Friday, June 10, 2011

Our Tour of the Carolinas

Last week we took a very last minute trip to both North and South Carolina! And it was so fun. And it was nearly free, which makes it that much better. How did we manage that, you ask? Well, Brad had a meeting in North Carolina, so that covered a lot of our mileage, one night at the hotel at the beach, and a couple of portions of dinner (to cover Brad). So we left last Tuesday and went to stay with some of our good friends in Greensboro. It was so great to see them and visit, even though it was a short visit! In this picture, Jodi and I were headed out CHILD-FREE!!! That's right, the boys did the kid thing and we went out and shopped and got our nails done. I love that!

When we got home, the kids (and Brad) were playing ball outside and Aaron was inside finishing dinner. Even better - shopping, nails, and dinner almost on the table! Here are their boys - growing up way too fast!
Katie loved playing with the boys. She threw the ball and played on their swing and ran around a ton!

I think she looks like a little ducky here following her friends. Love this!

Katie loved swinging on their porch swing. They also had a swing hanging from a branch of a big tree near their house. That was so fun!

After the kids went to bed, we all watched a movie and visited. Here are Brad and Aaron - best buds! We love hanging out with them!
And here is a picture of Jodi and Aaron - so cute!

And my nails! I love the crazy color on my toes - perfect for the beach! I seem to be enjoying fun blues and greens on my toes this summer :)

After spending 2 nights with our friends, we headed to Wilmington for Brad's meeting. Katie loved it when Brad was silly and let Ruff Ruff drive the car ;)While Brad was in his meeting, Katie and I acted like tourists in the little downtown/riverside area. It was so quaint and fun! I took this picture of a beautiful hibiscus flower - I love them!

And Katie wanted to go see the "wa wa" first, so we went and strolled along the riverfront. It was hot and humid and silly me wore jeans. Whew!

And then we went to get ice cream! This summer I have been on a big ice cream kick - that could be problematic! But it was yummy - and clearly Katie loved it since she drank every last melted bit of her scoop of vanilla! After that treat, we did some shopping! I bough a shirt and earrings at an island-inspired shop, and then we found a cute little store all for little girls. Katie got a cute purse and little mouse - adorable! And she clearly loves shopping - we are in trouble!

When Brad finished with his meeting, we then drove down to Myrtle Beach! We checked into our hotel (awesome) and found a fun place for dinner. It was at this great boardwalk/entertainment area. After dinner, Katie loved looking at the fish you could feed and the ducks swimming around.

She was a wild woman after being in the car a lot that day! She had fun running and acting silly. She did let me get a picture of us though!

And she was still wild when we got back to our hotel! Look at that grin!

She did calm down long enough to snuggle with daddy though!

But then she got some more energy and found the mirror in the bathroom - she loved it!

And then she started zoning out and was way tired. It was definitely time for bed!

The next morning, she was still zonked when I woke up. Brad had one last meeting that he had to go to, so Katie and I were on our own that morning! I wanted to make sure we were up in enough time to make it to breakfast down in the lobby.

Katie loved the beach and the kiddie pool at our hotel! We had so much fun. And she loved going on our balcony to look at the ocean and sand. I love that she is a beach girl :)
After spending the day at the beach and pool, we got cleaned up and went to dinner! Katie loved playing with her new purse while we all got ready.

And she even cooperated for a picture with Mommy before we left!

On our way to dinner, she held on tightly to that purse. I wonder if she knew it matched her outfit?? :)

We had wait a little while for dinner, but they had a great outdoor, grassy area for the kids to play and run. Someone offered to take our picture, so of course I agreed. Sure wish Katie had cooperated! Katie loved it when Brad chased her around. And she did great at dinner even though it was a little later than she's used to! We ate at the Sea Captain and it was so delicious!

This is how I found her the next morning - I think she was exhausted! And maybe she could tell it was getting lighter outside, so she covered her head to keep it dark. Too funny.

I could wake up to this every morning. And it would never get old.

Such the diva on the beach. Silly Mommy forgot to take all of our fun beach toys, so she was stuck with the little toys that happened to be in the beach bag. Oops!

I love this picture of Daddy and Girly studying the waves!

And I actually caught this gem of a picture at JUST the right time. There was a bigger wave that crashed against them when they were looking at me. Awesome.

Mommy and Katie at the kiddie pool - it was perfect!

After playing that morning, we headed to the room for lunch. Daddy & Katie watched some Elmo on the iPad we borrowed from a friend before naptime. She ended up snoozing on Brad while he relaxed. What did Momma do? Go back to the beach, of course!

The beach was beautiful! And so fun!

We did do some relaxing on the balcony, too. Stretched out and listening to the waves. Perfection.

Katie was ready for more beach time after she woke up from her nap!

He looks so masculine carrying a pink watering can, doesn't he?? :)

Katie loved pouring the water onto the sand and then scooping it and dumping it out!

I had gotten this outfit at a consignment sale a while back knowing how cute it would be at the beach. We decided, since we were all clean and going to dinner, that we didn't need to go all the way into the sand, but the walkway there worked perfectly! I wish I had used a different setting on my camera to prevent the grainy look, but they will do! I love these :)

We ate dinner at Cheeseburger In Paradise - so yummy! Afterwards, we went back to the Boardwalk at the Beach area. I was feeling pretty cute, so I wanted my picture taken! {Ladies, do you ever have times where you feel like you look good and need a picture to document the moment? Back me up here!}

This is an attempte at taking a picture of the South Carolina palmetto and moon symbol - I know the moon should be on the other side, but this angle's picture turned out better. :)

They had rides for the little kids - Katie LOVED the carousel!

What a way to ride - so cute. She's got it made!

Our little sweet pea :)

Another picture with momma - love!!

The next morning, we got up and loaded the car for the 9-10 hour drive home. AH!!! We were definitely ready to be home. We made it only having to stop twice - not too bad for 2 adults and a 2 year old! I saved a birthday present for Katie to play with in the car. She loved it! And it is that special paper and markers where the markers only work on the special paper. No mess! :)

And the sunset during the last hour of our drive. Thanks, God! How beautiful.

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