Top 10 Things to Do in Summerville in the Fall

It’s finally Fall in the South!   The weather has cooled down a bit, the mosquitos are gone {for a couple of weeks, anyway!}, and FOOTBALL season is here!  There are a ton of exciting activities going on all over the LowCountry, but today I’m gonna focus on the {not so} little town of Summerville.

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 It’s small town southern living at it’s best!  Here are my Top 10 Things to do in Summerville in the Fall. 

Click here to see my Top 10 Things to do in Summerville, as featured on Charleston Moms Blog!!

Enjoy the Fall in Summerville!

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Sunday Scripture: Wander

In the spirit of our impending family adventures, I chose this Sunday Scripture from Tumblr to remind   me to keep my self grounded and humble.  To appreciate where I am in life {figuratively and physically} and to remember that He has made it all possible!

Sunday Scripture: Wander {Bible Verse for travel}

Have a blessed week!

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{From the Archives} Disney Vacation Printables

Funny how this seems to be the season of Disney.  Here I thought I was being smart by planning our trip during the school year…better weather, less crowds.  But it seems as though I’m not the only one doing Disney this Fall!  I’ve gotten numerous download requests the past couple of weeks for my Disney Vacation Printables that I created last time we went.

Disney Vacation Printables-Everything you need to plan your trip!

Source for the Mickey Dollars {to be earned by the kids before the trip}

So today I thought I’d do a little Throwback Thursday and share all of my Disney Vacation Printables with you, all in one place.  Feel free to download and use them for your family, or pin them for a later trip!  Please show me some love by sharing this post so others might benefit too.  All of the sharing buttons are at the end of the post.

Disney Packing List

Free Printable Packing List for Disney!

The file has both a sample list {like the one on the left}, and a blank list.  I’ve updated the Excel document for a more printer friendly version, so be sure to click on the link and download the file to print.

Disney Itinerary

Free Editable Disney Itinerary, Day by Day

I’ve made this into an editable Excel file, so you can enter your schedule in, and manipulate times as needed.  Above was our itinerary back in 2013 when we went, I’m still tweaking for this year!

Mickey Tickets

Give out Mickey Tickets every 30 minutes that the kids can trade for treats....to make the drive to Disney AWESOME!

This year we’ll be breaking out the Mickey Tickets during the 6 hour drive again.  We have a DVD player in the car, but I really hate using it.  So the kids read, play with their “car” toys and sing along with the radio, and then every hour and half hour, they get a ticket.  They can trade tickets in for treats: 1 ticket for a new book {they love Where’s Waldo!}, 2 tickets for a snack, 3 tickets for a new toy/activity, 4 tickets for a movie.  To print and use these tickets, save the photo above and print from your computer.

I’m working on our meal plans for the week now.  Although I love my usual meal planning worksheet, I’m hoping to get together a Disney inspired one in the next day or too…don’t worry, I’ll share!

Hope these free Disney Vacation Printables help your planning process!  Please share!

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{linking up here this week!}

A Week Retreat to West Jefferson, NC

Last week I was desperate to get away.  Lately I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed with sassy children, overpacked schedules and blogging deadlines.  So when the opportunity to head to the mountains for a weeklong retreat with my best friend and her kids arose, I snatched it up without a second thought.

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Normally, we meet in Montreat, NC each summer for a week of reminiscing and playing while Betsy and Jay take their church youth group to a local church conference.  However, this year, they decided to do a mission trip in the mountains of North Carolina.  And since the teenagers and Jay were on location doing construction and house repairs, there was no room for three little girls under five.

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

So Betsy and I rented a Secluded Hideaway in the hills outside of West Jefferson.  Despite it’s ridiculously  steep unpaved driveway, it was the perfect getaway for us and our six kiddos under 7!  With a big, grassy lot, a HUGE wrap around deck and kid-proof interior, the kids were able to play as kids should….with little supervision and mostly outside!

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Although we did have a couple of rain showers throughout the week, the temperatures stayed mild in the low 80’s….perfect for blow up pools and creek stomping at Elk Shoals.

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

And it was exactly what I needed.  Absolutely no agenda, except for porch sitting and coffee drinking!  I did zero blogging.  I did not check email.  I did my best not to yell at any children {it’s amazing how laid back I can be when I don’t have to get three kids ready for three different activities and we aren’t late for anything!}.  And I let the kids dress themselves.  So they dressed alike.  Or they wore the same dirty outfit numerous times.  I didn’t care.

