2,000+ miles, family, friends, a new baby, laughter, giggles, sewing, old things handed down, gallons of sweet tea, crab legs, the river, salt water, boat ride, dolphins, dog licks, shopping, and superman.  These are just some of the things I experienced last week while on vacation. 

My girls and I took a trip back to South Carolina for a week.  We spent the first part of the week in the town of Walhalla where I grew up and the last part of the week in the Hilton Head area where we lived for eight years prior to moving to Missouri.  We had a great time, spent time with family and seen some friends we haven’t seen since we moved.  We didn’t make it to the beach, but we did get a boat ride in the May River, and got to inhale the salty air of the ocean. 

We started our weekend off visiting family.  As my youngest said we planned our days around our next meal!  Eat we did and drank lots and lots of sweet tea!  We moved from house to house during the week, went thrift store shopping with my mom, spent the day with my best friend, eating of course and a little shopping.  My mother-in-law helped (she actually did all the sewing!) my oldest daughter sew aprons for her and her college roommate.  They turned out really good!  We had a fish fry at my dad’s house.  His fresh fish is always a treat.  My step-son and his wife had a baby recently and I got to love on our grandson, Kyren, such a sweet little bundle with sleepy grins and grunts that only a baby can make!   And I got to spend some time with my brother, which always ends up with he and I laughing at the fun we make of each other.  My mom sent home some things of my grandmother’s…a whole box of clip on earrings and pins that she liked to wear, two quilts that she had made long ago – made of polyester, which isn’t my favorite material but I think was hers, but they will be very warm and a lamp that looks like a pineapple (above) that I have always admired.   Next to my grandmother’s china, it is my favorite possession of hers.  My husband and I took it apart and cleaned it and got it working again and it proudly sits in my living room.  I think Granny Opal would like that! 

On Thursday we packed the car “to the gills” and drove the four and a half hours to Hardeeville, SC where we actually moved from.  The girls and I had not been back there since we moved and it sure had changed a lot.  The saddest part of the whole trip was seeing our old house that was in foreclosure from the owners that bought it from us.  It apparently has sat empty for a year and the grass was grown up, the pool was boarded up and it looked lonely and sad.  It’s hard to look at something that you loved and lived in and worked hard on for eight years and not feel sadness.  I can only hope that somebody buys it or does something with it and loves it like we did.  We spent the first evening with our old neighbors and went out to supper (you see the following around our next meal thing!) and had a great time.  We spent the night with our neighbor who lives on the Savannah River.  They have had lots and lots of rain and the river was up in her back yard.  The next day we stopped at the outlet malls on the way to Bluffton, a little town not far from Hilton Head, then it was on to visit more friends who have a house on the May River.   There we took a sunset boat ride, watched dolphins, a mama and her baby and had a delicious dinner of crab legs.  The next day we left for home, a very long what was supposed to take around 15 hour car ride, but because of construction and a few wrecks along the way took a little longer. 

On our trip home the girls wanted to stop at Metropolis, IL, and the home of Superman.  We drove to the square where there is a 15-foot tall statue of Superman himself, decked out in red, yellow and blue.  I took their picture, with them sitting on his feet (above).  And they captioned this picture “the end of a great trip”.  At this point in the drive I was wishing we could just climb on Superman’s back and he fly us home, but he didn’t want to cooperate! 

It’s always good to go back home, spend time with family and friends you don’t get to see very often, and just relax for a week away from the stresses of every day.  We had a great time, had lots of laughs, ate great food and I enjoyed the time I got to spend with my girls.  As they get older I realize how important these family vacations are because I know they will soon stop because of them growing up and having other responsibilities.  It was good to go back, but it was good to see the Macon County line sign in the wee hours of Sunday morning and know that we were almost home!