life's a beach

We recently got back from a family vacation to Hilton Head Island, SC. This is one of my favorite places to visit, and it is a place that I have learned to love even more since moving to Arizona. God bless the humidity in South Carolina. Don't get me wrong, by day 6 I am ready to get back to dry heat, but until then I am loving the humidity! For most of the year we were thinking that we would not be able to join my family for vacation, but about two months ago we decided that we had to find a way to make it happen. I am so happy we were able to go, we had the best time! 

Family picture attempts are always fun!

Ryan was not able to join us in Myrtle Beach last year, due to a deployment, so he had not seen Luke at a beach since our last trip to Hilton Head, when Luke was 5 months old. With another deployment coming up, we knew this trip was a must for our family!

Hilton Head, 2013

We decided to take the red eye flight from Phoenix to Atlanta and enlisted my sister and Zach's help! You lose so much time flying from the west coast to the east coast, so we wanted to try to make the best of our time. We were a bit nervous doing this with Luke, but he was a champ. He went to bed super early the first night, considering he had only slept 5 hours in 24 hours, but he was such a trooper! I highly recommend this option to families!! 

Luke and Ryan on our drive from ATL to Hilton Head! Tired boys! 

Being silly with Aunt RaRa! 
I get very creative with activities during trips. Look for an upcoming post with some ideas on keeping toddlers engaged on road trips and flights! 

The most exciting thing to happen on the trip, was that my baby sister got engaged! All the men knew about the plan, and they somehow kept the ladies out of the mix. It was so kind and thoughtful for Zach to ask Rachel to marry him, when she was surrounded by family. We were so happy to share that moment! Let the wedding planning commence!! 

Zach and Rachel after the engagement!

The family always has to get in a few rounds of golf, while we are in Hilton Head. This time was a bit different because all of the girls were able to play together for 9 holes, before my Dad came and joined us. We had never done that, so it was extra special to share that time. The boys all played together one day, but they did not get a guys picture unfortunately! 

Dad and his girls on the course! 

 It is so much to fun to see Lucas play with his cousins. We have a few really good friends here in town with kids, but seeing cousins play together is so special. Both Ryan and I had great relationships with our cousins growing up, so it is so important to us that Lucas gets some quality cousin time! 

Cousins enjoying some ice cream after the splash pad!

The fun part about where our condo is located on Hilton Head Island, is that you bike most places. Lucas loves riding on a bike, so we always had a blast. We even woke up early a few mornings for some bike rides along the beach. I was able to run a total of 9 miles throughout the week, which I was pretty pleased about. I never thought I would be "that" person exercising on vacation, but honestly it helps me to clear my head and who doesn't need some alone time while living in condo with 11 people! 

Luke and I on our morning ride! 

Family bike ride! 

My boys on a bike ride to the beach! 

We love the beach! My dad loves playing games on the beach (no idea who I get my competitiveness from), the kids love digging on the beach and we all love splashing around in the waves. Luke was a bit apprehensive at first, but would warm up after seeing his fish-like cousins splashing around in the waves! If only Arizona had a beach, it would be the BEST place to live!!

Daddy, Lucas and Mommy!

The last night we decided to take a dolphin cruise. I must say this was one of my favorite parts of family vacation. We saw so many dolphins and had a relaxing night crusing around the harbor. It was the perfect ending to a perfect vacation. 

I love my sisters! 

Cousins on the Dolphin Cruise! 

Sunset Dolphin Cruise! 

We are so blessed and thankful that we are able to go on these family vacations. Every year is a different experience and usually there is some new addition to the family, which makes the time extra special. Thank you Dad and Mom for making this possible and for teaching us to love travel and exploration. 
We love you all! 


Until next year, 


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