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

After the kids went to bed, Betsy and I did crafts and caught up on life.  There may or may not have been wine involved.  And during the day, the babies crawled around the house while the big girls caught critters!  Frogs and lizards and inchworms, oh my!

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

One day, we packed up all the littles and headed into the town of West Jefferson.  Cutest little Mayberry-ish town you’ve ever seen.  Lots of little fun shops {which would have been WAY more fun without 6 kids in tow….but no complaints!} and at least 3 ice cream shops!

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

And with all five girls in matching outfits, we were quite the spectacle walking down the street!
Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Everywhere we went, people told us not to miss The Cheese Factory. And I mean everyone.  And since they don’t make cheese at THE CHEESE FACTORY every day, I actually was getting a little stressed that we were going to miss out on cheese.  Because, we just had to go there.  But when we finally went, it was nothing more than a giant observation window in the cheese factory, so you could observe the four guys in there, pushing stinky curds around.  Needless to say, it didn’t quite live up to the hype.  However, we also toured THE CHEESE FACTORY’s gift shop across the street, and were throughly entertained by the displays of old-fashioned toys, samples of fresh cheese and fudge, the silly cheese shapes, and over-sized animal statues.

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Another day, we explored a neighborhood and found the local library and adjoining playground.  They both were super nice and all-age friendly!  The girls even branched out and made some new local friends, and bravely tried a huge slide, rock climbing wall, and monkey bars.
Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Between the novelty of being able to play non-stop with their “cousins” and the safety net of being in a small town and a secluded home property, the girls were entertained all week.  It was so nice to give them some free reign in their exploration.  They were happy and I was finally able to relax a bit.  Now, how do I bottle this contentment up and bring it home?!?!

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Declaration Boutique

Last weekend I got to escape.  Originally, Lincoln and I were going to drive to my grandparents’ house in Florida to surprise my Grandpa for his 90th birthday.  But when I heard that they were sick and not up for company, Loo and I decided to detour down to my parents’ house in Saint Augustine, FL instead.  An impromptu trip, but the first time in years that I’d been there without children following me around!

I’ve always loved it down there…it’s the oldest city in the US, and the history is so interesting…not to mention the quaint shops, yummy food and festive holiday decor.  The ever-popular St. George Street is where we usually visit with the kids, poking our heads in shops {because Heaven forbid we actually bring our three little bulls inside!}, and searching for pirates {yes~the town has many people dressed in character…some are paid, and some are, uh, volunteers!}.

Pirates are everywhere in Saint Augustine, Florida

But since this particular trip, I only had Lincoln {and he was perfectly happy to hand with GP while us ladies shopped!}, so MomMom, Loo and I visited the other side of Saint Augustine, called “Uptown”…the northern part of San Marco Avenue/A1A.  Lots of cute little boutique and antique shops, and the famous LuLi’s Cupcakes {with their Bacon cupcakes and Frosting Shots!}.

But out of all the shops we went in, my favorite was behind a tiny door in a cluster of three shops on the corner of San Marcos and Pine.  Declaration Boutique.

Declaration Boutique in Saint Augustine, Florida

You walk in the door and have to walk down a corridor lined with an arrangement or greeting cards, scarves, and tea towels. But when the hallway opened up into the main shop…my senses were in full overload from the smells of chocolate and coffee, the sounds of Christmas music, and the wonderful clutter of knick-knacky goodness.

Buttons from Declaration Boutique in Saint Augustine, Florida

The shop was filled with eclectic eye-candy…but arranged into almost little shops within the store.  In the center of the room was a display of note cards, bookmarks and necklaces.  Santa, if you are reading, I liked the reindeer necklace the best!

Necklaces from Declaration Boutique in Saint Augustine, Florida

Photo courtesy of Declaration Boutique. Click for Pricing.

Along one wall is an airy display of screen-printed tea towels, framed by strings of cupcake liners.

Creative Decoration at Declaration Boutique in Saint Augustine, Florida

Tea Towel Collection from Declaration Boutique in Saint Augustine, Florida

Tucked in a corner is locally made sweets.  The chocolate smell as you pass by makes you instantly requiring a snack!

Candy and Chocolate display from Declaration Boutique in Saint Augustine, Florida

I’m just in love with the way that this shop is set up.  Each little area is it’s own adorable little booth, completely appropriate for the gems it’s selling. It’s like being at a craft fair all in one room!

