We have returned from a wonderful week in Hilton Head with T's family.
This annual opportunity to gather together is a blessing beyond measure.
This year, as in years past, we stayed in the Sea Pines Resort community.
As far as Hilton Head vacation options, Sea Pines is truly a gorgeous, family friendly "resort" with amazing customer service and a wide spectrum of lodging accommodations. For the past two years, we have rented a large house, large enough to sleep all 21 vacationing family members. However, there are also hotel options, condominiums and townhouses, with everything from beach front views to rustic wooded atmospheres. Sea Pines encompasses two "town" business districts, South Beach and Harbor Town, both of which include restaurants, playgrounds and quaint shops. There is also a gorgeous beach and Beach Club patio bar and restaurant, as well as a golf club and several golf courses. Automobiles are allowed into the resort compound, but the favored modes of transportation are the red trollies or, of course, bicycles. Bicycles are a favorite throughout Hilton Head Island, but especially at Sea Pines. Our bike rentals were dropped off and picked up right at the front door of our rental house.
The first time we visited Hilton Head as a family was when we lived in North Carolina.
Then, we had two kiddos in a bike carriage and one kiddie seat behind me on the bike.
This year, I was amazed to look at our crew!
Thanks to all our bike riding and practice this summer, G-Bear and E-Bear were able to rent and ride their own bikes!
Buddy Bear and J-Bear each had a peanut seat behind me and T.
With this experienced crew, we made quick work of the trails!
We also spent plenty of time at the beach.
The weather was hot and the water was warm. The beach calls to all of our kids. G-Bear loves to build in the sand,
E-Bear loved to ride the waves with mom and *especially* dad,
Buddy Bear loved the boogie board
and digging with his sister.
Speaking of J-Bear, she loved the beach too.
Whether walking with Nana in the waves for the first time,
sitting with her cousin O in the umbrella tent,
or digging with her siblings in the sand,
J-Bear was all for it.
When we got tired at the beach, we walked back to the house to relax at the pool.
Poolside, there was plenty of Jedi jousting
and squirt gun fighting.
I was amazed by how well all the cousins were swimming this year. Among our own crew, G-Bear and E-Bear were swimming independently like fish the whole week. Even Buddy Bear was comfy as he could be in his froggy floatie. J-Bear preferred the pool deck :)
Before dinner, we often made time for a bike ride to the playground for a playdate.
The playground in Harbor Town is amazing.
The boys loved the seesaw and the treehouse is fantastic.
Before dinner, we might get to enjoy a little pre-meal entertainment.
|Our crew performing "Five little monkeys sitting in a tree" on stage before dinner at South Beach.|
One of our favorite outings of the trip was a bike ride to Harbor Town to get a treat.
T and the boys chose to get root beers and G-Bear chose an awesome popsicle.
The boys finished their root beers over the next 3 days.
The days were long, filled with treats from Nana and the cousins.
We were often reminded, however, that seemingly little moments and connections can be the most meaningful. I asked the kids to share their favorite part of the day one night as we were brushing our teeth. G-Bear replied, "My favorite part of today was sitting next to Mommy on the trolly." Wow, let me tell you, it was amazing to make the list of favorites given the awesome day we had enjoyed. My eyes were misty.
Let it not go unwritten that Nana and Aunt A are a huge reason that the trip was so special. They both put countless hours of energy and organization into making the week flow smoothly and enjoyable for all. However, they certainly were not alone. T's family is one that is accustomed and delighted to pitch in together to create a fun time. Hopefully, the fun times and memories are a foundation for joy-filled, loving relationships, especially between these cousins.
we love you.