Okay. So we left off on Wednesday night.
- Said goodbye to the beautiful Zero George and hopped in the car to go to Kiawah (only about an hour away)!
- Stopped halfway to grab some lunch at a local dive called J.B.'s Smoke Shack. We were not disappointed. Though I didn't actually have any, I heard that the brisket was ridiculously good.
- Why yes, that is a plate of just starches.
- Arrived at The Sanctuary smelling like BBQ. I had never been to this stunning resort, nor had I looked up any pictures beforehand (I like to be surprised by these things), so the giant, light-filled lobby really knocked me out. Not to mention our beautiful rooms, which featured my new favorite thing: a bathtub that is situated so that if you open the shutters, you can watch TV. IN THE TUB. Yes, please.
- And as lovely as the rooms were, I really wasn't ready for the immaculately kept grounds. This was the view from our window:
- The girls took a little jaunt around the property while everyone was getting settled into their rooms and discovered the pool(s) where we immediately migrated after everyone suited up. One of my favorite features of The Sanctuary is that they had two separate pools - one for families with children, and one "adults only" pool. It made the experience so nice to have all the littles in one place and all the grown ups in another! Although we definitely visited the "kid pool" and played pool games. STAR, anyone?
- Since we arrived on a Thursday, we were some of the only people at the resort for almost 24 hours. It was totally delightful to have the place mostly to ourselves. We took full advantage of it and lounged by the pool for the rest of the afternoon!
- After the pool, we got dressed for dinner at the Jasmine Porch, a restaurant in the hotel. Again, failed to take pictures, but it was delicious!
- Went back to the rooms for yet another round of Telephone Pictionary. It never gets old.
- Arguably the most fun morning. We all got our own breakfast - little coffee and pastry at a shop in the hotel - and then met outside for bike riding on the beach. SO fun!!
- We rode to the end of what we could access without wading through the ocean and stumbled upon a little forest of dead trees and brambles. it was so neat to see deer tracks coming in and out of the forest from the night before - everything about this little cove was kind of magical. By this point, we'd worked up an appetite, so we headed back to the hotel for lunch. I'm not normally a huge meat-eater, but man oh man was it ever time for a CHEESEBURGER.
- We once again suited up and spent the afternoon by the pool. Once everyone had gotten their fill, we rented a bocce ball set and played on the lawn. This was a highlight of the trip!
- For dinner, we went off campus to a precious local pizza place that I can't remember the name of. Fantastic, though. At one point, I had pasta, pizza, and a bread basket sitting in front of me. Can you say MY DREAM??
- After dinner, we stopped by the local market and everyone got a pint of ice cream to enjoy in the car on the way home/while we watched a little TV before bed. Ice cream after dinner (with a paper towel wrapped around it so your hands don't get cold) is very much a "thing" in my family, so it was the perfect cap to our trip that we all ended up ice cream wasted by the end of the night.
Absolutely hated to leave, but good GRIEF it was one hell of a vacation. I am so grateful that we all got to enjoy and luxuriate together, sure - but more than anything, I'm grateful to have grown up in a family that enjoys spending time together! We were glued to each other for over a week (Mom and Dad came back to Asheville for a couple of days after Kiawah) and we all truly enjoyed each other, laughed, and could've spent even longer together. Family is such an unquantifiable blessing. SO deeply thankful and, though I'm totally wishing I was back by the pool, already looking forward to the next time I get to see all those crazies.
'Til next time, South Carolina!