We just returned from a family vacation and it was a great one. As I was packing my stuff up for the trip, I realized that I’m a little high maintenance. It takes a very large cosmetics bag, just for my skincare items. I have a separate bag just for makeup and a few hair products as well. Then there’s the shower stuff – shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, body wash, multiple lotions . . . I think I took 5 pairs of shoes and 5 swimsuits along with way too many outfits that I didn’t wear. I guess I need to work on scaling back on the stuff I take with me on trips.
So we headed out of town, just for a short first leg of our trip to drop our dog Banks off with my parents. He was all set to stay at grandma and grandpa’s for the week and pretend to be a farm dog. Boat rides, fetching sticks in the lake, golf cart rides, running around, playing ball with grandpa, cuddles with grandma, chasing squirrels, meeting cats, rolling in raccoon poop – I mean come on, that’s the life, right?!
We made it to our first destination to visit my brother, sister-in-law and cousins galore down in Georgia. There we had some late night porch talks, swimming pool fun, great food and lots of laughs. We were able to go visit their coffee shop that they own in Evans, GA – Rooted Coffeehouse. It was pretty cool to have a backstage tour of the shop and try all sorts of delicious and beautiful creations. They have put so much thought and soul into that place and it just percolates with comfort, creativity, and community. It’s beautiful and it’s so much more than just a coffee shop. If you are ever in the Evans area – be sure to stop in.
After we left Georgia, we headed to Hilton Head. The relaxing beaches, the unique restaurants, and quaintness of the area were there waiting for us from our last visit. Since I procrastinated in booking a condo, we had very slim pickings and I lucked out and there was a cancellation so we rented a 2 bedroom condo in Fiddler’s Cove in the Folly Field Beach area. The condo was so clean and updated and the owner has taken extra care to provide items to help a family. Nice amenities like TVS, DVD players, Playstation, Netflix, pack and play, high chair, washer and dryer, crockpot, cooler, beach toys, toys and games for the kids. The personal touches and care are not always the case when you rent a condo. We’ve stayed in some that were bare bones and I can easily recommend this Fiddler’s Cove one if you are planning a trip to Hilton Head. Here’s a link to the condo if you want to check it out. We took the girls to the ocean at dusk so they could surf the “big waves” and have the beach practically all to themselves. We are out dinner most nights, took advantage of the condo for quick breakfasts and lunches. One night we just stayed in and had frozen pizza while watching Seinfeld. I always prefer to stay in a condo with a kitchen so you can save money by not having to eat every meal out at a restaurant. This kitchen was stocked more than past condos that we’ve rented, which was so nice.
It’s funny because as I type this, my husband is trying to decide on which Seinfeld episode to watch on Hulu and he almost wishes it would just randomly pick the first one for you. When you catch Seinfeld on TV, obviously if you are watching it on Live TV and not recorded, you just get what you get. We’ve seen every single episode probably 10 times (no exaggeration) and as he goes through the episodes on Hulu, he knows the story line of each one so he’s analyzing because each one has favorite scenes and some have annoying scenes. Which one to pick, which one to choose . . . big world issues, I know. For the record, tonight’s chosen episode was “The ex-girlfriend.” Never gets old, I tell you!
Updates from our friend who was staying at our house and watching our George always make it easier to be away from home. George had all kinds of adventures while we were gone. He probably wanted us to stay away a while longer! He had trips to the beach of his own, more walks in a week than he had his whole life, car rides, and all kinds of cuddles!
I was driving the final jaunt home since Les had driven so much the day before. I was so proud that we hadn’t stopped once on the 3 hour trip from my parents’ house back up to home. I was feeling good, except for having to pee for the last half hour. We had made great time. No delays or standstill traffic on I80. We were about 3 miles from our house, just taking off at the light from the exit ramp when a car ran a red light and t-boned our car on the driver’s side. It all happened so fast and of course the girls were all upset. We are all ok, we all walked away except for a few bumps and bruises, and a sprained thumb. The other driver was ok. It’s still happening over and over in my mind, and we all can’t stop thinking about it. I’ve never been in any accident, other than minor bumps and fender benders. Although this was unfortunate and we have to deal with the stress of insurance claims, personal injury coverage, police reports, and replacing our vehicle, there are a lot of things to be thankful for. We are all ok. We were protected. Our car took a big hit, but stayed intact. Our airbags deployed the way they should. Even Banks who flew from the third row up to the second row is ok. There was a couple behind us at the accident who I swear were meant to be there. The man immediately came to make sure we were ok and help us get out of the car. I think either he or his wife called the police. The girls were scrambling to find their flip flops that were flung all over the car. Maelyn was hysterical and shaking she was so scared. Luckily, we found Lilly’s glasses that flew off her face. The kind stranger said the girls and Banks could sit in his truck until the police came or until we knew what to do. I carried Banks because I was so worried about broken glass and him somehow freaking out and getting loose. I kept telling our oldest to hold onto Banks’ leash and not let it go for a second. His wife was helping to direct traffic. He checked the girls for obvious injuries and talked to them to help calm them down while Les and I talked to the police. The kind stranger’s face is a blur to me, but I remember he said he was a retired firefighter and first responder. He had a trailer he was pulling behind his truck with a big grill or smoker on it. He talked about heading up to or was coming back from Grand Rapids. The girls said he mentioned he does catering and weddings. I’ve grilled them for details. A name, a logo on his shirt, anything they can remember so I can find a way to thank him and his wife for their kindness and support. The description from the girls – he looks like Grandpa Tom with white hair. The girls don’t remember any mention of his name, his wife’s name, or his business name. The trailer he pulled was red (we think). His truck was silver or white. I think I need to work on my observation skills, but it was all so overwhelming. I’ve searched all over the internet to try to find this guy by searching BBQ caterers, searched for images of trailers that looked like his. So far, I’m not having any luck. The kindness of this man and his wife and the way they jumped and helped us was amazing. Complete strangers helping us, calming the girls and Banks. Making sure the girls were safe in his truck, rather than standing on the road. It makes you realize that there are some good people out there. It inspires me to take action more when I see someone in need. We are also thankful that this happened at the end of our trip. If it had been on our way out of town, there probably wouldn’t be a vacation. If it were on an interstate going 70 plus mph, that would have been a different story. If it would have been a big truck, SUV, or even worse- a semi truck, instead of a sedan that hit us- I don’t want to even think about the outcome. We are thankful for our friend who came as soon as Les called and helped us jam most of our stuff in his trunk and take us safely home where our Georgie was waiting. He had to make another trip back to get Les since we wouldn’t all fit. It was definitely not an ideal way to end a vacation, but we are grateful that everyone is ok. We are trying to find the positives in the situation and it definitely makes you see how precious life is and the impact of kindness.
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”