Folly Beach in South Carolina
Ah, warmth...it had been awhile since our Chicago skin had felt it.
So long, in fact, that because Lucia learned to talk over the winter, she learned the phrase "walk in the snow" and thought it meant just plain old walking outside. This spring she has had to re-learn the fact that walking outside doesn't mean walking in snow. And South Caroline with friends for a week was a great place to do so.
Lucia had quite the set-up on our drive down (plus an extreme rule bending amount of pacifier time to keep things sane for the adults in the car).
Cabin fever: things got a little weird. BONUS: Lucia threw up all over herself shortly after this picture was taken.
Our first full day there was Matt's 30th birthday! It was so fun to celebrate with friends, sunshine and a relaxing day.
We had some really yummy brunch in Charleston at Hominy Grill.
Then some hang out time on the beach.
Lucia loved looking for shells and bugs.
Lucia's beach buddy, Zeke
Matt conducting his birthday song while proudly displaying his new Seahawks jersey.
30 is a lot of candles...
We had a ton of fun that night, lots of laughs together with friends as we hung out and played games. And with the help of our family and friends, I was able to put together a very special book for Matt filled with stories, fond memories and appreciations about Matt. He loved it and I hope it made him feel loved as well.
Our place in Folly Beach was awesome! There were 8 adults and 2 kids but plenty of room to spread out.
Some cool lofted space
I loved these staircases. And by some small miracle, neither Lucia nor Zeke discovered during the whole week that they could walk up the steps. This made things A LOT easier on us parents with small children.
Lucia's room :) This arrangement allowed us to get a few extra minutes of sleep in the mornings before Lucia would stand up, repeatedly open and slam the closet door yelling, "Mommy awake!?!" the split second I opened my eyes.
The porch. Hard to beat that view.
We were located across the street from the beach which was especially great since the weather turned cooler...much easier to take quick trips to the beach without making a big production of it (like Matt and Lucia in the background of this pic).
Lots of yummy restaurants to enjoy.
Charleston is such a pretty place, one of my favorite US cities for sure.
We took a stroll through the historic part of Charleston. So many beautiful and interesting houses on lovely tree lined streets. You can feel the history of the city, some of it dark, buzzing in the streets due to all the well preserved houses.
Lucia and Zeke enjoyed themselves on our walk.
The last time I was in Charleston, about 8 years ago with my family, we took a carriage tour. I have forgotten everything we learned then leaving me with a slight and fleeting flicker of familiarity at sites around the city....no wait, nothing there, I forget.
What a cute little narrow house.
We happened upon this cool building...
...which turned to be a horse washing station or something
The last time Matt and I were in Charleston, it was about 8 years ago, three weeks before we got married. We had rented a house on a nearby island with my family to celebrate my parents wedding anniversary. My siblings and I sat on these same benches to take a picture so of course, Matt, Lucia and I had to recreate it.
Matt and I hadn't seen each other all summer before we got married back in September 2006 because he was at home in Washington and I was in Chicago. We had just graduated from college and we were used to spending time apart, being from different states across the country from each other. When we got to South Carolina, it was great to spend vacation time , with Matt and my family right before our wedding. I have memories of great family time, late night talks on the beach with Matt, plus place card making, program planning and strapless shirt tanning on the beach (so as not to ruin my tan lines for my wedding dress, duh). We were so excited to get married, join our lives together and dream dreams of what that joint life would entail. It was the beginning of something special and it seemed like the possibilities of our life together were endless.
So it felt like some sort of important milestone to go back to that same place and reflect on all that has happened since the last time we were there. And much has happened since then! For one, we have moved about 7 times in those 8 years. We have lived in a few countries, we have great family and friends, have had some great jobs, we've learned a lot about ourselves and have had a beautiful little girl that we adore. We have been able to make some of those dreams a reality but we are still dreaming up new adventures...hopefully that will never stop.
Lucia and Zeke had fun practicing their jumping and chasing birds on the beach.
Lucia and Corrie
And we even had time to stop at a whiskey distillery, Buffalo Trace, on the way home.
But the kids went a little crazy during the whiskey tour (I mean, come on kids, can't you hold it together for just one little whiskey tour?) so Janine and I went to find some food for them. Little did we know, we would end up in some Kentucky university cafeteria. Good times.
Here are a few more recent pics of Lucia...
Lucia had to come with me to work for a few days and she did a great job napping while I got some work done.
Lucia has been really into glasses and headbands lately. And she must put them on her way, as evidenced by the above picture.
Palm Sunday. Belly protruding.
Playing with some shaving cream and food coloring
Naomi and Lucia doing a show
Gwen leading us in some yoga
This pretty much sums up life in our house with 4 little girls!