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Life Lately: Beach Trip Days 3 & 4

Day 3 started out bright and sunny with some very tired kids who we had to drag out of bed at 10am again. Matt bribed Maia out of bed with promises of Starbucks coffee. One of the reasons we love this hotel so much is the Starbucks coffee shop in the lobby. Once her caffeine craving had been satisfied we hit the beach. The kids were anxious to try out their new boogie boards. 


The kids LOVED the boogie boards. And I had the best time sitting in my beach chair watching them. Even Matt took a few turns. Zoey and Mason really figured it out and could surf a long way to shore. I packed a cooler so we could eat lunch at the beach which worked out perfectly. I think we spent at least 8 hours down at the ocean before anyone wanted to go get dinner. 

We hit our favorite steakhouse/tavern for dinner that night and since we went before 5:00 the kids ate free and we only had to wait 15 minutes for a table! Early birds for the win! 

After dinner we hit the beach again and took another long walk to the pier. The kids collected seashells and we enjoyed the sea breeze. 

The kids tired of the beach finally after a few hours so we went back to the room to eat lunch and then hit the pool (and the pool side tiki bar!) for the rest of the day. I had a mango pina colada and OhMyGosh it was delicious!

We ate dinner at the tiki bar that night too. The grilled bacon cheeseburgers smelled too good to pass up! After dinner we hit the beach for a long walk on our last night. Walking on the beach at night is one of my favorite things. One day I will find a way to live at a beach somewhere. 

And that’s a wrap on beach week 2018! We had a blast and I can’t wait to go back again. 

Life Lately: Beach Trip Day 1 & 2

Back at the beginning of summer we took a trip to the beach. It was not great timing with selling our house and moving but I booked the trip on Groupon back in March before we knew when we would be moving. Anytime I see our favorite hotel come on Groupon for 60% off room prices- I BOOK IT! Ha! Tyler stayed behind with a friend because he had work and football and apparently going to the beach with your parents isn’t cool when you’re 17. Who knew? But the 3 other kids were excited and still think their parents are semi-cool.

We dropped the dogs off at boarding and left late morning. It’s so nice having big kids, y’all. We didn’t stop at all on the 4 hour trip. Nobody had to tinkle, or eat, or was whining out of boredom. It’s awesome. They slept, listened to music, watched movies, or read books the entire time. I don’t think we heard a peep out of any of them for at least the first 3 hours.

We checked into our hotel earlier than expected, checked out the view from our 9th floor room, and hit the grocery store to stock up. We do not eat out for every meal at the beach. It’s just too expensive. We eat breakfast and lunch in our room and then eat dinners out. We always do a quick fast food type dinner our first night and last night, we do one big seafood all you can eat buffet, we do one night at our favorite steakhouse/tavern, and we do the hotel restaurant one night. It works well for us.

We ate a quick dinner and hit the ocean first! It was cold but these kids loved it. Crazies. We spent probably 3 hours on the beach before hitting the pools and hot tubs and lazy rivers. The best part of going to the beach early in June is that most public schools are still in session so it’s less crowded. We get out before Memorial Day so we can take advantage of those couple of weeks when most kids are still in school. It’s great! 

We didn’t get back to our room until the pools closed at 11pm. The kids crashed almost immediately. I love the beach. Matt and I sat out on our balcony, listened to the waves, and relaxed. The kids were up bright and early at the hour of 6am….ha, just kidding. We dragged those fools out of bed at 10am so we could hit the beach. 

We spent hours on the beach before a pit stop in our room for lunch- a fancy spread of sub sandwiches and chips. Then we hit the pools again. 

Again, I have to say how awesome it is to have big kids. Nobody requires a float or life vest, they don’t need constant line of sight supervision anymore, and I can sit on my sun chair and relax while they have fun. 

We went out for our big seafood all you can eat buffet the second night. We always go to the same restaurant and it’s so good! We have pictures of the kids with the pirate who stands out front from years and years ago. It’s so fun to go back and see how much they’ve grown. Look at that delicious plate of crunchy fried goodness. Can’t you just feel your arteries clogging? I have no regrets. I enjoyed every single bite.

After dinner we took the kids to the strip to a souvenir store so they could buy boogie boards for the ocean. They were on sale 3 for $10 so SCORE! We had enough time when we got back to the hotel to hit the ocean and pools again. We always go eat at 4pm so we still have time to swim afterwards. We let the kids swim for awhile and took a long walk on the beach towards the pier. I love the beach.

Life Lately: Fourth of July

We had an amazing Fourth of July! We are determined to do new things, make fun memories, and enjoy life this year. So much stress has been relieved since our big move and we are having more fun than we’ve had in years. This year we decided to take the kids to Carowinds for the big fireworks show. We bought Gold Passes earlier this summer so we can go whenever we want and park for free. We didn’t even leave our house until 5:30pm. There was no rush, no pressure to ride every ride, no frantic pace. It was just an easy stroll through the park, riding whatever rides we wanted, and having fun. 

Mason rode his very first roller coaster- The Intimidator! He loved it! Maia and Matt went on it with him. Zoey isn’t tall enough and I don’t like to pee in my pants. So we waited from the safety of the ground and took pictures.

