2022,  April,  Brayden,  Charlotte,  Family,  Hanleigh,  Vacation

Charleston, Caribbean, & Chesney

Trent and I kicked off April with our 14th consecutive Cooper River Bridge Run weekend. And, as always, we had an incredible time; however, we changed things up a bit and for the first time, we stayed in Mount Pleasant instead of Charleston. We found this adorable Airbnb that was about a mile or so from the start line. We drove down on Friday morning and arrived just in time to have cocktails and lunch oceanside at Coconut Joe’s on Sullivan’s Island and do some work in the afternoon. That evening, we enjoyed an amazing and incredibly delicious (and expensive wine) dinner at Savi Cucina. The next morning, it was time to wake up bright and early to prepare for the 10K. While Louise Anne joins us every year for the party weekend, she has actually never ran with us. I decided this was the year to change that up. I strapped her into my water belt and we were ready to go. We had about a 20-minute walk to the start line, took care of business and were ready to kick some ass. Trent and I always run separately for this race and this time was no different. We had zero expectations of how each of us would finish, but we were both quite happy with the results. Trent finished in 49 minutes (7:54 pace) and I finished in 48 minutes and 50 seconds (7:53 pace). Both of us shaved time off last year’s results and I set another personal record. After the race, we were reminiscing on our time splits and how I have this habit of walking for a few seconds about four or five times during the race just to catch my breath whereas Trent powers through and never really stops running. I suggested that next year we run together so that I can keep the pace faster while Trent can keep me from stopping. Ideally, it would make sense that we would finish faster in general if we do that, but who knows. We were greeted at the finish line by Justin, who was there to support Abby in running her first 10k. She killed it. Her goal was to finish in slightly over an hour, but she ran even quicker than she thought. So incredibly proud of her. We celebrated everyone’s victory by going to some of our requisite stopping grounds such as Burns Alley, the Rarebit, Republic, Vendue Inn Rooftop, and the Griffon. After getting cleaned up, we met up with them again for dinner at Maya, a delicious Mexican-inspired restaurant. Another amazing weekend in the books with Trent and family! Thank you to Terry and Fran for watching the kids and Myers while we escaped!!!

While we were gone, Terry and Fran took Hanleigh and Mila to a cat cafe called Cat Tabby, where they were able to love on all kinds of kittens. Meanwhile, Brayden had a field hockey play day in Matthews where she had about four or five games against various teams in the same age group. The evening I returned from Charleston, I met Heather and Tonya out for dinner at a new local restaurant, which I’ve come to love, called Tap and Vine.

The next weekend, we were super excited to finally leave for Saint Martin for spring break. This had been three years in the making due to the pandemic and nothing was going to stop us from going this time around. As they say, third time is a charm. After doing tons of research on government protocols for entry related to vaccinations, filling out an application to enter the country, and making sure we had all the other necessary travel documents in hand, we boarded the flight and were so ready for a week of relaxation. Our room was extremely spacious. Trent and I had our own rooms and the girls were in this large space with a comfy pull-out bed, chaise lounge, and dining room table. We had our own kitchen and a pool that we only shared with three other rooms. Once we got settled in our room, we made our way to Coco Beach club for a late lunch and the Sunday afternoon party. Our property was located right on Orient Bay, which is one of the most bustling beaches on the entire island and Sundays are known as party days. Everyday, we explored the island in our rental car, navigating the hills and valleys, and taking in the incredible views of the Island from the high hilltops. We spent most of our evenings enjoying the cuisine in Grand Case, which is known as the gourmet capital of the Caribbean and it did not disappoint!

We did the requisite visit to Maho Bay to watch the large airplanes land and take off, which was quite comical. The jets nearly launched us over! Brayden and I went scuba diving while we were there and saw a nurse shark, a couple of black tip reef sharks as well as trumpet fish, puffer fish, lobster, and all sorts of other tropical fish during our two-tank dives. One of our dives was a wreck dive, so it was really cool to see cannons and the anchor of the Proselyte ship. The next day, Hanleigh got to choose the activity that we did and she picked ziplining. But, this was not just your average zip line excursion. We took a chairlift to the top of the highest peak on the island and ziplined down. It sounds like no big deal, but all of our palms were sweaty and it was really hot and we were all a little bit nervous. However, the view from the top of the mountain was absolutely breathtaking!!! We could see so many islands in the distance including St. Barth’s, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Anguilla, and St. Kitts & Nevis.

Another day, Brayden chose for us to sail around the island for the day on a catamaran. We all four decided this was our absolute most favorite day of the whole trip. There’s nothing better than being on a boat with the wind at your back and the gentle roll of the ocean underneath you. We actually made it around the entire island, snorkeled twice and saw a turtle and a stingray, and hung out in a gorgeous bay where we could paddle board and swim. Definitely our happy place. One of the restaurants we visited was called Ocean 82 and I’m pretty sure that Trent and I ate there 20 years ago while celebrating our one-year anniversary. Brayden even had us reenact a photo that we took way back then at our table. Check out the “then-and-now” photo in the album. I think time has been on our side in terms of growth. For our last dinner on the island, we ate at a delicious restaurant called Les Temps de Cerises and had the most perfect table to watch the sunset. It was divine. The next day, we took advantage of the few hours we had left at the beach before going to the airport and had a great time playing beach football and perfecting our touchdown dances.

When we returned, we rounded out the month with a few fun get togethers. I had dinner with Kendall at a delicious restaurant called Spice and she gave me amazing work advice, which I am now putting into play. We shall see how that turns out. Hanleigh spent the night at her friend, Nina’s house, and Brayden had another field hockey play day. Her team has done such an incredible job this year and I’m pretty sure they are undefeated. We enjoyed an amazing dinner with the Farrells at the Bartley’s house and I brought a customized charcuterie board that looked pretty freaking amazing. We always have such a great time with those two couples and were able to enjoy a nice evening dining alfresco! The school year is coming to an end and we spent one Friday evening at Hanleigh’s last Hawk Fest. It is also Trent’s last year being a Hawk Dad, something he has been involved in for the last 10 years. He’s done such an amazing job of recruiting other dads to help bring a smile to all the children’s faces every Thursday and Friday during carpool, leading clean-up volunteer projects, and chaperoning the Valentine’s dance each year. I know he will miss doing it, but the school is equally lucky to have had his help for so long. He really has amplified that program and there are so many dads that participate now. The last night of the month culminated with tickets to a concert I’ve been excited to attend for the last two years: Kenny Chesney! We went with Kendall & Andrew and were excited to see Carly Pearce (we missed her because we were having too much fun hanging out at Latta Arcade), Old Dominion, and Dan + Shay open for him. The concert was actually incredible and of course, we danced the entire time. Such an amazing lineup!!!

In other news, as another school year draws closer to an end, we are both such happy and proud parents that our kids are continuing to do so well in school with straight As and great friends. I love this well-rounded silly and fabulous family!

Hanleigh-ism:

  • One night, while we were dining in St. Martin at a restaurant called Sao, there were two sets of couples (probably in their 60s) that were talking about going to a bar after dinner. Trent was headed in the direction of where those people were walking and Hanleigh said to him, “When you come back out, let me know if you see any old people ‘ooouncing’?” (picture someone at a dance club with their fist raised and their head bobbing forward and back to the beat of techno music. That’s what she calls ‘ooouncing’).

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