Beaches & Bluegrass
So, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t in town a single weekend in April. But, every one of them was filled with amazing and unique experiences! Here we go…
We ventured down to Charleston for our 10th consecutive Cooper River Bridge Run, although this time, we stayed at an adorable house that we rented on VRBO. It was perfect! Of course, we ate at Taco Boy and Hank’s, but we tried Rutledge Cab Company for dinner on Friday night and were not disappointed. Trent and I also ran our fastest times (51:17 for me, 49:43 for Trent) for the race and (finally!) got a medal (maybe that’s because it was the 40th anniversary of the CRBR?). The weather couldn’t have been more beautiful, so we ventured to our favorite rooftop bar, Vendue Inn, drank rosé and laughed a lot. I know I’ve said this before, but I could totally retire in that city.
We enjoyed some of our weekly routine with work, tennis, and gymnastics and interspersed dinner with Kendall and lunch with GG & Dadaw in there as well. We attended some group lessons with Myers and are now able to walk him around the neighborhood without a leash (of course, we still have to zap him some when he sees a squirrel!). He automatically stops at the edge of the sidewalk and street without being prompted, which is pretty cool. We still have another 10 months or so of group lessons and activities included in his training, so I’m excited to see what he learns in that timeframe!
Our next trip was spring break! We went to Turks & Caicos (this was our fourth trip to our favorite island) and stayed at Beaches. This year, the Farrells joined us and we had a blast. This was their first time in Turks and I’m pretty sure they loved it as well. We put the kids in camp a couple of times so we could have adult time. And, our good friends, the Lowes, also happened to be staying at the resort with their extended family as well, so we were able to hang out with them a few times. The weather was amazing, although it was extremely windy, so the calm and tranquil ocean we are used to was raging instead. We still managed to get in a two-tank scuba dive to West Caicos where I saw all kinds of marine life: stingrays, a Caribbean reef shark, seven barracuda, a puffer fish, and a lionfish. Once again, Brayden was our turtle spotter when we went snorkeling offshore at Bight Reef and we saw seven turtles at one time, two of which even surfaced and we caught it on video! We did book again for next year’s spring break, but we are likely going to transfer that trip to an adults-only trip sometime in 2018 or 2019 to one of the Sandals properties. We’ll go somewhere else for spring break next year, just to change things up a bit.
The weekend after returning from Turks, I headed off to Bald Head Island with Momo, Kerri, and Momo’s cousins. What a cool place! You take a ferry from Southport to BHI where no cars are allowed on the island and the only mode of transportation is golf carts. This made for some hilarious transportation stories (nearly backing over an old lady, accidentally riding down the sidewalk, etc.). The house we stayed in was ridiculous (ocean- and sound-front), we stayed up too late, and went through way too many bottles of wine. Our days consisted of laying out on the beach or by the pool and touring the island. We also had (what will forever be known as) “The Lantern Incident”. Momo bought these beautiful Chinese lanterns upon which to write our life’s wishes, ignite a flame at the bottom of them, and send them off into the nighttime sky. So, we sat around the dining room table collecting our thoughts and sharing them with each other. It was pretty moving. So, what’s this incident about you may ask? Well, we basically broke every “what not to do” direction on the packaging (of course, we never read it) which stated: only set them free in 5mph winds or less (it was probably 20mph that night), do not drink alcohol while sending them off (oops!), release them in open spaces free of any buildings (we were right next to our house and many others, all of which were easily worth a couple million dollars each!), and release them in a non-residential space. Needless to say, we nearly caught the grass, a palm tree, and at least two houses on fire that evening. There was laughing, screaming, and peeing involved and I’m so glad Momo caught it all on video. I cry laughing each time I watch it. Seriously, this thing could go viral! Check out the video (20:42-minute mark).
We capped off April with a weekend camping and listening to bluegrass music at Merlefest in Wilkesboro, NC. It was the first time we had ever been there after years of hearing about how awesome it was from our friends, the Mantaks. The kids were rascals on Friday night (probably because they were exhausted), but angels the rest of the weekend. We were introduced to a bunch of new bands and saw some amazing ones that were more well-established (Avett Brothers, Scythian, Sam Bush, Steel Wheels, Zac Brown). It was hotter than hell all weekend, so thank goodness our campsite provided some much-needed shade. This was the girls’ second music festival and they had a great time. I love that we can introduce them to new music, cultures, and experiences and they take it all in stride.