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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Saying goodbye to the beach (May 12)

Since we couldn't find beach access at Mitchelville, we headed back to Singleton Beach so we could bid the ocean farewell from there. We managed to catch the boardwalk shuttle both ways this time, which was nice because it was windy and rainy.

Here's a few family shots on the beach (we have a tradition of taking one of these each beach visit):


Mitchelville (May 12)

Our last touristy stop of the day was Mitchellville, the location of " the first self-governed town of formerly enslaved people." Little remains of the actual structures, but there's a lovely little replica village that we wandered through.

Coastal Discovery Museum (May 12)

The Coastal Discovery Museum in Hilton Head was really quite neat! They had a few indoor exhibits (which we didn't spend much time at) and several outdoor exhibits as well. 

The lady who greeted us at the welcome center was, very clearly, from New Jersey. A surprising number of people we ran into on this trip seemed to be from that area. Anyway, she told us about the art exhibit and how to get to the walking paths and insisted we visit the "Kids' Own Room."

She said this several times:"Your little ones will just love the Kids' Own Room! You gotta stop by the Kids' Own Room!"

Imagine my surprise when we were finally able to peel ourselves away from the desk (she was chatty) and followed her directions to the Kids' Own Room, only to find it clearly labeled "Kid Zone." 

That made a lot more sense. I think I wouldn't have been so confused if she hadn't kept tacking "room" on the end of things. Anyway, the Kid Zone (room) was rather delightful. 

We got to see horseshoe exoskeletons in varying stages of development:


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

I took my kids to the pool yesterday

 I took my kids to the pool yesterday. 

They were all surprisingly cooperative as I ran stroke clinics and made them swim laps and tread water and things like that. We also worked on our stride entry, a method of entering the pool from the side while keeping your head above water so you can keep your eyes on the victim.

"Wait...there's a victim?!" Rachel gasped.

"Yeah, like....a drowning victim."

"Well, that really raises the stakes!"

I suppose it does. 

We practiced entering the water with a stride entry and a pool noodle (which isn't really a life-saving device, but we didn't want to get out the pool's rescue rings since they're only for true emergencies) to rescue each other while we took turns pretending to drown. We practiced our surface dives. 

We practiced a lot of things. And then Phoebe woke up from her poolside nap and began commanding my attention.

Happy 7th birthday to Zoë

 It's true! It's true! We have a seven-year-old on our hands and she's wonderful!

Here's Zoë standing in front of our new birthday tree(s):

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Zoë's non-party

"I found my invitation to Zoë's birthday party," our little neighbour told me when I stepped out on to the porch to look a worm Alexander had found. It had been uprooted and drawn to the surface by the drizzly—at times downright downpour-ish—weather.

It was a quizzical-looking thing, with a distinctive hammerhead. Knowing it's invasive, I went back inside to get some salt. While I was gone, Alexander and the neighbour chopped the worm in half, which is cool because they reproduce via asexual fragmentation so now we essentially had two hammerhead worms on our hands. No matter. I scooped it into a plastic baggie and added some salt. Poor dear(s). 

"I found my invitation to Zoë's birthday party," our little neighbour repeated, waving a rather soggy, rather empty piece of paper in my face. 

"You must be mistaken," I told her. "I haven't planned a party for Zoë this year."

We'd considered baking cupcakes and setting up a table in the cul-de-sac for neighbours to stop by and grab and somehow convince Zoë that that is a party. But...it was raining...so we didn't. 

"Don't you love her?"

"Oh, I love her immensely. I just didn't plan a birthday party for her."

Our neighbour, an only child, considered the mathematics of this.

"But I have this invitation..." she insisted.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Stoney-Baynard Plantation Ruins (May 12)

This was an interesting, but very quick, stop that we probably won't be repeating. We found it touted as the "creepiest hike in your state," so naturally Rachel wanted to visit it. Supposedly the ruins are haunted by Baynard (who won the estate in a poker game), himself. But we didn't see any ghosts and the hike was more like a walk (and not even a long walk, at that). It was interesting to see the tabby block ruins and read about the history of the place, but we really only spent a few minutes there (which was especially disappointing because although the site itself is on the list of national historic sites, it's only accessible by a private road and there's a $9 toll per vehicle, which we did not know about beforehand—and it had to be paid in cash). 

So, anyway, it was neat...but not $18 (tolls for two cars) neat.

Here's everyone reading a plaque in front of the big house:



Sunset on the beach (May 11)

I literally don't understand the order these pictures uploaded in. They are all completely out of order. Suffice it to say, we headed down to the beach for a sunset stroll on May 11, knowing it would really be our last chance to do so (we had storms in the forecast for May 12, our last "play day").

I'm going to try to put things in order the best I can.

Here's Zoë and Andrew strolling down the boardwalk together:

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Beach Day 2 (May 11)

Our second sunny day at the beach was much the same as the first, except that we made better use of the shuttle and Andrew only had one meeting in the morning so he was able to join us a lot sooner.

This day really turned into our sand castle day. I think we were all still a little worn out (and sunburned) from playing so hard the day before, though we did eventually get in and do a lot of swimming and boogie boarding. Even Grandpa tried his hand at boogie boarding!

Here's Zoë dancing on the sand:

 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Unraveling

Phoebe and Zoë are working on sharing a room. Sometimes it goes wonderfully and other times it can be a little rough. 

Yesterday was a little rough.

Phoebe woke up around 4:00 in the morning (by my guess) and because Zoë left her fairy lights on when she went to sleep, the room was fairly light. So instead of immediately calling out for me, Phoebe seems to have done a little bit of playing first. 

That's normal for babies to do in the middle of the night and really would be fine, except that by the time I heard Phoebe it was around 4:30 and she was wide awake. And Zoë's music was on—"Rewrite the Stars" on repeat forever. Her volume was rather low, though, and she appeared to be sound asleep. 

I crawled into Phoebe's bed to feed her (she's on the bottom bunk—which is just about floor-level—rather than a crib) and she just...was wide awake. I mean, she was happy to nurse, but she was obviously very ready to start the day.

I also kept hearing the distinct sound of pages turning. 

So I climbed out of Phoebe's bed to peek at Zoë, who appeared to be fast asleep again, but was now suspiciously holding a book.

I climbed back into bed with Phoebe to finish giving her what was apparently going to be her breakfast. And then we got up. 

I grabbed her, I grabbed my book, and we headed downstairs to hang out quietly while the rest of the house slept. She played. I read. And then...Zoë walked downstairs to join us. 

Zoë played with Phoebe and I read until around 6:30 when Phoebe began to act like she was ready to go back to bed or take a nap or whatever. I wasn't sure what to call it, but I was happy she wanted more sleep because I did as well. 

"It looks like Phoebe's ready to go back to bed," I said. "So I'm going to go lie down with her. What are you going to do?"

"Oh, I'll figure it out!" Zoë sang out.