A variety of children's and nursery items in a cute display at Declaration Boutique in Saint Augustine, Florida

And of course the obligatory children’s corner {but always my favorite!}.

And as you head back toward the door, you pass by the checkout counter, which is {in my OCD opinion}, just as beautiful as the rest of the store!
Declaration Boutique in Saint Augustine, FloridaI could have spend hours there!  “I want that, and that, and that…”  If you ever visit Saint Augustine, stop by Declaration Boutique… and pick me up a necklace!

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Just FYI, I did not receive any sort of payment or discount for writing this post….just loved the little shop!

From Florida with Love: Saint Augustine

Our last stop in our roundabout tour of Florida {to visit the grandparents}, was to the quaint old town of Saint Augustine, just south of Jacksonville.

Recap of our Florida Vacation from Palmettos and  Pigtails

We obviously needed a break from all of that relaxing in Saint George Island….so we packed as much as we could into this trip!  Every day was a new adventure.

First up was a quick {and hot!} tour of the Castillo de San Marcos.  Otherwise known by my girls as “The Fort.”  MomMom and GP took the girls here when they visited in the spring….and the firing of the cannons was all they talked about for days after their little vacation!  Millie loves shouting, “Cover your ears!”  We also ran into a few pirates who wander the town on a daily basis.  This guy happened to be a “good guy,” offering to pose for a picture and giving the girls Gold Doubloons {aka pirate booty}.

One evening, we headed into town to find out that the evening concert that we’d been headed to, had been canceled.  But the night was saved when we ran into this pack of princesses, who were participating in a photo shoot.  We did nothing less than stalk them for an hour, posing for pictures and borrowing their props {Ariel even had a Dinglehopper!}.

Right up the road from MomMom and GP’s house is the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm.  It’s a zoo that has at least one of every type of alligator and crocodile in the world.  Not to mention the hundreds of alligators that we were able to help feed in the massive pond there.  As we walked across the boardwalk that spanned the pond, the alligators were literally climbing all over each other to get to the “Gator Nuggets” we were throwing to them.  But the highlight of the girls’ day was the unexpectedly social Komodo Dragons!

On the hottest day of the week, we took advantage of the half price offerings of the Jacksonville Zoo due to the high temperatures.  We actually lucked out, because thanks to a few rainstorms, in never got too hot…but there were no crowds either!  Jayna and Millie  got to actually touch the sting rays {which was exciting because they had seen a few in the water in SGI}, and they had an amazing tiger habitat that let the animals travel through multiple exhibits.

But my favorite part, was seeing family! My grandparents and my aunt came to visit from Ft. Myers and Atlanta to meet Lincoln and spend some time with the girls.  The girls are so blessed to have such wonderful relationships with all five of their great grandparents!  And Lincoln turned out to be a complete Great-Grandma’s boy!

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From Florida with Love: Saint George Island

Recap of our Florida Vacation from Palmettos and  Pigtails

So, I may be kicked out of the family for saying this, but my in-laws are crazy.  I love them dearly, but they are absolutely nuts.   After moving only once in the past 9 years…I can safely say that I find it to be extremely stressful and a huge hassle.  However, my in-laws don’t seem to mind it!  Last time we were together, we counted and in the 6 years that Dave and I have been married, they have lived in 7 houses in three different states.  Crazy, right?

Now, don’t get me wrong…most of these moves have been due to job changes {and now, finally retirement!}.  But after about a year in a location, we kind of start expecting an announcement of their next location.

You may remember back in 2012, our family joined SueSue and Papaw {and Granna and Paw Paw} in Saint George Island, Florida.  The beach, located on the panhandle of Florida on the Gulf Coast, is a favorite vacation spot in the family.  So when they announced their most recent relocation, we were thrilled that they had decided to retire to SGI!

There is something about that beach that is just magical…and I only had one other trip there under my belt.  I can’t even imagine how the rest of the family feels, after having vacationed there for 25 years!  So to be able to retire and spend all of your days in this friendly town, seems like perfection!

SueSue and Papaw’s new house is about two blocks off the beach…a three minute walk or so.  It’s so nice to be able to leave our umbrellas and chairs on the beach, come back for lunch and naps, and then head back in the afternoon when it’s a bit cooler.  Dave and his dad love to sneak out in the evenings to go surf fishing.  I like reading on their massive screened in porch {because I prefer not to know what they are catching in the water that I swim in!!}.

