Sunday, August 9, 2015

Traveling with Kids - Myrtle Beach Edition

I'm going to try and get everyone caught up on what's been going on with us the last few months in the next few days. First up: Going home the last 2 weeks in June.

The twins will be two in October. Holy guacamole, I can't believe it.

With that said, this summer was the last time we could fly with them as lap infants. For Troy, Avery and me to fly (so 3 seats) it was $1200. Ugh. So if we were to fly home next year, it's safe to say it would be $2000, maybe more with inflation. We definitely wanted to fly home with the kids again before we felt like it was way too expensive. Fingers crossed, at this time next year, we will be moving to a base SOMEWHERE within driving distance of family on the east coast and flying won't be an issue. Start praying now ya'll, you know how the military can be...

Troy and I have decided that (for now) flying on a red eye is the way to go when traveling west to east. It stinks with the time change to feel like you spend the whole day traveling. So while the first day you're there, you're a bit tired, at least the adrenaline of being home is kicking in and you don't really care how tired you are. Because while the kids might be sleeping, it is nearly impossible to be comfortable with a 30 pound child in your lap.

Exhibit A of sacrifices you make for comfort to keep your child comfortable, asleep and quiet for other passengers:

We were also excited because my sisters were visiting my mom and stepdad's house with my nephew, who I had never met! They were only there for about 24 hour before heading back home, so of course, we decided it would be a great idea to have a photographer come over and take pictures of the grandparents with all the grandkids together for the first time. Right after a red eye flight...

Needless to say, there were some keepers in the bunch. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That's getting framed.

Here's Aunt Taylor with her nephew and 3 nieces:

Troy and I hung out with the kiddos for a few days with the South Carolina grandparents. Lots of pooling involved. And my stepdad is group exercise instructor at the YMCA there so I took a spin class he taught.

Chick-Fil-A was had. About 9 times in 13 days. I thought my thighs were made of waffle fries. Troy's blood was made of sweet tea.

So then we headed to North Myrtle Beach. We rented a 4 bedroom house there with Troy's parents and sister and brother in law. After last year when we flew home with twins, we were like never again. We flew home for 2 weeks and landed at Baltimore. Stayed a day or two, drove to North Carolina to visit Troy's extended family, stopping through Richmond to see my college friend on the way, stayed in North Carolina for a few days, packed up and headed to South Carolina to visit my mom and stepdad and grandmother for a few days, drove to Rock Hill and stayed at my other grandparents house for a few days and also visited with my dad. Then we packed up again and drove to Staunton where we had the twins baptized and stayed to visit with Bryson and Lori (the pastor who married Troy and me) and then we headed back to DC to fly home. NO NO NO.

This year, we flew into Columbia, SC and stayed a few days, drove to Myrtle Beach and stayed a week and drove back to Columbia to fly home. We very politely requested that people come see us if they were available during that time. And come see us they did!!

Almost all of Troy's extended family (on his dad's side) from North Carolina rented a house about 200 yards up the street from our house. My grandparents from Rock Hill came one day and stayed for dinner and brought my great aunt with them. Troy's mom's side of family came the second half of the week and stayed a few days in a hotel and we had a blast hanging out with everyone.

Here is Troy's Aunt Kathy hanging out with all the little girls on the porch swing. Avery had a blast playing with her second cousins. Third? Twice once removed? I can never get that straight. The other girls are Troy's first cousins kids.

Kinley hanging out in a beach chair. She is the more timid of my kids. Much more of a watcher than a doer. She has to make sure no one is in mortal danger prior to engaging. And food is a priority. I really thought she was going to HATE the beach. I mentally prepared myself to carry her around the whole time. She is definitely a "texture" baby. I was convinced she'd hate the sand. Not so much. She was rolling around in the sand.

This is Kinley's GREAT AUNT LEE. She hates when we remind her that she is now a great Aunt. And Troy's dad photobombing.

Me and my man relaxing in the surf. Winning. We talked about it the last night we were there, and we all agreed that the beach house was the way to go for family time. There is something about being in a different house that forces you to unplug, get out of your routine and actually vacate your life that we all loved. We think we should do it again in the near future...

Kinley getting in on the action. They wore hats everyday and I loved it. They didn't even try to pull them off.

Avery and Caris running down to the water. Caris is like Avery's little shadow. She is NOT timid. She wants to do everything that her big sister does. Except louder. And with more pizzazz.

Caris back up at the umbrella for a quick drink. Girlfriend is a mooch. She doesn't want anything that's her own, but wants whatever everyone else has. Unless it's a peanut butter sandwich. She won't share that with anyone.

Everyday there was an italian ice trunk that pulled around selling cups of ice for like 12 dollars for a tiny little cup. And being the good tourists that we are, bought some. Every. Single. Day.

This is me in the pool with Caris. This picture makes me laugh every time. The goggles look ridiculous. This pool belongs to one of my grandmother's friends. It's legit the biggest backyard pool I've ever seen. It has a slide.

This is pretty much the summary of my life with the twins. Have you read that study that came out saying that kids are 800% more badly behaved when their mother is in the room? Yeah.

Kinley and Troy on the flight be fair, Kinley was really sick. Like we got off home in Vegas and I went to the pediatrician with Kinley and Troy unloaded the car and other kids for naps. Kinley had a double ear infection, upper respiratory infection, and pink eye. With a fever. Everyone on the flight was SUPER glad we were there. Pink eye and all. Eeeek. I guess I should be glad she was sleeping. And not screaming the whole time.


She was like HI HI HI!! HEEERRRRRROOO! Standing up. Squishing me. Talking to everyone. Hitting the person on the head in front of us. Dancing. On my bladder. Sticking her fingers in my nose. Making sure the person next to us knows where their eyes are. Violently. With her fingers.

And no kidding, our downstairs air conditioner was not working when we got back. It was 114 degrees outside and 88 degrees in the house. The upstairs unit was running full blast but could not keep air circulating and cool in the whole house. No repair person was available for 48 hours. Needless to say, we hit up our friends and neighbors for fans.

The twins learned about doing the Darth Vader, "Luke, I am your father," fan voice. Truth.

Overall, great trip. Hope to be back on the east coast to do it again next summer. My plan, if it goes my way, will be to (in this order):

1. Get our orders back to the east coast
2. Pack out our house in Vegas
3. Drive to Myrtle Beach and stay for a week in route to our new assignment
4. Go to our new house to receive households

Which basically means that that won't happen. Because military. Fingers crossed. Hard praying.

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