This year it was a little different, JJ couldn’t come with us – so I was doing the single parent thing and yes, in many regards it was harder than normal (carrying things to the beach, fishing tournament, cleaning up at the end of the week, squeezing in some runs, etc) but I do think the kids realized it was just me and seemed to be a little less ornry and a little more coorperative which I was so grateful for.

We split the trip there, per usual, into two days, stopping in Florence, SC on Friday night. I called Friday cursed – because if there was a chance of it going wrong it did. For starters, just as we were about to pull out, an error showed up in the car. I took it to JJ and he actually wasn’t sure what to do (a first for us). It could mean that the car could just breakdown on the side of the road, or I could be just fine. If he had been driving, I wouldn’t have worried a bit – but knowing it was me and the kids – made it a little more nervewracking, but our choices were chance it or wait a few days to get it fixed – so after killing any headstart we had (in an effort to avoid afternoon rush hour traffic) we headed out about 4. GPS re-routed us through every small town between Durham and Florence, but the one bright spot ended up being that the car did’t act up and we missed all traffic – just quite a number of 25mph speed traps. Rain was another issue. We drove through storm after storm, so much so that Connor got scared when he couldn’t see the road anymore. We arrived in Florence, finally, a little soggy, but relieved, only to find out that I booked our reservation for the wrong day (three days ago). After a bit of a scramble, they sorted it out and we went to find dinner. Chilis was such a fiasco that we ended up leaving without most of our meal, went to Chikfila, only to find out they were out of key ingredients too. I finally just gave up and we went to bed hoping for sunny skies and better luck on Saturday.

We made it to Stacy’s place around 12:15 without any drama. The house was beautiful, down a long driveway in the woods, with the old oak trees lining the gravel drive. Stacy was there to great us and she took on the role of accommodating aunt right away – doing this and that for the kids. She gave us the tour, taught the kid’s pool at their demand, and accompanied them in the pool. We did have a few thunderstorms roll in Saturday afternoon so that kept us out of the water but that didn’t slow my kids down. They loved on the dogs, Connor even making it his mission to teach Z new tricks. Hopefully we didn’t undo any training the dogs already had. Aunt Beth arrived at 5:30ish and jumped in the pool with the kiddos. We ended the night with a shrimp boil, our only homecooked meal of the week (momma the cook was on vacation :)).