Jayna and her Dad started prepping for the school year, by getting up early and walking on the beach to see the sun rise.  They also spotted crabs, dolphins, sting rays, starfish, and clams.  But more importantly, they formed a bond between the two of them that hadn’t existed before this summer.  Hopefully their relationship will continue to grow since Daddy will be the one getting Jayna ready for school and putting her on the bus in the mornings.

Since Saint George Island is about 9 hours away from our house, we are going to have adjust to not seeing SueSue and Papaw on a fairly regular basis anymore! =( So we celebrated Millie’s birthday early, with homemade cake and a purse-shaped piggybank!

One of the things I love about their house is how creatively the girls get to play there.  With only blocks, stuffed animals and an abundance of purses and Mardi Gras beads….the girls were still able to play all week long without getting bored!

Between the beach, climbing the forest of live oaks in the backyard, swinging on the porch swings under the deck, and taking trips into town or into Apalachiacola for shopping…..we stayed just busy enough.  And I was happy because I got to read an entire book AND take a nap almost every day!  My kind of vacation!

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{From the Archives} St. George Island, Florida

That’s right folks….still on “maternity leave” enjoying my new and improved family!  Thought I’d do a TBT {Throwback Thursday} today in honor of my in-laws, who just retired and bought a house at one of our favorite beaches, St. George Island, Florida.  Here’s a post from September 2012, when we visited the island for a week with them:

Thanks to my sneaky blog posting, you may not even know that last week we were on vacation!!  We headed down to St. George Island on the panhandle of Florida for a week at the beach with Sue Sue and Papaw, and his parents, Granna and PawPaw.

The weather started out rainy, but it turns out that a couple of days cooped up in the house actually did us good!  It gave us plenty of time for puzzles, reading, and indoor swimming!

Jayna loved playing “Guess Who” and “Memory” with Sue Sue….especially since it was a glass table!! {cheater!}

The house was beautiful…four stories with five bedrooms-each with it’s own balcony.  We spent most of our time on the main porch off the living room.  Fantastic views of the ocean! And a great place to make {and enjoy} some homemade ice cream….

We made a few trips to eat and shop in downtown St. George as well as neighboring Apalachicola.

Dave and I had a date night one night and ended up at a karaoke bar named Tamara’s.  I’m just kicking myself for not having my camera {and Dave wouldn’t let me use my phone!}…because Tamara’s apparently is THE place to be on a Friday night!  There was karaoke.  There was line dancing.  There was everybody in the whole stinkin’ town!

It. Was. Awesome.

But….I don’t have any pictures of the shin dig.  But there was plenty of dancing the rest of the week!

And yes, the weather cleared and we got several perfect days at the beach.

But one day, the guys saw a shark in the water while they were fishing.  I didn’t actually get a picture of it, so I made a true-to-life rendition…to scale, of course.

 Needless to say, we stayed on the beach that day.

What a pretty family! {If I do say so myself!}

 Til we meet again, St. George……

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{From the Archives} Tips for Doing Disney While Pregnant

Doing Disney While Pregnant: Tips from Palmettos and Pigtails

 Good morning!  It’s hard to believe that it was exactly a year ago that we took our family vacation to Disney with our best friends, Betsy and Jay.  So in the spirit of all of you spring breakers headed to Mickey-Land in the next few weeks, and for all of you preggos out there, I thought I’d revisit Betsy’s guest post about traveling to Disney while pregnant.  There are some great general tips about some of the lesser known aspects of the parks, as well as some essential info about doing Disney while pregnant!

Without further ado….here’s Bets!

Tips for doing Disney pregnant from Palmettos and Pigtails

My Disney vacation may be atypical from most and certainly from Shara’s in that my awesome husband took the reins of planning!  We discussed everything we decided, but as you read my recap, know that I don’t take credit for the plans he came up with or our schedule.  We both tried to be flexible with plans and just have fun because that’s all you can do with a 2-year-old and your in-laws in tow!

We rode with my in-laws in their RV so we were able to save money on food and stay at a campground overnight on the way to and from Florida {4 days total of travel to/from Disney from Maryland, and 6 days of Florida}.

Accommodations

We chose to stay at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground for a few key reasons.

We were making this trip with my in-laws and wanted to be near them to make plans to meet up and eat meals together as easy as possible.  We could have all squeezed in their RV all week, but Fort Wilderness has cabins, so the three of us opted for one of those for everyone’s sanity.  It was great!  We really liked everything about it.

