Monday, July 13, 2015

Vacation is underway

You know what's frustrating? Having to work twice as hard as usual just to get ready to take some time off. By the time you're done with a week of pre-vacation prep, you need your vacation more than ever!

That's what was going on this past week. But Saturday morning, Jeff, Biscuit and I hit the road for a long-awaited vacation.

Jeff grew up in the mountains, and I grew up going to the beach. So when we got married, I decided I would take him to some of my favorite coastal towns to mark our anniversaries. He was amazed by the ocean and the history of the towns, and I enjoyed sharing childhood memories with him.

For our first anniversary, I took him to Savannah and Tybee Island. Then we hit Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms. Then we did Wilmington and Carolina Beach. We covered the Outer Banks. Our hotel was centrally located in Nags Head, so we spent a couple of days going north, then a couple of days going south. 

I also took him to Myrtle Beach one time. I don't like it there anymore, but I had told him so many stories about going there as a child, I just really wanted him to be there at least once. I spent most of the trip saying, "And right here where all these stores are, there used to be a ..." and "Over there, where those hotels are now, there was a ..." It is definitely not the place it was when I was a kid.

North Myrtle is a little better. It's not quite as commercialized and crowded. So we spent a couple of anniversaries there.

Altogether, we had 11 anniversary trips. And then Biscuit went to school.

And school ruined EVERYTHING!!!

Jeff and I got married the first week of May, so we technically should've had a week of vacation by now. There's a lot of stuff going on at work, and I think not having my usual vacation time this year added to the stress.

So even though last week was crazy busy and stressful, this week, I'm spending time with my boys.

We decided to take a trip up to see Jeff's parents, and we left Saturday morning.

A friend had just given us a funny sticker to put on our cooler. 

So we slapped the sticker on, filled it up with water and drinks and headed out the door.

Well, someone somewhere alerted the snakes that we were making fun of them because when we opened the front door, this is what we saw!

Can you see him? He's a non-venomous black rat snake.

When Jeff and I bought our house, the home inspector told us that he saw a black snake under the house. He said, "As long as it doesn't freak you out too much, I'd just leave him be. You won't have rats or other pests." We didn't mind sharing space, especially for something that was harmless and would keep mice and rats away! But being under the house is one thing and seeing him in the front yard is another.

The snake's head was pointing away from the house, so Jeff stepped down onto the sidewalk. He stopped and the snake picked up his head, aware that something was near him. Jeff stood still, and the snake lay still. It was like a showdown!

Jeff moved to the front edge of the sidewalk and told Biscuit to walk down the sidewalk, cross behind him and go to the car. Biscuit thought the snake was really pretty. And he was. He had black iridescent stripes that shone in the sunlight.

By the time we had the rest of our stuff in the car and were ready to head out, the snake had made its way to the flower bed at the edge of the yard.

I would be fine knowing that he's still around when we get home, but I would prefer it if he would keep himself hidden!

Anyway, we got our trip underway and drove about halfway to Jeff's parents' house and stopped for the night. The trip is 10 1/2 hours, and we usually drive it in one day, but we stopped about halfway for a car show, spent the night in a hotel, then finished our journey Sunday, which happened to be my birthday.

I was surprised and touched when we arrived at Jeff's parents' house and there was birthday cake waiting for me. Biscuit and Jeff had already made a fuss with cards and presents, but it was nice to blow out some candles and have some cake.

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