I know what I did this summer

KiawahThose of you who follow my blog at all, know I was on vacation last week. I’ve personally e-mailed a couple of you, but I’ve thus far not really posted anything about my vacation because…well, it was kinda ho-hum and boring really and I wasn’t sure how to spin it to make it a riveting read.

But then I figured, “Hey, maybe my experience will help others decide where to/not to go on vacation.” So based on that, here’s my vacation synopsis, complete with familial and experiential pics at the bottom (Note: This is the first time I’ve posted pics of myself, so don’t pass up this opportunity to deride and guffaw!)


A lady CareerMom works with suggested an island in S.C. called “Kiawah, Island.” It’s run by some resorty place and it’s billed as a golf resort, which is its primary draw. With four uber-expensive golf courses and approximately 6 miles of sandy beach to play on, it offers something for dad to do while mom and the kids play, or…it offers something for mom to do at the spa while Dad and the kids play…or it offers something for the whole family to do while both mom AND dad play with the kids when dad pulls his shoulder just prior to the trip and mom, for whatever reason, fails to book a spa day far enough in advance.

To start, I was not looking forward to the drive based on our previous beach trip the year before, but we let the kids play all morning before packing them in the car on Monday and overall, it really wasn’t a bad trip. We arrived in time for a bit of play on the beach that evening and then it was inside to figure out how we were going to set up the sleeping arrangements so that nobody woke anyone else up should they be having a bad night.

Sleep wasn’t so great the first night. MLE woke up around 3 a.m. and didn’t want to go back to sleep, so none of us got much rest. Tuesday was all beach, all day. I also got some surf-fishing in, catching some Sea Trout, while the kids and CareerMom played in the sand.

By Tuesday evening, we’d discovered the bathwater-warm pool and we probably spent the bulk of our remaining daylight hours there, since quite frankly, both CareerMom and I can only take so much beach! The sleeping arrangements sorted themselves out and though we were generally up by 5-5:30 a.m. each morning, we slept pretty well up until then.

We also did a Dolphin tour thingy, on a small boat with just our family. It was run by some tanned, good-looking naturalist type, who probably drives a solar-powered Prius and who, I’m pretty sure, was blowing some serious smoke up our butts about how much fun the dolphins are around them sometimes, since we didn’t even see any dolphins till halfway through the trip. But, it was fun and they did get really close to the boat so it turned out OK.

Overall, we had a good time…nothing “OH MY GOD” great, but a good time. So if you’re looking for some tips on Kiawah, here are my thoughts, in bullet form to make it easier to follow:

  • Once you’re on the island, you’re ON the island. It’s about a 25 mile ride back to civilization if you want to find a restaurant NOT run by the resort. The closest city is Charleston, S.C.
  • Lots of nature! This was the coolest thing. I saw a deer on the beach, a family of five raccoons, tons of different kinds of birds, up-close dolphins, gators and more!
  • If you don’t play golf, I hope you like laying out, or walking on the beach, cuz that’s about all there is to do. Oh sure, you could rent a bike and sweat it out on the bike trails, but really…when I got out of the water, I wanted to stay dry, not get all hot and sweaty hoofing it across the island.
  • Crikey it was hot! 105 heat index most days
  • Everyone we met on the staff was exceptionally friendly and helpful.

If you’ve been to Hilton Head, then this is kinda like that, except maybe a bit more remote, and a lot less diversity from a dining and activities standpoint. It’s also, for a “family vacation” destination, kinda boring. I mean, at the main pool (Blue Heron pool), there was only one hour of organized games. During this time the only music played was the same tape consisting of old “Alabama” and “Lynard Skynard” tracks. I mean honestly, I’ve seen better activities organization at the YMCA (“…we love to stay at the Y.M.C.A hey…”).

It’s also a LOT more expensive than Hilton Head, but I’m not counting that, because my family’s happiness is worth any price tag.


Let the photo montage begin:

Beach 2008 011 email view
A doe, A deer…

email view4
A gator.

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Um..a shark?

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The happy couple!

4 thoughts on “I know what I did this summer

  1. I think it’s great to put a face to a blog!

    Thanks for the photo!!

    By the way… I think that the world has us all expecting an “oh my God” great experience at every turn… That’s a part of the problem we all have – not ever being satisfied with (fill in the blank)…

    The not “OH MY GOD” great, but a good time – is so under rated. I’d take a 75% “good time” over the once a year “oh my God” great time…

    I thank God that I have one of those frequent “good time” lives…

    Re: Agreed. I think it’s more of a money thing right? I mean, give me the money I spent on the vacation, to put into new appliances and carpet and I might say, “Oh my Lord! This looks great!”
    But again, appliances won’t last a lifetime, memories will.

  2. Thanks for the vacation summary. As we don’t golf or spa at all, I’m thinking it wouldn’t be an OMG vacation for me either. Vacationing with kids is definitely different, isn’t it? It’s really cool in some ways because you get to see awwww factor on their faces when they’re more excited about tiny crabs on the beach than about the dolphins you can see from your house. But they also add a WHOLE LOT OF WORK to the trip.

    I’m a little jealous about the gator….I saw “Don’t feed the alligator” signs but no gator spottings for me.

    Fun picture! I agree with FOF…good to have a face with the blog. Guffaw (JK). You make a very cute couple.

    Re: Family vacation do require an adjustment in ones’ expectations, that’s for sure. Everyone told us, “You’ll see lots of gators,” but we only saw three. I think there are a lot hanging around the small ponds along the golf courses, but since I bummed my shoulder, well…

    Oh, thanks for the pic compliment!

  3. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the most marketing-savvy guy, but –

    How is it that a place where “you’ll see lots of gators” can also bill itself as a family-friendly vacation spot?

    I don’t want to spend my vacation worried that a gator might snatch my toddler!

    Re: I too wondered about that, but it seemed as if you really had to go looking for them unless you were on the golf course. Then, I guess they figured, “Hey, you’re an adult AND you have heavy golf clubs.” They did put up fences around the pools and other public places that were in close proximity to the ponds. But still, those baby gators can get through almost anywhere!

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