Well the last leg of my 5 week journey around the USA has arrived; NYC for the next two weeks baby!
1) Colorado: Check!
2) Atlanta, Georgia and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina: Check!
3) New York City: LETS DO THIS!
On Friday August 30th, I flew into Atlanta to meet my family from Georgia and Alabama. From there we road tripped to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. It was a beautiful area and a total vacation spot for the east coasters and southern folks! There were 10 of us in total: My aunt Donna and uncle Bruce, my grandma Meme, my cousin Brannon and his wife Melissa from NYC, my other cousin Natalie and her husband Hayes along with their two children Mary Brannon and Baker. Mary Brannon is 3 1/2 years old and let me tell you, she was easily the life of the family reunion! Her younger brother Baker, a one year old, is probably one of the sweetest little toddlers I have ever met. We had quite the mixture of ages during our week in South Carolina which made it super entertaining.
During the week our main events were going to the pool and the beach. The beach was very different from any beach I had ever been to because the sand was super packed down. This enabled people to ride bikes or run on the beach like it was a street. I went for a run almost every morning on the beach before the heat and humidity were unbearable; talk about a great way to start the day! My aunt bought loads of fruit so I looked forward to making a fruit salad with cereal accompanied with a cup of coffee after. Kiwis. Grapes. Bananas. Strawberries. Peaches. Plums. Blueberries. Raspberries. MMMMM.
I would say the highlight of my week was playing with my second cousin Mary Brannon. She is probably the sassiest three year old I have ever met but she is so funny and so BRAVE. When I compare her to other three year olds, she is pretty fearless! She would beg Hayes or Brannon to “throw her into the sky” at the pool and they would throw her so high up in the air. It was hysterical because she would pose with her arms and legs out. The waves at the beach were pretty mellow but at the beginning of the week Mary B. was scared of them. On the first day I held her while we “body surfed” showing her that the waves weren’t that bad. As the week progressed she kept asking me to take her body surfing and then one day she wanted to do it alone. I enjoyed watching her play in the waves and laugh; she had the cutest smile on her face!
Oh and just to demonstrate Mary B.’s personality: the day I landed in Atlanta, we were at Aunt Donna’s house and she asked me, “Stefanie? Are you going to to spend at the night at the beach? Because if you aren’t, don’t bother coming.” I couldn’t even believe a three year old had thought to say that!
Another great memory of the week was when Aunt Donna, Uncle Bruce, and I took Mary B. crabbing. It was catch and release but regardless it was a great experience. The guy running the boat/show scared Mary B. about how the crabs could potentially bight off her fingers. She didn’t really catch that he was joking so it took her awhile to get comfortable enough to be close to the crabs when people caught them. Uncle Bruce and Mary B. caught one crab each and Aunt Donna and I (who are both pretty competitive might I add) didn’t catch a single crab. I decided that day that crabbing is not my calling. As a treat, Mary B. got a blue ring pop which turned her lips blue after 2 minutes of eating it. They matched her blue little dress that had crabs on it.
Since I am talking so much about Mary B. I definitely need to elaborate on Baker a bit! Baker is ADORABLE. I didn’t really get the chance to hold or play with him because he was super attached to his mama, Natalie. He is a calm little baby but very adventurous. He would walk around on the beach with so much confidence and wasn’t afraid to walk right into the wavy waters. He even walked right up to a dog that weighed 175 pounds to pet him.
I always look forward to spending time with my cousin Brannon and his wife Melissa. They currently live in New York City and are so pleasant to be around. I would have to say that I really look up to both of them as individuals and as a couple. They work extremely hard and lead great career lives. Along with their busy lives in the city, they have made a lot of time to travel the world. I really enjoy seeing their pictures and hearing their stories because I hope to do the same one day. Another quality I admire about both of them is that they are very down to earth. They see the good in everyone and are really caring. Melissa’s laugh is contagious, might I add.
Overall, it was an amazing week with the family. I always have such a blast and enjoy my time with them. Aunt Donna and Uncle Bruce both make me feel so at home when I come to visit.
I look forward to seeing everyone again this November in Atlanta for Thanksgiving and my Grandma Meme’s 90th birthday party!!
Sending love your way,