Wow! What a month. Lots of amazing travels with friends and family!
Brayden continued her Girls on the Run program and absolutely loves it. She’s met some great friends, instilled more self-confidence, and learned that beauty comes from within a person. Very good life skills to have! Hanleigh is improving on her swim techniques during her weekly lessons…we’re hoping for the green band at the Y this summer! We enjoyed lunch with GG & Dadaw, the F3 five-year anniversary party, and had my longest-known friend, Susan, over for dinner one evening.
I enjoyed a one-night girls’ trip to Southern Pines with five friends where we took a hot yoga class, ate lunch, went shopping, ate dinner, went out to the bars, and did some dancing. This was the weekend of daylight savings time, so after all was said and done, we ended up going to bed around 4:30am. We all laughed so hard the entire time! It was such a great trip and everyone had a blast! I took a work trip to the thriving metropolis of Oconee, SC one week as well. A bunch of us went to see Rihanna in concert one evening, too. She did a great job and sang all of her biggest hits, but since there were so many, she only sang snipits of them before going to the next song. I kind of wished she had sang the entire song instead, but it was still an incredible show! Trent and Brayden had their monthly Y guides get together as well.
The best part of the month was during the week of spring break, which we spent in our favorite Caribbean destination…Turks & Caicos. This was our third time visiting the island and we stayed at Beaches. I was a little hesitant because all-inclusives can be hit or miss, but this one knocked it out of the ballpark. The food was delicious, pools were lavish, entertainment was fun, sunsets were breathtaking, weather was perfect, drinks were tasty, and kids’ activities were endless! We ate at nearly a different restaurant every night (only repeated one) and were able to have an adult-only dinner, ,too. One of the restaurants is in the sand, so we were barefoot! We always tend to be on spring break over Easter, so the Easter Bunny paid us a visit in our room on Sunday morning.
I was able to scuba dive three different times while there: once with Trent, once with Nina/Trent, and once by myself (on a guided dive, of course). We took a refresher course since it had been 11 years since we dove last, which really helped a great deal! Throughout the three dives I saw sharks, barracudas, lobster, crab, grouper, and puffer fish, among many others. I had a very close encounter with a four-foot barracuda as he came at me and then swam up the entire right side of my body. When you are 55 feet under water, you truly are at the mercy of the sea creatures! One time, my fins got too close to the coral that I ended up cutting my ankle pretty bad…you know, just chumming the waters without my knowledge!
We went snorkeling right off the beach many times, circling a natural and protected marine habitat. Brayden was my snorkel buddy and I called her “turtle eyes” since she spotted turtles each time we snorkeled. It was so cute because she got really excited and then would come to the surface, remove her snorkel and yell to other snorkelers (didn’t matter how far away), “Hey, there’s a turtle over here!” I think I may have a future diver on my hands. Yeah! (Note: Hanleigh calls it “sky-ba-doo-bing”, so that has now become our family term for scuba diving). We enjoyed a foam party on the beach where we danced and got sprayed with paint (totally reminds me of something you’d see in a college spring break atmosphere), did a limbo contest, and took a glass-bottom boat ride (it was pretty uneventful, but sitting on the front of the boat on the way back, snuggling with my girls, was a slice of heaven).
There is something magical about the Caribbean that washes every ounce of stress away. When I enter the clear, blue ocean, I could stay there all day…whether I’m swimming, diving, on a boat, etc. What I need to remind myself in the hectic day-to-day activities of work and family is to harness the feeling I have when I am there and carry it with me in times of stress. Embracing that feeling of calm and nirvana is challenging. It’s easier said than done, but it’s a journey I’m willing to embrace.
A cute conversation took place between both Brayden and Hanleigh one morning over breakfast before school:
- Hanleigh: “How does the Easter Bunny get to Turks & Caicos?”
- Brayden: “He poofs.”
- Hanleigh: “He poofs?”
- Brayden: “You know, he just appears.”
- Hanleigh: “Oh, you mean, like teleport?”
- “I don’t like convertibles because you will get licked by a giraffe.”
- Instead of saying the term “grand finale”, she said, “and now for our groun fanation.”