Friday, August 12, 2016

Road Trip Stories: The Beach

Last month part of our road trip was spent on the beach. It.was.amazing. We were scheduled to travel to Atlanta, Georgia for JT's baseball tournament and I thought if we drove that far we should just keep driving after the tournament to Tybee Island (it's only 3-ish hours from Atlanta!).

We have been to Tybee Island a few times over the years. In fact, it's the only ocean/beach experience my kids have ever had. The other times we visited were part of big family reunions, the kind where you stay in a house with 25 other people. Those are awesome, but I was looking forward to having a beach experience with just my family. 

And now that my family is full of older kids, kids that aren't in diapers and don't need naps, going to the beach was so much more fun. The kids read on the beach and played in the waves. We only had one minor swallowed too much water and a little bit of sand incident with Wade. The kids enjoyed collecting shells and jumping waves. They marveled at sunsets and glimpses of dolphins.

At one point I was swimming in the ocean a little off to the side of my four kids and I was watching them. My heart felt like it was going to burst with love and happiness and gratitude. I felt so much peace. Just like other times during our road trip, I started singing a song from Hamilton (because I mean we listened to the soundtrack 1,432 times and became obsessed and it really was the soundtrack of our trip). I kept hum-singing this line from one of the songs--"isn't it great to be alive right now." YES! I am so glad I got to live that moment and feel it so big and with so much love and gratitude and awareness. 

This kid especially loved the beach and the waves and the fishing and asked if we could move there. I so wanted to say yes.

I love the palm trees and all the colors on the island--from the colors in the sky to the buildings.

Even their hurricane category sign is bright and cheery.

One thing I am particularly giddy and proud about was that I paid for the house I rented with money I earned from my part-time jobs. Sounds silly, but it meant a lot to me. The house was adorable and the perfect size for us. It had a backyard and was only a short walk to the ocean. (I rented through a company called Mermaid Cottages and would highly reccommend using them if you ever find yourself going to Tybee Island.)

It had an outdoor shower that I FELL IN LOVE WITH! Who knew?

The property also had a side yard with this tree that was magnificent. There was a swing too and lime trees! It all felt very magical.

I wish I could run away and open up a souvenir shop on the beach and we could all live in the apartment upstairs. And maybe I will someday, maybe I will. But for now I will hold tight to the wonderful memories and adventures and laughs and sunsets we had together, and remember what a great time it was to be alive right then and there, and I will smile and feel happy.

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