Fort Wilderness is a really nicely laid out campground that has spoiled me for campgrounds everywhere.  Disney just knows how to do things right.  It is expansive, interspersed beautifully with trees and wildlife so you don’t see a million RVs everywhere you look, and there is bus transportation to help you get all around, though most everyone ends up splurging on renting golf carts for the week (including my father-in-law!  Even after we had planned not to splurge on renting one and sticking to the bus transport, he decided it would be well worth it for the ease of getting around, so we were fine with that!).  Two great pools, several playgrounds, two well-stocked shops with lots of food and drink essentials as well as gifty Disney stuff, pony rides, a delicious buffet, and easy free transportation to all of the parks plus Downtown Disney all made it a great choice for our family. Pool at Fort Wilderness Campground at Disney WorldThey also had an awesome campfire sing-a-long featuring Chip and Dale every night with marshmallow roasting and a movie under the stars.

  • Note 1. Bring your own marshmallows/s’mores stuff.  They sell everything there, but its pricey!
  • Note 2. Go during the weekdays.  We went on Wednesday night and again on Friday night (though I think some people go every night, hey its free entertainment) and Wednesday was nice and calm and peaceful while Friday was packed and slightly chaotic!Fort Wilderness Campfire at Disney WorldFort Wilderness Campfire at Disney WorldCampfire at Fort Wilderness Campground at Disney WorldThe cabins can sleep up to 6 people total, so our little family of 3 was able to spread out quite nicely.  The cabin had a full kitchen and one full bathroom, one bedroom with bunkbeds and a double bed, and a livingroom with a Murphy bed.  Jason and I chose to sleep out on the Murphy bed so we could put Lulabelle to bed at bedtime and stay up to watch TV for awhile without disturbing her.  It worked out really well.  Plus we had the luxury of housekeeping everyday… that’s my kind of camping!  We researched ahead of time and found that RV lots are not really intermixed with cabins in their layout, but you can call ahead to request specific areas if possible, so we so did that and got loops next to each other……ended up within walking distance to my in-law’s but not so close that we got on each others’ nerves.Fort Wilderness Cabins at Disney WorldParks

We also opted for the 4 tickets and got the 5th day free, but to save money we forewent the park hopper option and just did straight days.  The hopper would have been beneficial to some extent, but we didn’t really miss it.

Magic Kingdom notes:

-Be Our Guest restaurant

  • Ridiculous line just to get inside to eat, but I’ve decided it was worth it!  Disney made the Beast’s castle look so realistic and amazing, it was really a treat to get to sit there and eat!  A delicious feast for the tummy and for the eyes.
  • I was frustrated by the ordering process – touchscreen computers each party orders on themselves are a bad idea when a Disney staff person has to run from computer to computer helping all the people figure out how to take the accidental extra beverages off their total or swipe their credit card!  But my note to poor starving preggos or people with toddlers would be to just have a little snack while in line so you’re not dead or ready to kill someone by the time you get to the ordering screens.
  • The meals were pricey, but in reality quite comparable to the other restaurants in the parks – 4 adult meals with drinks and one kid’s meal with milk came to $55 – and the food was really quite good – I got a quiche that came with a good-sized spinach salad and champagne vinaigrette, mmm….
  • The other pretty cool thing to note was the servers bringing out your food using some method of GPS or tracking to figure out exactly where your party is seated.  It was done via a little red, circular rose that you take with you after ordering and set on the table you’ve chosen, and then within a few minutes a waiter comes wheeling out a fancy food cart directly to your table.  When my husband asked how he knew where we were, the waiter just said “magic,” we were in an enchanted castle after all.  Anyway, we sat in the main ballroom, in fancy chairs, under gorgeous chandeliers, with computer-generated snow falling outside beautiful windows – I absolutely loved it.Be Our Guest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom in Disney WorldEpcot notes:

-Nemo ride + big aquarium afterwards!

