Monday, August 01, 2011

2011 Austin Family Vacation: Folly Beach, SC

Last Sunday, we loaded up the airplane from Omaha for our vacation to Folly Beach, South Carolina, just outside of Charleston. This was our first BIG airplane trip with our kids (not including trips in Grandpa Bill's plane). This trip was a gift from Chris' parents to us (his brother and his grandma went on the same trip the week before us).

The flights were uneventful, luckily. We were on time, the kids behaved watching movies, coloring, and being polite for the most part.

We landed, drove to our house for the week on the beach, and went straight to the ocean. The water was warm (87 or warmer), with the water 3 foot deep several feet out, on a clean, sandy beach full of shells. The kids had a blast playing in the water, jumping waves, and making sand castles. After day one of flying, swimming and more, we were exhausted.

Monday brought a beautiful day to the beach. The kids were up and out to the beach before Chris and I returned from our beach run (and running the beach is fabulous!). After swimming and building a few sand castles, we took a break from the sun to visit down town Charleston. We visited the candy store, mmmm, the market place where there were many local vendors, before visiting the pier and splash park areas downtown. We then went to  Battery Park/Whitepoint Gardens before heading back to the beach. For dinner, we ate outside on the windy pier. It was beautiful! We walked the pier, but it was so windy it was crazy! Another fun day...

Tuesday was a fun filled day at the beach. The kids played a lot, making sand castles and boogie boarding. Chris and I took Addison and Asher all the way to the other end of the beach to see the dolphins. We found some crabs along the way, too. Alivia, well, she stayed back with Grandma to help her go grocery shopping. Another fun day at the beach...

Now, onto Wednesday. We woke to rain, lots and lots of rain! The electricity went out on Folly Island from about 8:30 until a little after 1pm! We tried to leave to and do something, but the street was flooded. So, we took a walk/run in the rain on the beach. Addison, Asher, Chris and I ran/walked all the way to the pier while Alivia refused to get wet. It was fun actually! Addison and Chris found a dead baby shark and carried him home. Hey, at least he was dead! After lunch, Chris, Asher and Grandpa Bob went out to see the big ships and airplanes at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum. Meanwhile, the weather cleared up so the girls and I could hit the beach. Chris brought back boogie boards that turned out to be a huge hit. For dinner, we had Woody's Pizza and it was fabulous!! It may have rained...but the rain did not spoil our fun...

On Thursday, after Chris and I had our morning run to see the dolphins, we all got dressed for some family pictures. I know, it would have been better for lighting to do it at the end of the day. However, our kids are not too willing to smile towards the end of the day. As it turned out, they were difficult at 8 am! After that, it was time for more fun on the beach. Before lunch, we took all the kids on a walk to the pier to find something to take home. We were not thinking about having to carry these things in the airport, though. After a day at the beach, Grandma and Grandpa treated Chris and I by allowing us to go out on the town for a date. I was completely dragging my feet, not really feeling like going anywhere. But, we had fun. We ate dinner at Rita's in Folly Beach before walking to the pier and walking the beach a bit. It was a beautiful night. We were even able to watch a pro build this amazing sand castle! We watched the sunset before heading back to call it a night.

Friday came so fast, too fast. Friday was our last full day on the beach as we had to be out of the beach house at 9am!! Saturday morning (okay, that is seriously nuts!). After our traditional morning jog to see the dolphins, it was back to the beach to swim, make sand castles, collect shells, and make more memories. The girls stay behind to play as Chris, Asher and I went to see the Folly Beach light house. It was a hot walk to see it, take a picture and walk back. We spent the rest of the sunny, hot day at the it should be.

Saturday morning Chris and I woke up early. By early, I mean 5:25 in the morning. We wanted to see the Dolphins one more time. We ran in the near dark to the other side of Folly Beach and sat and said good-bye to our new friends, the Dolphins. I had a frog in my throat knowing it was our last morning run. I loved being able to run with Chris while the kids slept in the house with Grandma and Grandpa. I loved finding shells, seeing birds, sharks and the dolphins. It was just a little peaceful time before our day of fun began. After our run, we took a brief walk before going inside to get cleaned up, packed up and ready to visit the Charleston Aquarium.
We were out to door just before 9am and off to the aquarium on time. The aquarium had a lot to offer, including a touch tank. It was really neat to be able to touch and feel some of the ocean's best finds. We learned that Horse Shoe crabs have blue blood that sells for $15000 a quart (yes, you read that correctly!). They use it in pharmaceuticals. Interesting, huh?! They have a really HUGE fish tank, too, like 2 stories high huge. It was really neat. After our visit, we went off to lunch with Grandma and Grandpa before heading off to the airport.
Our flight was not until 5, but we were out of things to do without going to the beach.

Our bad luck, some guy fell getting off of the plane that we were to be going on next, and he broke his shoulder or something. An hour and half later, he came out on a stretcher. Needless to say, our flight was late...quite late. There was one delay after another. When we FINALLY got on the plane, we knew we would have very little time to make our connection. So, we RAN from our plane to the next terminal taking the train. I was practically pulling Asher, while he cried the entire way, with all of our heavy bags and now carrying these boogie boards that the kids did not want to leave behind. When we arrived at the gate, we found that they just closed the gate.


Now, we had to wait 3 hours for the next flight.

They put us all on first class and we arrived home to my parents waiting at the airport about midnight. I have to say, first class is nice. The kids were able to sleep comfortable for the entire flight. I was able to get a good snack and diet coke, while reading my book (Sold - very good) under a blanket. I thought first class was worth it, Chris did not.

Arriving home, our home felt new, clean and big. It smelled new again after being shut up for a week. It was nice to sleep in our own beds and shower in our own shower. However, it was so sad not to open the door and see the ocean, hear the waves, and be able to run down the beach to see the dolphins.

How long before we can go back?

We would HIGHLY recommend this trip. We had an amazing time. Family favorites:
Alivia: Boogie boarding, candy store, swimming
Addison: Building sand castles, jumping the waves, boogie boarding, taking walks, Puffy cheetos
Asher: Swimming, boogie boarding, shoulder rides on the beach, and chocolate donuts.
Daddy: All of the above plus he loved the local seafood and Woody's Pizza
Me: I loved it all. I miss it and want to move there! I just need 2.5 million dollars to get the house I picked out there. Anybody willing to give me a loan? :)

The least until next year.

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