Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Vacay: The TL; DR


We went to Hilton Head!!!!!!!! As you know because I posted our family beach pics. But I felt like I need to say it again with exclamation points. IT HAS BEEN A HOT SECOND since we have been there— or anywhere, really.

(Past HHI trips: 2019, 2018 (this is the middle of like 10 vacay posts), 2017 (again, the middle of a series is linked),  2015 (more posts surround this one), 2012 (with a BABY— this is post 4/6). What happened in 2013, 14, and 16? NO IDEA.)

What a great vacation! We only had 4 days in HH, and while our original trip was twice that long and we were all sad to leave, I almost think that less is more with a toddler and the freaking Atlantic Ocean, you know? We also lived each day to it’s absolute fullest and made sure we did everyone’s favorite things right away in the trip, so each day was just, like, a string of delights.

Speaking of delights! Minnie experienced her first hotels AND her first sub sandwich— big fans of both.

We stayed in suites when we stopped on the road so everyone could have their own bed and their own space and multiple bathrooms. Ben took the big kids, and I took the little kids, and we were all comfortable. We packed a pack and play for Minnie and used it on the road and at our condo.

We also got to see my brother and Caleb at Caleb’s dad and stepmom’s lovely house in Louisville because torrential rains made us call it quits early our first day on the road. Thanks to Doug and Karen for the dinner, the dip, and the hospitality— what a great beginning to our vacation!

As soon as we hit the island, we started junking up our gorgeous house with all of our stuff, got a little bit cleaned up from the road, and walked 90 seconds to the beach. 

Next up: Dinner and a trip to our favorite ice cream place and park at Harbour Town

We also ran by the grocery store to grab the pick up order we made on the road so we’d have snacks and breakfast at the house.

We crammed A LOT into the next day because there was rain in the forecast, and we didn’t want to miss a second. We were on the beach renting chairs for the trip by 8 am.

The boys were so excited to play paddle ball.
Cooper and Dorothy went out to sea.
Minnie thought she was Moana the whole time and LOVED the waves.
The shark plus the rain made us throw some clothes on our sandy bodies and head to Duck Donuts, the kids’ favorite stop.

Then I fed Minnie peanut butter toast and bananas with strawberries at the house (her fave), and Ben took the bigs out to lunch, leaving me to relax with an audiobook and some road laundry.
He brought me a delicious salad to go, and the big kids and I headed to the beach while Ben and Minnie napped.
(I told you it’s her fave)

My view:

Ben and Min joined us after nap for a round of drinks and some more beach and pool time

And then it was time to shower and dress for family pics

We ordered pizza for the kids and everyone took ANOTHER shower, and then the best thing happened. We left everyone with Harry and had a beach-front dinner BY OURSELVES at the beach club two minutes down the beach. AMAZING.

The next morning, Dorothy grabbed a donut to go, and we hit the beach to see the sun rise and take a walk. 10/10 will do again every morning of every vacation forever.

Ben took the girls to ride ponies (but Dorothy was too old to ride— but not too heavy, which makes no sense) while Harry and I walked behind Jack and Cooper, who biked down the beach— fun for all!

After that, we just lazed on the beach and in the pool until lunch/nap. Ben and Harry picked up our very favorite beach subs, and then Ben took a nap at the house, and I read an awesome book while everyone else played in the ocean. We saw sharks and sting rays ::yikes yikes yikes::

Minnie and Ben joined us in the late afternoon for more of the same— genius.

We decided to wait not one second longer for our very favorite HH restaurant— The Salty Dog— so we got dressed (more showers— so many showers) and had a fabulous time eating, shopping, and eating some more.
Minnie got SO SWEATY. 

Moments after we took this picture, a sweet old man offered to get one with us in it, and then Minnie fell down the stairs and got a face full of gravel, so we said thanks but no thanks.

We shopped for souvenirs instead

(I cannot overstate how sweaty eating in the sun makes Minnie)

Did I mention we had ice cream? Such good ice cream I felt like I was cheating on Wisconsin

We finished the evening with NIGHT BEACH and then more showers. Gah.

Our theme for the next day was LAST DAY, BEST DAY, and we definitely lived our very best vacation lives. We started with another perfect sunrise walk (and donut) for Dorothy and me and then a bike ride back to The Salty Dog for breakfast for Ben and Coop. (Harry and Jack drove(!!) to our favorite bakery for coffees and croissants for the house).

We beached so hard that Minnie had to change her swimsuit even after a dip in the pool because that’s how sandy she was— all before lunch! We ate Stu’s again. Harry watched the baby during nap, so Ben and I could both be at the beach together, and she joined us at the pool sans suit after that.

We spent our last night having dinner at Harbour Town at our favorite outdoor burger place. The boys ordered the same soda cocktails they’ve been ordering since 2012. We toasted a fun trip and bought all of the souvenir things. The kids insisted on popping back to the beach on the way to bed, so everyone took- you guessed it— another shower.

… And then we had to go home **sad trombone**. I will talk more about the mechanics (ha!) of our road trip next time, but it was fun, too, which hardly seems possible. So long! So many kids! Such a tight interior space in our car! 



  1. This looks so, so fun. What an epic trip. You packed so much in, but it sounds like that gave everything a special magic.
    What a delight to follow along and read this summary!!! A glorious beach vaca <3

  2. We go to HHI every year, but usually don't get in a lot of restaurants. I'd love to know the names of your favorite food/drink spots, for my next trip! TIA!