Acting, Activities, & Antigua!

June 2021

We are officially in the throes of summer with gymnastics continuing each week and tons of exciting activities! Our awesome friends, Rob and Heather, had us over for dinner one night since they knew we have been without a kitchen while our renovation takes place. We had amazing tacos and it was so awesome to spend some quality time with them on a weeknight. The next evening, we had all of our good neighborhood friends to our house for dinner and driveway drinks. Knowing darn well that we cannot host a large party with a kitchen renovation taking place, everyone came over and brought their own camping chairs and dinners. We played fun music, everyone danced, and had a fabulous time.

The next day, Trent did a beer run with his F3 workout friends. This is an annual event where they run 4-5 miles jogging from one brewery to the next. The girls and me met up with Erin and Cooper that afternoon for lunch and had a great time catching up. It had been a long time since I had seen her! Can’t wait to see her again. Trent took Brayden out to an empty nearby parking lot to practice driving since she will start driver’s ed soon. It’s so incredibly hard to believe! Hanleigh started her theater camps up again with the first one called “Seuss on the Loose”. The local arts center does such a great job of teaching the kids choreography, stage placement, line memorization, and a host of other theater-based techniques—she truly enjoys it. Due to COVID and safety protocols, they do not have any in-person showcases at the end of the week, but rather send a recording link to all the parents of what they learned.

Brayden’s optional field hockey practices (in preparation for high school tryouts) ramped up and she has those about three times a week with two in the evenings starting at 5:00 p.m. and one on Fridays starting at 7:00 a.m. Brayden enjoyed a day at the Whitewater Center with her great friend, Maisie, where they went whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and navigated some of the obstacle courses. Kendall and I had a fabulous dinner at Emmett’s Social Table, and as always, it was so great to see her. I’m looking forward to spending a long weekend with her in September at the beach.

Every second Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., there is a new festival (so-to-speak) called Ballantyne Markets at 11:00. There are food and drink vendors as well as retail pop-ups that showcase their wares and everyone comes to hear bands play throughout the day. It lasts through October and is such a great way to drive the community to a newly formed park and greenspace area. We had a fabulous dinner at Yama with the Millers one evening as well. They are one of the kindest families I’ve ever met and so fun to be around! Brayden continued her field hockey practice while Hanleigh took another theater camp called “Create a Scene.” Trent had a great lunch with his parents and we had my mom over for dinner as well. We also met up with the friend I have known the longest, Susan, and her family, for dinner one evening. We hadn’t seen each other since they moved to Charlotte right before COVID started. It was awesome seeing them and catching up!

The highlight of the month was spending a week in Antigua with Trent. We were supposed to be on a sailing trip with the Mazzolas and Lowes, but the pandemic restrictions were just too much of a pain in the butt to have to deal with going to the British Virgin Islands (that trip has been postponed to June 2022). So, instead of doing absolutely nothing that week, we opted to take a trip to Antigua! We decided this would be our official 20-year anniversary celebration trip since we will be at the beach with family during our actual anniversary in August. Trent’s parents watch the girls while we jet set off to Miami for a layover and then onto St John’s, Antigua. We decided to go to the all-inclusive route and stay at Sandals, our first time experiencing one of those. We have stayed three times at their sister property for families in Turks & Caicos, Beaches, but the Sandals properties are for adults only. Our check-in process took a little bit longer than expected, but once we were settled, the fun began! The food was incredible and we enjoyed restaurants that we were already familiar with such as Barefoot by the Sea, Soy, Mario’s, and Kimono’s, as well as new restaurants such as Eleanor’s. I went scuba diving three times while I was there and saw amazing marine life such as nurse sharks, a reef shark, crabs, eels, and turtles. The coral was not very vibrant (much of it appeared dead), but as I mentioned, the fish were awesome! Trent and I also snorkeled and saw hundreds of moon jellyfish. Their sting is very minimal and just leaves you with a little bit of a tingling feeling. This is good, because you can just push them out of your way when you were swimming through them. Some of them were so huge!

Our days consisted of us laying by the pool and participating in some of the games that the entertainment crew offered such as movie and music trivia, a scavenger hunt, and a water balloon toss. Of course, we brought Louise, our traveling chicken with us and she actually met another traveling chicken named Hugo. It was pretty comical. One day, a random guy came up to Trent and asked him, “What’s with the chicken?” to which Trent replied, “Travel chicken.” The guy simply said, “Oh, ok.” and was satisfied with his response. Too funny! The weather was awesome and it seemed to only rain at night with maybe one or two tiny showers during the day that lasted all of five minutes each. I discovered a new cocktail of champagne mixed with Chambord. It was awesome. The entertainment each night was super fun and the crowd really got into it. They had everything from a fire breather and karaoke to a DJ (naturally, I danced). We enjoyed a candlelight dinner one evening and a loyalty member awards dinner. Both were delicious and super fun. We noticed throughout our trip, that there were cats everywhere. I am definitely not a fan of cats, but we quickly learned that they were there to fight off the rats. Gross. The good thing is that we never saw any rats while we were there, so clearly the cats are doing an excellent job of this! We decided we would keep track of all the cats we saw and that we would count the number of cats per sitting. The tally by the end of the week was 55 cats! The highlight of the trip was definitely the catamaran cruise. While we had a lot of newlyweds on our boat, the older crew were definitely the partiers…and we fit clearly into that group. Everything started off very calm on the boat with everyone taking in the gorgeous landscape and sunset, but things quickly turned debaucherous once the captain started taking music requests. We had noticed that there was one group of friends, probably in their upper 50s or low 60s, that seemed to be having a particularly good time. We made our way to the back of the boat and joined them. Let’s just say that the masts on the boat served more purposes than just providing a place for the sails to adhere to. Our boat pulled alongside the other catamaran and there was no comparison as to whose boat was having the most fun. They weren’t even dancing and they definitely had way more young people than ours did. Our hearts were full, our smiles large, and our bellies sore from laughter. Overall, the trip was fabulous, the water beautiful, the drinks and food delicious…but, what made the trip more special than anything was the company. Trent, you are my partner in crime and I love you with every ounce of my soul.

Hanleigh wrapped up the month with one more theater camp called “Wizardly World” while Brayden continued with her field hockey practices. We packed our stuff and drove to Knoxville where we met Kyle and Cammy, as it was our pit stop on our way to the family reunion. More to come on that in the July post.

Hanleigh-isms:

  • I was asking her about a sleepover that she recently had and if she slept in a sleeping bag. Her response was this: “No way. No one sleeps in those anymore. That’s from the 90s.”
  • She asked Trent one day, “Do you have broken down blood vessels?” She was quoting an erectile dysfunction commercial which had said it was for people over 40. Knowing that he is over 40, she decided to start inquiring. Hilarious!

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