Sunday, November 10, 2013

Day Three Fall Break

Day 3 -Wednesday- 
Drama at the Beach

So off to the ocean we go. Leaving Chattanooga was still going to be a five hour drive. Word of warning. Don't drink your green herb shake when you head off on the highway. Not long after our driving began we had to find a restroom pronto.

We have a good day driving. Praise Jesus for DVD players in the van. Aiden has not decided to use the van for napping much to my dismay.  Other than having to pull over for Corbin to pee in a bush in Atlanta because we just couldn't make it in time, and eating lunch at Chick-fil-a only to notice the McDonald play land across the street we had a very uneventful drive down. We arrive in Hilton Head Island around 5ish. Not till I booked our two night three day trip did I know it was part of a time share presentation. Go figure. We got this trip when we went on the free time share presentation in Branson, MO. Anyway they had planned for us to be in a meeting the next day right at 12p. What dumb dumbs.

Hilton Head is so beautiful. All of the buildings have been designed to blend in with nature having this tan sandstone exterior. So all of the colors we come to associate with fast food chains and gas stations were not there. They all blended. And the signs were all on the ground in sandblasted muted colors. Very different. It was pretty, but difficult to find where things were.

After checking into our suite. Park Lane Suites was gorgeous, our room came right out to the pool and had a little kitchenette inside. 

We headed off to have an evening at the beach then dinner.

Perfect temperatures. A little chilly with the sun going down, but kids rarely recognize such trivial things.
 Aiden and I stayed on the beach and played in the sand. I sent Matt off to be with the other two. Coligny beach was rated the one of the top beaches in the country for families. And I can see why. The waters were shallow and went out at least 30 foot so little ones need not worry. And as you approach the beach there are free bathrooms and changing rooms and showers with fountains to rinse off as you leave. A nice boardwalk that leads to the ocean. Super nice.

 We ended up being this far from the water to play in the soft sand.
 The sun was setting, just the most ideal evening you can imagine.

 The kids were checking out the water and all is well...

 Then I hear this blood curling scream coming from Corbin. As I head that way I see a fin in the water and I think oh my goodness he thought he saw a shark. But it turns out they were dolphins. Three of them swimming very close to the shore. Still screaming and I'm getting closer. Matt is carrying Corbin towards me and Addie is scurrying close, Corbin is stung. First day in the ocean and he gets stung by a jelly fish. Yikes!

 We gather our one million things that we brought with us (not knowing what us newbies would need at the beach with kids) we headed back to the boardwalk. A man tells us that warm water would draw out the sting, he thinks. No, that isn't the case. Corbin screams even more. In fact that actually makes it worse. Another man looks it up on the Internet on his phone and tells us the easiest remedy is vinegar. Calming Corbin down was not easy. We head to the Piggly Wiggly and pick up vinegar and some food for dinner and head back to the hotel. We got Corbin settled in with a movie and a vinegar soaked rag wrapped around his leg. I fix them lunchables with drinks and grapes. All seems right with the world again.

Corbin is not the kind of kid that lets owies and falls bother him. He doesn't cry very often and definitely not very long. So I know this really hurt. Poor guy.

Our first day in paradise was a little lacking for Corbin.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Day One and Two of Fall Break

Day 1-  We had glorious plans of going to the Falls of the Ohio, but the mucho rain over the weekend flooded our ideas. We will try next week.

Day 2- Off to the sunny skies, salt water and fun adventures.

We are headed off to our first leg of our trip. This is the first time we have had a big family vacation and the kids are super pumped. The final destination is Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Lots of smiles and giggles and an eagerness to be off. Pretty good for us at 9:30a
With a few stops to make we made it into Chattanooga, TN around 4p. Our destination for the rest of the day was the Tennessee Aquarium. When I told Corbin that we were going to an aquarium on vacation to see real sharks, he about flipped he was so excited.

There were two parts to the aquarium; the river building, and the ocean building. We also fit in an IMAX show of sharks.
Matt argued and argued about packing the big bulky stroller into the packed van but I won out and later on vacation he said how thankful he was that he had listened to me.

Everyone had such fun. The kids enjoyed the aquarium way more than I thought.

Here's a funny mom, home school style moment. Right behind where the kids are in the tank were these turtles, they were riding piggy back and bouncing along the water floor. Totally without thinking I was like, "Hey kids look at this!" Matt laughing behind me and the kids being too drawn to whatever they were looking at, I was mercifully relieved to know they did not notice the turtles mating at the bottom of the water. But honestly how could they know! I didn't even know. :)

Corbin was thrilled to death to be able to touch any creature they would let him. In this tank he nearly leaned in up to his head trying to touch some river fish. I believe they were catfish.

Now we enter the Ocean house. Beautiful colors were all around.
I was too busy touching the sting rays and other fish in the next tank and helping Aiden to reach in that I forgot to take pics. There was even a small shark that would swim by if you were brave enough to touch him. We spent quite a bit of time here. Matt and Corbin both touched the shark.

They also had a butterfly house at the top of this building.
This is where Addie ooowwed and aaawwweed.

Very pretty butterflies everywhere.

Aiden did great in his stroller and loved taking in all the creatures that we saw.

We took a break to catch the last IMAX show. Sharks was very large and in your face (3D show). Thankfully it wasn't a scary film as we were to be in the ocean the next day, but it turned out to be a bit over the kids head. very much a documentary style with lots of information. Aiden fell asleep right away.

To finish the Ocean Building I have a little penguin wanna be.

This little guy loved being right there up front with Corbin. He followed Corbin up and down the glass wherever he went.

Here is a shark cage. Where you would observe sharks from the inside while they swim around you.

They had several large sharks in the large tank. I would say they were 6-8 foot long.
A giant sea crab. Talk about your snow crab legs.

This was my favorite exhibit. I love watching the jellies float in the tanks.

What a great family day.

Right at the end you walk under the giant shark tank and its real dark and glows this blue green all around. Addie spontaneously sat in this corner and began praying to God. It was so sweet. Her in her four year old self felt this a holy time and wanted to pray. Such a tender heart.
Right before we had gotten onto the highway in Corydon when we were leaving, Addie looks up to the sky and says bye God we are going on vacation and that she would miss Him. It made me chuckle a little. I said Addie God knows where we are going and he is going with us. He is always with us. So cute how kids think.

Walking out of the Aquarium late we were right downtown and in a perfect place to find dinner. We landed at the Mellow Mushroom. I know we have one in Louisville, but Matt nor I had ever been to one. Great food and great place for kids.

We ended our perfect day at the Comfort Suites Hotel. Off to the beach in the morning.