We spent a lot of time in the Camp Snoopy section because Zoey is tall enough for all of those rides. And honestly, it was fun! We all enjoyed the Pirate Boats, the Hot Air Balloons, and the Spinning Cups. Camp Snoopy is just my speed. Ha!

We talked Zoey into going on her very first roller coaster too- the Woodstock Express! It’s like a mini roller coaster. It took her a few minutes to warm up to it but she enjoyed it! We even took a selfie to commemorate the occasion.

After Zoey’s roller coaster experience we left Camp Snoopy behind for dinner and then let the big kids hit a few more of the thrill rides. They did a few more roller coasters and big rides before we took a break at the fountain to listen to some live tunes and wait for the fireworks show to start. 

The fireworks were great! We had a great view and the kids loved them! It was definitely worth the drive and fighting the crowds.

After the fireworks we still had a couple of hours until the park closed so we hit up a few more rides and waited for the crowds to thin out. 

It was a great Fourth! This was the first year we haven’t attended our neighborhood’s annual party at the pool so we wanted to start a new tradition for the kids. Tyler had previous plans so he didn’t join us but the rest of us had a blast. 

Life Lately: Exploring Our New Hood

Moving close to the kids charter school means that we are already very familiar with the area immediately surrounding the school. But our new neighborhood is a different story. We are about 4 miles down the road from the main street with every single thing you could ever need- Target, Walmart, Lowes, Old Navy, and about a gazillion other things. Any place you can imagine to eat is on this one main street. So our main focus was figuring out where the other stuff is- the parks, the libraries, etc. We were driving home one evening taking a short cut that a friend told us about and we stumbled across the best park! We stopped and the kids spent over an hour climbing around.

Of course, one of the very first things we found was the nearest Target. Ha! 

And one of the next things we located was the nearest Little Caesar’s Pizza. If we get pizza take out it’s always from Little Caesar’s. You cannot beat the price when you’re feeding this many people and I’m addicted to their Crazy Bread. 

We also found the closest library to our new house. We are big library people. It’s no secret that I love to read- currently there are about 200 books on my Kindle TBR list. But Maliah and Zoey are also huge readers. Mason enjoys reading specific books- he loves nonfiction, the I Survived series, and a couple of other series. Other than that- no. 

We’ve really enjoyed learning our new area and finding new things. It feels brand new but it also feels like home because it’s so close to school. We really love it here!

Life Lately: Moments In May

There were lots of moments in May that I don’t want to forget and they all kind of got lost in the stress of moving! This first picture makes me laugh. Friday is spirit day at their charter school so all the kids can wear spirit shirts. Tyler and Maia both wandered out of their rooms wearing matching shirts. I found it hilarious. Maia found it hilarious. Tyler was less amused. 

Our new bonus room is huge and upstairs. I love it. It’s not the first thing you see when you walk in my house and all the noise is contained upstairs. How did I ever survive before? Since it’s so big up there we were able to buy the kids some fun things. I found this basketball arcade game on clearance at Walmart for less than $50! Sold! The kids have spent so many hours playing with this thing- even the teenagers have enjoyed it. 

One huge benefit of being up near school is that we’re also near their friends and near the lake. We love the lake! Maia and Tyler especially have spent hours and hours on the lake with friends. 

One of Maia’s friends lives on a farm and has a bunch of adorable goats. Maia is in heaven. She loves these goats. And the friend only lives a few minutes away from us, close enough that Maia can walk to her house! 

I surprised Maia with a spa day in mid-May. We both got much needed hair cuts and highlights. This was her first time getting professional highlights and I think I created a monster. 

One thing the kids love is board games. When we were packing to move I got rid of every board game that was missing pieces or broken- which was probably 90% of them. I’ve been slowly replacing them for the kids as I find them on sale. They really love Trouble and Battleship so those were 2 that I replaced immediately. 

We celebrated Memorial Day with my family. They wanted to see our new house so they came down for a cook out. It was really fun, although my nephew was not pleased that the old hot tub was not there. Ha! We had fun anyway!

The dogs have been really enjoying our new backyard. It’s flat, fenced, and near their people. They spend a lot of time out there. There are dogs on both sides of us so they have lots of other friends to bark at. The girls are enjoying it too. 

Maia had her annual eye exam in May and was thrilled to find out that the muscle weakness she had in her eyes has resolved completely. Her prescription didn’t change at all and she now has permission to wear her glasses a lot less. 

One of my favorite things that happened in May was my new SUV! We were nearing the end of my lease on the Honda Pilot and also nearing the mileage limit thanks to the distance from our old house to school. So when Nissan had a great sale over Memorial Day weekend we went ahead and traded the Pilot for a Pathfinder. I love this car! I went with silver this time and a charcoal leather interior. I’ve named her Penelope. 

Zoey had a birthday party at a great gymnastics place and had so much fun that she now wants to try gymnastics again. She did it when she was little but didn’t love it. I guess I’ll be finding a place closer to our new house for her to take some classes. 

Tyler’s car needed some work done after his various incidents over the last year. Matt replaced the broken headlight and the missing wheel well but we had to take it to the auto shop to get some of the other work done. New tires, fixed fuse in the headlight, oil change, inspection, brake work….over $1000 of work was needed. Sigh. Teenage drivers. 

May was a good month but I’m glad it’s over. It was a stressful month and I was so ready for summer break!