  • We knew about Turtle Talk with Crush after the Nemo ride, but I did not know there was a full-fledged aquarium to check out in there as well with manatees, dolphins, turtles, fish!  We ended up staying in that one building for close to 2 hours even with no line to get on the Nemo ride at all!
  • Note: bring a snack in if you’re pregnant and hungry every half an hour.Aquarium by the Finding Nemo Ride at Epcot at Disney WorldHollywood Studios notes:

-Disney Jr. show

  • This was pretty much the main thing we thought Lu would want to do so we got in line early on and excitedly got front row seats inside the theater.  Terrible idea.  We could not see anything from the front row because they have you sit on the floor (my other bone to pick with that show – I don’t get up and down all that easily these days!) and the characters are all puppets.  Most times we could see just the tops of characters’ heads, but sometimes we couldn’t see them at all when they were talking.
  • We also had a Disney staff member who kept making little Lu sit down when she tried to see a little better (even though in the middle rows all the kids were standing up and even though the only people she could have been blocking were her dad and grandpa).  SO, aim for the center of the theater, maybe even towards the back.
  • And warn the grandparents and preggos in your family they’ll be sitting on the floor.

Tips for doing Disney while Pregnant from Palmettos and Pigtails

And finally, a shout-out to my shoes!  I researched good, supportive sandals for walking before we left, and these are what I decided on.  They are Spencos http://www.zappos.com/spenco-kholo-straw-java~1 I ordered from zappos.com, and they did a great job supporting me in all of our walking.  According to the reviews, they run a little wide, which was great for me as I have slightly wide feet on a normal day and was very worried my pregnant lady feet might swell especially in the heat.  They have great arch support, and I never had a day of discomfort with extended walking every day we were there.  Yay!

How to do Disney while Pregnant from Palmettos and Pigtails

Overall, it was a magical Disney vacation!  In a nutshell, if you choose to do Disney while pregnant, make sure you wear good shoes, bring lots of water and snacks, and stay in the shade.  We can’t wait to go back, or at least go on vacation with Shara and Dave again soon!  Thanks for reading!

Betsy

Betsy is the cake creator over at Betsy’s Cakes, the Godmother of Jayna and Amelia, and the Mommy of Lullabelle.  She’s also the wife of Jay, and lover of all things Disney.  She’s also Shara’s best friend, and can be found in this post, this one, and this one.  Oh yeah, she also is the mastermind behind the Super Popular Dr. Suess Party post!

A Weekend at Lake Keowee

Growing up, we had multiple vacation homes.  Well, that’s what I told my friends, anyway.  Truth is, we just had some great friends and family who owned or rented houses at the beach, mountain and lake.  And those are great friends to have!  My grandparents lived in a beach house on the New Jersey shore, so we spent weekends in the summer at the beach.  Friends of ours had a little cabin in the woods in West Virginia, so we’d spend weekends in the Fall and Winter there.  And we’d also get together with friends and rent houses for a week at a time at the beach in the summer too.  And then my parents had a timeshare in the Virginia mountains, so we’d also get a week either skiing or tubing down the river.  Life was grand.

I remember each one of our “houses” and have some of my greatest memories from each one.  I loved the traditions that they carried. So Dave and I have dreamed, plotted and planned on how we can duplicate that for our children.  Obviously, we’d love to win the lottery and be the ones who owned the houses, but I guess we’d have to start playing then!  So for now, we’ve been incredibly blessed to have wonderful friends whose parents have lake/beach houses!

This Fall we took advantage of these last few weeks of warm weather and headed to Lake Keowee in the upstate of South Carolina.  Our very good friends, Jo and Ben and their kids, B and C are our neighbors,  and our kids are all besties.  You may remember my post about Millie’s crush on B.

We spent the weekend tubing, swimming, and playing.

Boating on Lake Keowee

I fell in love with the lake, because it’s warm, and clear….you can see your toes!  And NO alligators!!

Swimming in Lake Keowee

Tubing on Lake Keowee

Even Millie got to try tubing.  She LOVED it!  She keep yelling “Faster, Mr. Ben!!”

Tubing on Lake Keowee

Tubing on Lake Keowee

And even when we got rained out, we went into Greenville and spent the day at the Children’s Museum.  It was awesome…huge!  Lots of different places to play pretend.  And a whole dramatic play area that was like a farm.

Children's Museum in Greenville

And several play areas that involved construction work and building.  My favorite was the foam building area.  Very cool.

Children's Museum in Greenville

Children's Museum in Greenville

Children's Museum in Greenville

And there were several areas for just the big girls, where they had to use their muscles to pull themselves to the top of a tower, or climb through a spider web in the middle of the museum.Children's Museum In Greenville

Millie and B entertained themselves….

And when the sun came out again, we headed over to the Clemson Botanical Gardens.

What a wonderful weekend!  Can’t wait to do it again!

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