a while for this post to load.
We hit the road headed for South Carolina on Friday night around eight o'clock. About half way through Indiana we hit a nasty snow storm that we would have to tolerate for the rest of the night. It made for a long drive and very little sleep for everyone. We thought Emma would be able to sleep through the night, but she ended up sleeping for three hour stretches and then she would wake up and scream for an hour straight. Around four in the morning we discovered a rock slide had shut off the main freeway we needed to take from North Carolina to South Carolina and we were told to detour. The problem was, it took us 53 miles out of our way. So we decided to find our own route- not our best plan. We ended up driving through some scary back rodes in the mountains. Luckily there was no snow, but there didn't seem to be any towns either.
This was taken along the freeway as we were driving. I honestly can't remember what state we were in at this time! It was really pretty, but deadly at the same time. The trees weren't used to the burden of all the ice and they were snapping off at the base like twigs. We finally stopped for breakfast at the Golden Arches when we found civilization again. Emma was able to run around for a bit in the play land too. We finally arrived at our grand destination at 2:30 on Saturday afternoon. It wasn't super warm, but we had finally left the snow behind us. We had the most beautiful one bedroom villa- we decided it was nicer than where we stayed on our honeymoon!

We spent the rest of Saturday just hanging out and trying to get ourselves back on some semblance of a schedule. We did a little driving around and exploring of our new territory, plus we hit the grocery store to stock up for the week.

As you can see, Emma was very excited to be at our final destination :) We were just as relieved to have a place to rest our heads and get a good nights sleep.

On Sunday, we decided to check out Ripley's Aquarium since Emma is a bit obsessed with fish. She absolutely loved it!

After a while she was sick of sitting in her stroller and wanted to do some exploring on her own. This worked out for a little while, until she thought it was more fun to run away from us than look at the fish. The aquarium wasn't that big, so thankfully we had seen most of it at this point and decided to head out. The aquarium was located at Broadway on the Beach, which is basically a large outdoor mall. There are stores, putt-putt golf courses, carnival rides, etc. It wasn't very busy due to the weather, but we decided to walk around for a bit and take in the sights.

That night we went to check out the heated pool at our resort- turns out it wasn't too warm. Jason and Emma didn't even want to get in. We went outside and sat in the hot tub for a little while, but that got old fast. So we went back to our room and we all got in the jacuzzi tub.
Emma loved it... I was afraid the jets would actually scare her, but that wasn't the case at all.
The next day we did some more exploring and checked out the area's longest wooden pier. Emma loved being able to run up and down chasing the birds. It was a beautiful sunset that night.
We wrapped up the evening at a wonderful restaurant and then hit the Bass Pro Shop on the way back to our resort- who knew they'd have a huge aquarium we could go look at for free?

On Tuesday we didn't do anything too exciting. We drove around for a little while looking for something to do when Jason spotted what appeared to be a huge pawn shop. He had never been in one before and thought it would be fun to check out. I didn't quite agree, but decided what the heck. It was interesting all right! From there we hit a Yamaha dealer (for him) and a large outlet mall (for me). Once we had done enough window shopping for the day, we stopped at a restaurant and ordered carry-out to take back to our room.

On Wednesday, we road tripped a little farther south to check out historic Georgetown. We are still not sure we saw the Georgetown I read about in the magazines. All we saw was a lot of nasty smelling plants. We also wanted to check out a few old plantations that were in the area. However, due to poor scheduling on our part, we discovered that the one we really wanted to tour was only open Thursday though Saturday during the off season. We did get to walk through the Hopsewee Plantation though.

This is a picture of Emma and I standing on the front porch overlooking the river before we went in for our tour. When we finished up there, we headed to the beach to tour the Castle Atalaya. It was beautiful!

Thursday was definitely the nicest day weather-wise, so we decided to rent a family bicycle-type thing and explore the beach. We soon found out that the place we were planning to rent from is a seasonal deal. We were bummed out big time, but we decided to enjoy some time on the beach by foot instead.

Emma loved chasing the seagulls all over- she's going to be a handful at Lake Michigan this year! She loves the water too so I was a little worried at first, but the waves sacred her. We didn't have any trouble keeping her feet dry.

After much debate, we decided to head towards home on Friday rather than leave on Saturday. We had spent a lot of time in Myrtle Beach and didn't feel like there was a whole lot left to do with a little one during the winter. Our plan was to head to Gatlinberg, TN and see the Smokey Mountains. We made hotel reservations and packed up my sister-in-law's Buick around noon. We knew there was a snow storm coming, so we thought it was great that we decided to leave early. After a long day of driving we came to that same darn rock slide and decided we would again take our own detour- BIG mistake. We ended up on same little two lane mountain roads at night with no four wheel drive. Jason was starting to worry that we weren't going to be able to continue up the hills, but we were in the middle of no where. We ended up staying in a dirty hotel room in a town called Cherokee for the night...

The next morning we hit the road at nine o'clock and decided we were done touring around- we just wanted to get home. We arrived safe and sound in Overisel at 11:30 Saturday night. Overall, we had a wonderful vacation. It wasn't what we expected and there were a few speed bumps along the way, but when you're with your family it really doesn't matter does it?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fun with Bumpa

As most of you know, we live quite a ways from the majority of my family. We love it when we get the chance to spend time with any of them, especially my grandma and grandpa Burtraw who live in Arkansas. If we are lucky we get to see them two times a year. So it was awesome to spend the majority of a day with them this past Wednesday (My mom came along to visit as well which was another bonus!). When I was little, I called my grandpa "Bumpa" and he's decided that's what Emma should call him too. It took her a little while to warm up, but once she got over her grumpys they had a blast together. The spent a lot of time reading, singing, dancing and having a great time .

As you can see from the picture below, some of Bumpa's goofy behavior has worn off on Emma :)

My mom took Harley home with her when they left, which has left Emma very confused. She gave him a hug and kiss goodbye, but I don't think she really understood until he hopped in the car with grandma. We were waving goodbye from the window and she started to cry! I explained what was going on and she finally calmed down. Later that night she went into the office and laid down by the futon, calling for Harley (this is one of his favorite hiding places). She definitely misses her puppy dog.

We are leaving this evening for South Carolina... I'm excited, but a bit nervous about the drive. It looks like we have a lot of snow to drive through! We are looking forward to getting out of the snow, even if it's not going to be 70 there. I'll be sure to update with lots of pictures when we return.